Salisbury resident inducted into the UNC Charlotte Alumni Hall of Fame
Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 19, 2015
Dr. Johnny Rufus Graham was inducted into the UNC Charlotte Alumni Hall of Fame on March 17.
Since its inception in 1985, this honor has been bestowed only 69 times among more than 100,000 graduates of the university to recipients who have demonstrated excellence locally, regionally and nationally, and in doing so have increased awareness of the high potential of University of North Carolina at Charlotte alumni.
Graham’s induction into the Alumni Hall of Fame was based on his service to his country as an infantry soldier in the First Air Cavalry Division in Vietnam and on his service to students as a professor of civil engineering in The William States Lee College of Engineering at UNC Charlotte.
In Vietnam, Graham was awarded two Purple Heart Medals for wounds received during combat operations and a Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service during combat.
During his 28-year tenure as a professor of civil engineering at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Graham earned the highest teaching awards in the College of Engineering at both the graduate level and at the undergraduate level. Only two other professors ever received the awards at both levels.
He taught 6,000 students in 21 different courses in both the graduate and in undergraduate schools. He conducted 15 different funded research projects in which students were involved and generated over 50 publications in which students were also listed as authors.
Graham advised many graduate students who eventually went to work in the transportation engineering profession. He also advised the American Society of Civil Engineering Student Chapter for which he received national recognition from the American Society of Civil Engineering in which he is a “life member.”
Graham also advised the International Transportation Engineering Society Student Chapter which was awarded the most improved student chapter in the William States Lee College of Engineering under his tutelage.
Graham served on many committees at the department, college, university and national levels. The most rewarding committee was the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Curriculum Committee, which he chaired and in which he authored an award winning new undergraduate curriculum.
Upon Graham’s promotion to faculty emeritus, the Johnny R. Graham Scholarship was endorsed from which awards are made yearly. The scholarship awards are made to deserving veterans or a family member of a veteran who is pursuing a civil engineering education at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Graham and his wife, Anita, live in the Crescent community in Salisbury.