Board of Trustees Elects New Chair

Businessman and financial expert John Morgan succeeds Ben Johnson as governing board's leader

John Morgan
Emory Photo/Video

Emory’s Board of Trustees has elected alumnus and business executive John Morgan 67OX 69B to serve as its new chair. The resolution passed at the full board’s annual meeting, held at Emory November 8. Morgan succeeds Ben F. Johnson III 65C, who is retiring as chair after serving in the role since 2000 and as an Emory trustee since 1995. Johnson will remain active with the board as an emeritus trustee.

“John Morgan is an unusually thoughtful person. He respects and engages the views of others, inviting and thoroughly examining the disparate views on both issues and opportunities that affect Emory,” says Emory President James Wagner. “He has spent the recent months before his tenure officially begins in scheduled conversations on campus and off in a focused effort to better understand the Emory of today and its place in the Atlanta and national communities. An accomplished businessman, John also is devoted to the humanities and their role in shaping our values and actions.”

Morgan is the owner of Morgan Timber, a private timber and real estate management and development company, and also is the owner of South Coast Commercial, a real estate investment firm, both based in Bluffton, South Carolina. He serves as chair of the board of directors for the Fortune 500 Plum Creek Timber Company, one of the largest private landowners in the United States. Previously, Morgan was one of nine founders of INVESCO Capital Management, a global money management firm, where he held leadership positions from 1979 until 2000. In 1986, he established the nonprofit Mill Creek Foundation to serve his hometown of Swainsboro, Georgia, and the surrounding area.

At Emory, Morgan has served as a trustee since 1996 and was elected a term trustee in 2000. In 1997 he joined, and later chaired, the board’s finance committee, lending his considerable financial expertise during challenging national economic times. He also has served as vice chair and chair elect. Prior to being elected a trustee, Morgan chaired Emory’s Board of Visitors; during Campaign Emory, he served as the campaign chair for Emory Libraries.

“It has been a grand growing experience to serve Emory as a trustee,” Morgan says. “When I reentered the Emory world as a volunteer after a number of years, I realized anew what a phenomenal place this is and how much good it does. I have completely committed myself to it.”

Morgan graduated from Oxford College in 1967 and received a BBA from Emory in 1969. He went on to hold positions in general banking and public securities investment management at First Orlando Corporation (SunTrust) from 1969 to 1972, returning to Atlanta to work for Citizens & Southern Corporation (Bank of America) from 1973 to 1978 before cofounding INVESCO.

As chair of the forty-one-member Board of Trustees, Morgan says he will strive to “make sure that we are communicating well and in a sensitive way among the trustees, so that we can have a uniformity of vision in terms of governance. At the heart of it, what governance has to do is test the reasonableness of what the administration puts before us, and to do that in the context of good faith, good actions, and all the attributes of good leadership.”

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