EU alumnus Larry Johnson reflects on what his EU education means to him

Category:  News
Friday, November 22nd, 2019 at 11:06 AM

When the time came for Larry Johnson to decide where he would like to continue his education, he had it narrowed down to three different schools: Miami of Ohio, Mount Union and Edinboro University, the last of which he was offered a football scholarship to attend.

“I chose Edinboro because they were going to give me the most money,” said Johnson, jokingly.

It ended up being about more than just money, though, and his accomplishments would agree with that sentiment.

Johnson was born and raised in Ashtabula, Ohio, about a 50-minute drive from the university. He began school in 1976, studying accounting. After four years, he graduated in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science in accounting and a minor in economics.

While enrolled at Edinboro, Johnson was affiliated with a number of different clubs and organizations. He was a part of student government, helping their budget committee, while also spending time with the business and accounting club. And as mentioned, Johnson also played wide receiver for the football team under head coaches Bill McDonald and Dennis Creehan.

Johnson believes he learned a great deal about life from being a part of EU football. He believes the discipline and dedication it takes to be a good player carried over into his professional career. He also believes being involved in sports helped teach him about teamwork and sacrificing for the greater good.

“I was even on a co-ed softball team, and believe it or not, we won the championship one year,” said Johnson, proudly.

“It was just a great atmosphere at Edinboro. I could go on and on about my experiences,” he said. “My wife wouldn’t like me saying this, but they were four of the best years of my life. [There were] no responsibilities, other than the normal college responsibilities: studying and going to all of my classes.”

Johnson went on to have a very successful and accomplished career in accounting, where he now runs his own firm, along with three other partners. He credits his experiences at Edinboro for getting him ready to enter the workforce. He acknowledged the impact two professors had on his success in accounting, one of which is still working at the university: Gerald Carnes.

“Carnes had a lot of real life experiences that he passed down to his students,” Johnson said. “That helped me really pay attention to his lectures, because he truly knew what he was doing; we knew he had real world success.”

Johnson then explained how Paul Lisowski, another professor during his time at Edinboro, prepared his students.

“He would take us to visit professional firms, on trips to accounting expos, and sort of let us intern for him in a way,” he explained. Johnson thanked Edinboro professors for truly caring about their students and taking extra time to make sure students firmly grasped major concepts.
“All my friends that attended Edinboro have been able to turn their majors into promising careers. I believe that is a very strong testament to the education you receive,” he proclaimed.

Jon Pulice, director of development at Edinboro University, spoke about Johnson. “Larry’s strong sense of loyalty, engagement and philanthropy to Edinboro University makes him the epitome of an alumnus.”

Johnson is currently one of three partners in a certified public accounting firm, Snodgrass of Northeast Ohio. They currently have 20 employees and have two different offices. He is entering his 40th year as a professional accountant.

“To sum it up,” Johnson began, “Edinboro did for me exactly what I went there to get. I received an awesome education all while maintaining a great social life.”

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