A farewell celebration for Nursing's Fannie Gaston-Johansson

Image caption: Left to right: Provost Robert Lieberman, Dean Patricia Davidson, Fannie Gaston-Johansson

Credit: Will Kirk / Johns Hopkins University

Fannie Gaston-Johansson, the first African-American woman to be a tenured full professor at the Johns Hopkins University, and named a University Distinguished Professor for her extraordinary accomplishments, put the cap on her career with a laugh May 19 surrounded by family and friends from the world over.

Gaston-Johansson, who holds the Elsie M. Lawler Chair in the School of Nursing's Department of Community-Public Health and leaves her post this summer, thanked colleagues, staff, students, and those who had spoken before her, joking: "I'd like to take this opportunity to verify that all of the good stuff they said about me is absolutely true."

A trailblazer and fighter for the underserved, Gaston-Johansson touched lives across the globe through research on pain management, breast cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and health disparities.

"It has been an absolute privilege," Gaston-Johansson told a courtyard full of well-wishers at the School of Nursing, where she served more than 20 years. "I feel blessed, and I'm happy."