Ruth Johnson, Michigan’s Secretary of State and the first woman ever elected to serve as clerk/register of deeds in Oakland County, will deliver Oakland Community College’s 2018 commencement address to over 2,700 graduates on Saturday, May 19. In addition to commencement speaker, Johnson will also be recognized as Alumni of the Year.
As Secretary of State, Johnson serves as chief motor vehicle administrator and chief election officer for the state’s nearly 10 million residents. She also maintains the state’s official repository of records and certifies documents as Keeper of the Great Seal. She is second in line of succession to the governor.
“It is an honor to have such an outstanding alum as Secretary of State Ruth Johnson serve as our 2018 commencement speaker,” said OCC Chancellor Peter Provenzano. “Ruth is an outstanding example of how a community college can create a pathway to great success.”
A life-long resident of Oakland County, Johnson began her college career at OCC. She also holds a bachelor’s degree from Oakland University and a master’s degree, with honors, from Wayne State University.
Among her accomplishments, Johnson improved customer service with the launch of ExpressSOS.com and MI-TIME Line, a line management tool at Michigan’s busiest Secretary of State branch offices that allows customers to hold their place in line electronically while they stay home or run errands.
Johnson’s work as secretary continues a distinguished career in public service. As a three-term member of the Michigan House of Representatives from 1999 through 2004, she also served on the Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security, Education, Health Policy and Transportation Committees.