Bill and Ginny Johnson’s Charitable Gift Will Provide Future Opportunities at Rose-Hulman

Photo of Bill and Ginny Johnson
Bill and Ginny Johnson

If you’re looking for Bill Johnson, you can probably find him riding atop the wave of some latest opportunity. He doesn’t miss many. As a high school graduate from Robinson, Illinois, Bill rode an early wave into Rose Polytechnic Institute in 1956—making him the first in his family to attend college.

“I was reasonably good at math, and I thought I wanted to be an engineer,” Johnson recalls from his home in Fort Wayne, where he and his wife Ginny have lived since 1978. After years of generous support, the Johnsons recently established a charitable gift annuity (CGA) with Rose-Hulman.

Bill and Ginny met as freshmen their first Sunday at Central Christian Church in Terre Haute. Ginny was studying elementary education and music at Indiana State. Bill was majoring in electrical engineering at Rose Poly.

After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees, a short stint teaching, and service overseas in Thailand with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Bill would ride another wave of opportunity into a job at Bell Labs in Indianapolis. There he would gain computer experience that he parlayed into more opportunities, including a new job calculating the best use of resources for an aluminum business based in Wabash, Indiana.

“Engineers tend to gravitate to where they can add the most value,” Johnson says.Photo of Ginny and Bill Johnson

A few years later, a company sale opened up yet another opportunity—but one for which Bill’s engineering education provided little help. He was asked to handle materials purchasing, a task for which he had no training.

“You want to know the definition of a humbling experience, that was it,” Bill recalls. Still, in this challenge, Bill recognized yet another opportunity and discovered his true career calling: helping others obtain the best aluminum alloy at the most economical price. In the mid-1990s, Bill launched his own company to continue this calling: Professional Resource Management, which he operated for more than 20 years.

“That was the best of all,” Johnson says.

Bill credits Rose-Hulman with cultivating the self-discipline that has enabled him to meet the opportunities and challenges he has faced in his career. He and Ginny have maintained close ties to the Institute, including watching one of their three sons, William II, earn his mechanical engineering degree from Rose-Hulman in 1982, returning for every Homecoming, and providing generous financial support. Most recently, Bill and Ginny have established a CGA that will benefit Rose-Hulman while returning a steady income stream to the Johnsons.

“We have always been interested in supporting Rose-Hulman,” Bill says, with Ginny adding: “We’re very proud of Rose-Hulman and what it has achieved."


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