Russell County Circuit Court Judge Albert Johnson promises his commencement speech Friday night for Chattahoochee Valley Community College won't be ho-hum.
"I'm probably going to share some things I haven't shared before that may be historical in nature," he said.
Asked to be more specific, Johnson just laughed and encouraged folks to attend the 7 p.m. ceremony in the Columbus Convention & Trade Center.
The Ledger-Enquirer reported in January that Johnson, 63, plans to retire and won't seek re-election. He estimates his last day on the job will be in the second week of January 2015.
Calling the speaking invitation a "prestigious honor," Johnson said he wants to give the graduates "some suggestions on what they need to do, based on a half century of observation and experience."
Johnson has served the county as a judge for 26 years. He was a District Court judge for 12 years before winning election to the Circuit Court in 1996. His other working experience includes private practice, special assistant attorney general for Alabama, deputy district attorney for Russell County and adjunct professor at Troy University. He also served one term as a state representative in the Alabama Legislature (1982-83).
Johnson earned a bachelor's degree from Huntingdon College in 1972, a master's degree in business administration from Georgia State University in 1977 and a law degree from Cumberland School of Law in 1980. Although he isn't a CVCC alumnus, Johnson is proud of his association with the college, noting that he helped establish the college's foundation.
CVCC president Glen Cannon said in a news release, "We are honored to have Judge Johnson join us for this occasion and look forward to the message he has for our graduates."
Approximately 150 of the 180 CVCC students eligible to graduate this spring are expected to attend the ceremony, according to the release.
Mark Rice, 706-576-6272. Follow Mark on Twitter@MarkRiceLE.