Alumni Spotlight: Trish (Grey) Johnson
Name Trish (Grey) Johnson Class of 1981
College Education (and degree) BS Degree, US Military Academy, 1985
Current Occupation Volunteer; Continual service to my Alma Mater as the Class President for the USMA Class of ’85. Church Volunteer as a Catechist.
I am very proud of having served our country as a Captain in the US Army. I am also proud that after leaving the military, that I found new ways to serve; my family, my community, and the Church. I married while I was in the military and my husband retired from the Army to start a small business, which was very successful. This, thankfully, gave me the freedom to use my gifts in mostly a volunteer capacity. I did teach for awhile (Preschool). I worked for the US Census Bureau as a Recruiter. I worked as an Engineer for a few years at Martin Marietta, now Lockheed Martin, in the aerospace industry. I worked at our local college, Randolph Macon College, as the Coordinator for Campus Safety. I did not have a straight or traditional career path, but instead entered in and out of the workforce when it suited our family and when it grabbed my interest. I raised three great adult children and was also blessed with two stepdaughters when I got married. It has been a very full life. In service to my Alma Mater, West Point, I am proud to have chaired a successful Class Fundraiser which brought the Military Academy $1,000,000 in donations for cadet programming. I am very proud of that campaign, knowing that it will serve our country perpetually, by helping build future leaders.
What is the best advice you could give current Ludden students?
I would recommend to every Ludden student to feed your Faith. Think of your families who sacrificed to provide you with a well rounded education, not just one for your mind, but also one that nurtures your soul, the greatest importance. Always remember that our lives are a gift from God, and that we should always use it to build up His Kingdom, to do His Will and prepare for the next life, which is eternal, not passing, like this one. Lift others in your personal and our professional lives. Love God, love others, and stand up for Truth in our increasingly secular world. If you do, God will fill you with His Wisdom, His Light and His Joy, which will benefit every day of your life going forward. Don’t neglect taking part in the Sacraments of the Church. Practice your Catholic Faith. Love it, embrace it and experience the enrichment that it will add to your life’s journey. Study the Saints who went before us. They have much to teach us still and they want to be active in your lives more than you know. They stand waiting for you to ask in prayer for their intercession and they will Jump at the chance to give you any help that you need. Stay on the narrow path. “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire.” ― St. Catherine of Siena
What is your favorite Ludden memory?
I have many favorite memories from my time at Ludden. I will never forget the people, the friendships, which still endure today. Some stand out memories include the success of our Girls Soccer Team, playing in the Sectionals which ended in a shootout. I remember the ZOO, the pep rallies, our manic basketball fans and the Green Machine which united the whole school with their exciting games and their incredible talent. I remember being a Class Officer and working on several social committees, such as planning our proms and bonfires and dances, which honed good skills for the future, such as organization, public speaking and working with a team of people. I remember the hands on classes and labs in the science wing. I remember assemblies for visiting guest speakers; one in particular, when a nun visited to talk about her nonprofit Covenant House, a home for runaway or neglected children, children they rescued from the street. I remember that it made me more thankful for my family, my home and all of the opportunities I had, and it made me more compassionate throughout life, for the needy. I remember running track in the 2 mile event and going for long, fun jogs with Kathy (now) Gilheney, Ludden’s current Controller, and how running and practicing for that long event helped prepare me for the summer I left for West Point. I am grateful for all of my great Ludden memories. It was a very happy time in life. All of the families were close and had shared values and looked out for one another’s children and helped nurture us along, like a wonderful village.
Why are you proud of your Bishop Ludden heritage?
I am proud of being part of the wonderful community which is Bishop Ludden, which continues long after Graduation. It is a unity that stems from being part of the family of God, being one in the Spirit, which is nurtured in a Catholic School education and is not nurtured in the same way in public education. I feel blessed to have had that, and I am thankful to my parents for making that a financial priority in our home, when it was not always easy to do so. To have a Chapel at the heart of the High School, to be able to pray in the classroom before the day begins, to be able to pray again as a team before athletic contests, to be surrounded by the Christian Catholic symbols in the building, Crucifixes in the classrooms, reminders of our important Church Feast Days, Holy Days, teachers teaching to the Whole person, including our interior life, which has served me the most in life. In that environment, a mind can learn it’s best, and a body can perform it’s best, as God intended.