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Get to know Marianne Johnson: Fun facts and more

VCU Alumni expanded its team this past fall with the addition of a new role: the alumni engagement officer. With six alumni engagement officers onboard, they’re now busy planning and executing dynamic programming for VCU’s colleges and schools, all geared toward boosting alumni involvement and support.

Marianne Johnson, alumni engagement officer for the School of Pharmacy, gives us a glimpse into who she is beyond her CV.

What’s your superpower?

I am a master of chaos. Through my event management background, I have learned how to manage the unexpected and roll with the situation at hand to ensure success.

What’s your hidden talent?

My hidden talent is being able to schedule a meeting with 10+ people and finding a time that works within all of their calendars. Calendar invites are my love language.

What would you do if you weren’t an alumni engagement officer?

If I was not an alumni engagement officer, I would love to be a food or brewery tour guide! I love the food and beverage scene in Richmond and enjoy planning crawls when friends come to visit.

What’s the most important item on your bucket list (if you have a bucket list)?

The top item on my bucket list is to visit all of the MLB stadiums. So far I have been to 23 of the 30-plus major league ballparks and over 20 minor league parks.

What was your favorite subject in school?

My favorite subject in school was English. I had a few excellent teachers who pushed me to think critically about what I was reading and the bigger picture. They are part of the reason why I enjoy reading in my free time.

What’s something most people don’t know about you?

I am originally from Colorado and spent most of my summers growing up in Rocky Mountain National Park hiking, fishing, mountain biking, horseback riding and camping.

What book character do you most identify with?

Elizabeth Bennet from “Pride and Prejudice” has always been an inspiration to me. She was a strong, witty and independent woman during a time that really only valued men. She spoke her mind as I try to do, too!

What’s your favorite way to unwind?

My favorite way to unwind is to be outside, taking a walk, doing yardwork or just sitting on our front porch and enjoying the sun!

What’s your favorite local restaurant/food truck/brewery?

For my birthday last summer, I brought two of my Richmond favorites together for an epic night. I hosted a private event at Virago Spirits and brought in Auntie Ning’s food truck. I was able to enjoy my favorite rum cocktails with the best Philippine food in town!

What is your top priority for engaging alumni?

My top priority for engaging alumni is creating unique opportunities to reconnect with their school and channels to share their experiences with current students as another layer of support for future pharmacists.

What Virginia hiking trails would you recommend Marianne check out? Or do you want to learn more about how you can connect with the School of Pharmacy? Email her at

Categories Alumni news