Our First UChicago MAG Volunteer Profile - Elizabeth Johnson, AB '90

Elizabeth Johnson (AB '90) shares her thoughts about her time at UChicago, her career and vision for the MAG

Our featured volunteer is Elizabeth Johnson, AB '90 Elizabeth grew up in a Marine Corps family and graduated from Quantico High School.  She attended UChicago as an undergraduate, earning her degree in English.  She also has a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.  After spending the first five years of her legal career in the Army as a JAG officer, in the Washington, D.C., area, Elizabeth has lived both in Washington, D.C., and also in Chicago, where she lives at present. 

Sean: Why did you want to become involved in UCMAG?

Elizabeth: I grew up as a Marine Corps dependent and later served in the Army JAG Corps.  Yet during my years in college, I didn’t feel much connection to the military.  I’m thrilled that our group exists as a way to network with UChicago alumni who also have a military background.  

Sean: Where do you see UCMAG going in the next few years?

Elizabeth: I'd like to see our membership grow, and ideally in the regions in which we have a large presence, including Chicago, for us to sponsor more educational events and networking opportunities.  

Sean: Were you active in any groups on campus related to the military?

Elizabeth: When I was at the College, there really was not much of a military presence on campus, or at least not one about which I was aware.  At the time, though, I probably was glad to have escaped the military “brat” moniker – little did I suspect that I would end up in the military myself later! 

Sean: What does your connection to the military mean to you now?

Elizabeth: It’s such a big part of my identity, both in terms of the order and discipline it has brought to my professional life and the call to service in my personal life that I take very seriously, and that I hope I fulfill in some small way by giving time and energy to the UCMAG Board and events.  

Sean:  What’s been the best part of the UCMAG experience? 

Elizabeth:  Getting to know other alumni.  Shortly after joining the group, I realized that Katrina Johnson (no relation), who is also on the UCMAG Board, actually was then serving in the Army at the National Security Agency, in the very same office in which I had worked years ago as an Army JAG.  Discovering that shared experience – even years apart – was a great welcome to the group.   

Sean: Are you involved in any other Chicago affinity or alumni groups?

Elizabeth: I’m so pleased to also be a member and a volunteer for the UChicago Women’s Alliance.  We have really wonderful salon-style get-togethers several times a year, where in addition to being able to socialize with other extremely accomplished women, we create a forum for debate and intellectual exchange.  I’m also a member of the Law Affinity Group, which welcomes not just graduates of the University of Chicago Law School but other law schools, too. 

Sean: In closing, is there anything else you would like to add?

Elizabeth: I hope others with a military affiliation will consider joining our group and that those who are already members will strongly consider applying to become part of our Board.  Any alumni in the Chicago area who might have an interest in co-sponsoring a UCMAG event, please contact me!