Adrian ‘Goose’ Johnson scholarship endowed at SGTC

Published 3:20 pm Thursday, July 25, 2019

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AMERICUS — South Georgia Technical College (SGTC) students in the Caterpillar Think Big heavy equipment diesel technology program were fond of wearing special, dark blue t-shirts imprinted with a gaggle of geese and the words “Fly High Goose” in memory of their classmate Adrian “Goose” Johnson, a 19-year-old student from Stockton, Ala., who died earlier this year in Alabama in a tragic car accident.

The t-shirts were designed to honor the memory of their classmate and also to raise funds for an endowed scholarship for future CAT Thompson Tractor Think Big students enrolled at SGTC in Americus. A total of 25 students from across the southeastern United States graduated in Johnson’s program area and many of them, like Goose Johnson, were beneficiaries of the CAT Think Big Dealer scholarships for tuition to South Georgia Tech.

The Adrian “Goose” Johnson endowed scholarship became a reality in less than three months because of the generosity of his family, friends, fellow students, CAT and SGTC officials. His parents, Kelly and Amber Johnson, and his sister, Sarah, were presented with a framed endowed scholarship certificate from the SGTC Foundation at the Caterpillar Dealer’s 2019 Graduation Dinner hosted at SGTC. SGTC President John Watford, E.D., also presented the Johnson family with Goose Johnson’s associate degree from the Caterpillar Heavy Equipment Dealer Service Technology program during the college’s spring graduation ceremony along with the other 2019 graduates.

SGTC President John Watford, Ed.D., is shown presenting the framed certificate for the endowed Adrian ‘Goose’ Johnson CAT Thompson Tractor scholarship to Amber, Sarah, and Kelly Johnson at the 2019 CAT Dealer Graduation Dinner.

Johnson’s parents, Watford, and SGTC Vice President of Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the SGTC Foundation Su Ann Bird made the very first scholarship presentations to seven graduating CAT Think Big students from Thompson Tractor during the Caterpillar Dealer’s 2019 Graduation Dinner prior to the college’s spring graduation. Kelly and Amber Johnson also presented each student with a magnetic goose to place on their tool boxes. “I hope each of you will remember and honor our son’s legacy every time you pick up a wrench or a tool from your tool box,” said Amber Johnson.

The seven students to receive the Goose tool scholarships, estimated to be worth approximately $1,000 each after student discounts from Snap-On Tools, were: Logan Crutchfield, of Grovehill, Ala.; Justin Greenhaw of Danville, Ala.; Cole Holland of Axis, Ala.; Ben Selman of Montgomery, Ala.; Noah Schrum of Jasper, Ala.; Tyler Singletary of Graceville, Fla.; and Ethan Wendell of Thorsby, Ala.

“Goose loved South Georgia Technical College and the CAT Think Big program,” said his mom Amber. “This was an important part of his life and we wanted to do something to help like-minded students be able to pursue their career goals. This endowed scholarship helps honor his memory and creates a legacy to help others. We thank everyone who helped make this scholarship a reality.”

SGTC President Watford expressed his sympathy to the Johnson family but also commended them for having the foresight to give back to others during this time of loss. The Johnsons were given a standing ovation by the over 250 Caterpillar dealers, students, family members, and friends who were gathered at the Caterpillar Dealer’s 2019 Graduation dinner.

“Words cannot adequately express how we feel today. We are so grateful that you are here and that you entrusted us with your son’s education. He has made an impact on South Georgia Technical College, the students here, and each of the individuals gathered today. We appreciate you and your family and friends for their support of this endowed scholarship,” said Watford.

In addition to the initial tool scholarships, the Adrian “Goose” Johnson endowed scholarship will now help other CAT Thompson Tractor students enrolled in the SGTC heavy equipment dealer’s service technology program with room and board. The scholarship will be awarded annually.

SGTC serves as the Southeastern Caterpillar Dealers College of Technology and offers extensive technician training for Caterpillar Dealers as part of the specialized Caterpillar Dealer Service Technician Program. Students selected for the two-year program receive practical work experience from their sponsoring