Author and U.S. Air Force veteran Steve Johnson to speak at MC Nov. 11

Author and U.S. Air Force veteran Steve Johnson to speak at MC Nov. 11

Nov. 4, 2019

The Maryville College Student Veterans Association (SVA) will host retired U.S. Air Force Col. Steve Johnson as part of the College’s Veterans Day program planned for Mon., Nov. 11, 2019.

Johnson, an author, will be the keynote speaker during the event, which will begin at 1 p.m. in the Clayton Center for the Arts’ Harold and Jean Lambert Recital Hall.

Also during the event, which is free and open to the public, the MC men’s vocal ensemble The Lads will perform patriotic music.

Johnson was raised in a military family and then served in the military himself, retiring in 2011 as a U.S. Air Force colonel. In 2015, he and his wife, Janet, began exploring the country and living full-time in their RV. They worked with the Sojourners, a group of mostly retired Christians who travel the country by RV and volunteer at small churches, children's homes and Bible camps.

In 2016 – at age 50 – Johnson completed a thru-hike of the 2,189.1-mile Appalachian Trail. He authored two books chronicling his journey, Sir Fob W. Pot's Journey to Katahdin, Volumes 1 and 2.

Johnson is also the author of Faith in the Margins, an inspiring 365-day devotional book that he wrote after discovering notes recorded in the margins of family Bibles he inherited. The accumulated family wisdom and insights are collected from 15 family Bibles spanning five generations and nearly a century.

His latest book, The Eulogy – A Sojourner’s Tale, is co-authored by wife Janet and “depicts how some roads are smooth and filled with joy, while others are bumpy and jar us to the core. Some take unwanted twists and turns, leading us to unexpected places. Some can even bring us home. With warmth, grace and humor, a struggling family rallies around the life, legacy and final request of their dying Christian patriarch.”


Maryville College is a nationally-ranked institution of higher learning and one of America’s oldest colleges. For more than 200 years, we’ve educated students to be giving citizens and gifted leaders, to study everything, so that they are prepared for anything — to address any problem, engage with any audience and launch successful careers right away. Located in Maryville, Tennessee, between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the city of Knoxville, Maryville College offers nearly 1,200  students from around the world both the beauty of a rural setting and the advantages of an urban center, as well as more than 60 majors, seven pre-professional programs and career preparation from their first day on campus to their last. Today, our 10,000 alumni are living life strong of mind and brave of heart and are prepared, in the words of our Presbyterian founder, to “do good on the largest possible scale.”