York College commencement speaker a leader in military and basketball

Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson will give the May 18, 2019 spring commencement address at York College.

At commencement, York College students will hear from a leader who served two presidents, achieved a number of firsts as a woman and excelled in both sports and military roles throughout her career.

Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Michelle D. Johnson will give the 2019 spring commencement address, at 10:15 a.m. May 18 on the campus lawn.

Throughout her tenure in the Air Force, Johnson held a number of leadership roles, completed more than 3,600 flight hours as a command pilot and served as Air Force aide to Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton from 1992 to 1994, according to a news release.

Johnson also broke barriers by becoming the first woman to hold the position of Air Force Academy superintendent, which is equivalent to college president, the release states.

It's one of many firsts she's had in her lifetime.

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She was the Air Force’s first female cadet wing commander, first female Rhodes Scholar and the first female inductee into the College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-America Hall of Fame, according to the release.

Students, family and friends gather for the York College winter commencement ceremony at Grumbacher Sport and Fitness Center’s M&T Field House Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2018. Nearly 300 students graduated during the ceremony. Bill Kalina photo

She joined the National Basketball Association in October 2017 and is now the senior vice president and the head of referee operations.

This follows a long history of success in the Air Force Academy as three-time basketball team captain, the second-leading scorer in school history and the first woman inducted into the Air Force Sports Hall of Fame, the release states.

Johnson left her mark by having a career scoring average of 17.6 points per game — the highest in school history.