Dorothy “Ms. Dot” Johnson has worked at Temple University for over 61 years. Coworkers talk about her like she’s family, not just an employee. Known for her warmth and compassion, she’s a fixture at the Kornberg School of Dentistry’s facilities management department. Johnson started at the university in 1957, she has worked at the dental school since 1976 and its mailroom since 1990.
Johnson still works there today and her reason is pretty simple.
“I like being in here, there’s always somebody you can help,” Johnson told In The Know.
Besides picking up the nickname “Ms. Dot,” she helped form the union BUE Local 612 at the school. Most importantly, Johnson always goes above and beyond the call of duty.
“You never know how much you can really do for a person until you try,” she said. “They’ll say my job doesn’t call for everything I do but that’s me.”
Johnson’s ethos in life explains her resiliency. She says no matter how bad things get, it’s going to be alright because she’ll find a way to get through.
“Dot is like a mother to me,” Octavius Green Jr., president of BUE Local 612, told In The Know. “But to know her, you would have to understand her strength. I don’t know men that have her strength.”
In 2018, Johnson was honored at the school’s 20 Year Club ceremony that celebrates long-tenured employees like her. She received a standing ovation for her service.
“I have never remembered ever saying I’ll be glad when I leave Temple. Never. Never. I love it,” Johnson said. “I don’t plan to retire. I don’t care what Temple throws at me. I can take it.”
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