As the crescendo to a stellar career in post-secondary education comes to its grand finale, Malaspina University-College announced today that it is re-naming the International Education Centre, the Richard W. Johnston Centre for International Education. Johnston retires from the university-college Dec. 31, 2006.
In a lunch time ceremony to mark the dedication of the facility, Vice-President, Administration and Bursar, Edwin Deas, stated, “Rich will be a hard act to follow. In fact he will be an impossible act to follow. This dedication will serve as ongoing recognition of the significant contribution made by Rich to this community and to Malaspina’s International and domestic relations .
"As long as students are excelling in their chosen field and are giving credit to their experience at Malaspina, we will know that the spirit of Rich Johnston is alive and well on the hill," Deas said.
According to Malaspina Board Chair Robin Kenyon, Johnston has worked tirelessly to ensure Malaspina has been continually connected to the community and the world. “Rich has preserved the comprehensive nature of Malaspina programs by ensuring a broad instructional mix that includes academic, trades/vocational, career/technical programs; high school upgrading courses; continuing education courses; and international education. At the same time, he has instilled an entrepreneurial spirit that has served Malaspina well and has allowed the institution to flourish, even during times of government fiscal restraint," said Kenyon.
"At every step along the way during my 30 years at Malaspina, I have enjoyed the generous support of faculty, administrators, Board members, students, civic leaders and the public who believe in the mission of our institution," said Johnston. “I am honoured to have been recognized this way. Thank you to the community, the Board, our faculty, and staff and more importantly, our students, for supporting me during these past thirty years. It has been quite a journey."
Johnston, who started at Malaspina as an Assistant Dean in 1976, rose to the position of Dean of Vocational programs in 1980 and was appointed President in the summer of 1986. In addition to being the longest-serving president at Malaspina, he is the second longest serving president in the public post-secondary system in British Columbia.