Celebrating Education…

Johnnie McFadden, PhD, the Benjamin Elijah Mays Professor at the University of South Carolina, was born in Wilmington, North Carolina, the only son of five children of Jerry McFadden and Emma Postell McFadden. He attended academically acclaimed public schools of Wilmington, North Carolina that were racially segregated, graduating at the age of sixteen from Williston High School. While he desired to be an architect, he could not attend North Carolina State University in Raleigh, which was all white, and he did not have the resources nor the vision to travel out of state to attend Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, which offered a degree in architecture. Instead, he opted to matriculate at Winston-Salem Teachers College and major in elementary education. “I could not design and build buildings, but I could shape and build minds. Minds are eternal,” said McFadden. He graduated magna cum laude from Winston-Salem State University in 1958 and embarked on a teaching career.

While teaching mathematics, science, and art in elementary and secondary schools, he earned his MEd degree in educational administration from Temple University in 1967 and his PhD degree with a major in counselor education and a minor in psychology from the University of South Carolina in 1973.  In 1970 McFadden was chosen the first North Carolina Teacher of the Year. Since that time, his life has taken a meteoric rise in education at the University of South Carolina. He has served in a number of professional roles at this institution, namely, Interim Dean and Associate Dean in the College of Education and USC Senior Vice President for Intercultural Affairs and Professional Development. He is the first African American in the history of the University of South Carolina to be promoted to the rank of full professor-1979 and the first to be named to an endowed chair, the Benjamin Elijah Mays

Professor-1988. He founded and is currently Director of the highly successful Benjamin E. Mays Academy for Leadership Development. He is an international authority on transcultural counseling and communication, and his historic stylistic counseling model is used worldwide. Dr. McFadden is the author or editor of fifteen books and has presented or published over 250 professional papers, journal articles, symposia, and workshops in numerous places throughout the world such as Australia, New Zealand, China, India, Belgium, the Netherlands, Morocco, Kenya, Brazil, Mexico, Scotland, France, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, etc. His most current book is entitled Culture and Counseling: New Approaches. Professor McFadden is a member of many boards and professional/civic affiliations including the Columbia Museum of Art. He is the recipient of more than thirty awards in his profession and is one of twenty renowned counselor education professors biographically featured in the 2003 book, Leaders and Legacies: Contributions to the Profession of Counseling. This honoree’s motto is, Do the right thing for the right reason. He is a member of First Calvary Baptist Church, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Director of the African American Professors Program at USC, and a life member of the NAACP. McFadden and his wife, Grace Jordan McFadden, PhD, have a daughter, Rashida Hannah McFadden.