Vice President for University Advancement J.V. Johnston returned to
Newman this week after a six-week leave of absence he used to focus on his family business, Johnston’s Clothiers.
Johnston said he is looking forward to coming back to Newman and continuing his role at the university.
He said he had initially not planned on coming back to the university.
After talking with his family extensively he decided that coming back to Newman would be a better decision for him.
“The last three weeks probably I was leaning towards coming to Newman, and two weeks ago I knew it was the right thing to do,” he said.
Johnston said that he missed building connections with people that he wasn’t able to build at his business.
“With the donors, I really like spending an hour and half with them
and getting to know their story, what’s important to them, how their life progressed, and see if their wishes fit the goals and mission of Newman,” he said.
Johnston still owns his business and continues to hold morning meetings at the clothing store.
While Johnston was on leave, Director of University Relations Clark
Schafer split Johnston’s responsibilities between himself and Senior Development Officer Beth Fatkin.
“I ended up taking over a lot of his meetings and some nuts and bolts.
And then Beth Fatkin took over some of the advancements side—kind of the day-to-day management. Between the two of us we covered everything that J.V. was doing,” Schafer said.
Schafer said that without Johnston the team had been busy but applauded their work while Johnston was gone.
“Everybody has worked really diligently and hard so I don’t think we’ve missed any steps, but we’re certainly looking forward to having him back,” Schafer said.
This story first appeared in the April 12, 2018 issue of The Vantage.