Newman University has named J.V. Johnston, president of Johnston’s in Wichita, as its next Vice President for University Advancement. Johnston fills the vacancy created when Troy Horine resigned in February.
Johnston will oversee Newman’s Advancement Department, which incorporates Fundraising/Development, Alumni Relations, University Relations, and Archives. Johnston begins his new duties Monday, March 17.
“J.V. Johnston and his family are no strangers to Newman University,” said Dr. Noreen M. Carrocci, Newman University president. “I am delighted J.V. will be joining Newman in this capacity. He is an energetic, committed and hard-working professional who has already done great things for Newman as a volunteer. It is exciting to think we can now harness his expertise and abilities as a full-time member of our senior leadership team.”
After a 36-year career at Johnston’s – an upscale mens and ladies retail clothing business – and after having served 19 of those years as company president, Johnston was looking to shift his professional focus.
“I’m in my mid-50s and I’m ready for a new challenge that is mission driven,” Johnston said. “The strength of Johnston’s and the capabilities and professionalism of the current staff are what really provided the ability for me to step away from the store,” Johnston said.
Johnston is stepping away from the day-to-day operations and his role as president. He remains part-owner in the store along with his wife Veronica, who is a full-time Johnston’s employee, and long-time business partner Kevin Edmundson of Wichita.
“I pretty much delegated myself out of a job,” Johnston added with a laugh.
Johnston graduated in 1982 from then-Kansas Newman College with a bachelor’s degree, double majoring in Business Administration and History. He served four terms on the Newman Board of Trustees from 1999 to 2011, including four years as Chairman from 2007 to 2011. Among his many accomplishments as Chairman, Johnston was involved in completing Founders Plaza on the Newman campus as part of the Dugan Library and Campus Center capital campaign. Johnston also worked closely with the Newman administration to create the Newman Strategic Plan for 2009-2014, as well as the 2010 Campus Master Plan for the university.
“I’m mission driven, goal oriented, and I care about making a difference in the community. As a Newman alum and as a student taught by the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, I’m sure I can attribute that to the university and its mission,” Johnston said. “I’m excited to join Newman and President Carrocci’s staff so that I can help share the Newman story. And, it’s a great story,” he added.
Johnston and his family have a long history with Newman University. That relationship began when Johnston became a Newman student and a men’s basketball player in the late 1970s. Over the years that role has evolved to include board member and chair, volunteer and Newman parent – three times over. Johnston and his wife Veronica (Armendariz), also a 1982 Newman graduate, met while attending Newman. They have four sons: Benjamin, a 2006 Newman graduate; Jacob (Jake), a 2008 Newman graduate; Isaac, a 2010 Newman graduate, and Jordan, a student at Wichita State University.
Within the Wichita community, Johnston is also well known and has served on numerous boards and committees over the years. He’s been involved in foundation and fundraising activities through his work on the St. Joseph Hospital Foundation Board, and on the Via Christi Hospital Foundation Board, where he also served as chair. He has also served on the board of directors and as chair for Via Christi Hospitals – Wichita, Inc. In 1998, he was named a 40 Under 40 recipient by the Wichita Business Journal.