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05/23/2011

Department of Biology Creates Fund to Honor its Retiring Chair, Jim Johnston

Quick Facts

 Called the Jim and Karen Johnston Fund, the fund will enhance the undergraduate education experience for biology majors at Winthrop University.
 When Jim Johnston retires this academic year as chair of the Department of Biology, he will leave a proud legacy here at Winthrop.

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Jim Johnston
ROCK HILL, S.C. - Faculty members with the Department of Biology have established a fund to recognize the achievements of its retiring chairman, Jim Johnston.

It also honors Johnston's wife, Karen, who has served as the president of the university's athletic group, the Eagle Club.

Called the Jim and Karen Johnston Fund, the fund will enhance the undergraduate education experience for biology majors at Winthrop University. "Jim's deep concern for students and his devotion to Winthrop are well-known," said Paula Mitchell, biology professor. "We hope that this fund will be a lasting tribute."

When Johnston retires this academic year, he will leave a proud legacy here at Winthrop. His contributions included chairing the Department of Biology for the last nine years, serving as chair of Faculty Conference; helping establish the Piedmont Wetlands Project and helping administer the INBRE grants to encourage biochemistry research.

As an energetic ambassador for Winthrop academics and athletics, Johnston has been a steadfast advocate for the Winthrop experience. He has shared his abundant enthusiasm for the university and for his subject matter with students, present and future. He always took time to meet students and parents at Admissions events and make individual appointments to discuss biology and pre-medicine programs. Prospective students and parents often commented on his ability to establish an immediate rapport with them.

Johnston also participated with recruiting student-athletes when they visited campus. As board members or officers of the Eagle Club, Johnston and his wife, Karen, have watched many of the athletes in action. They cheered in the stands for the volleyball, basketball and baseball teams and helped raise thousands of dollars annually for scholarships at the Eagle Club Auction.

Contributions to honor the Johnstons can be made by mailing a check to the Winthrop University Foundation with a note on the check memo line or a cover letter, indicating that the donation is for the Jim and Karen Johnston Fund. Send it to the Winthrop University Foundation, 638 Oakland Avenue, Rock Hill, S.C. 29733. The Foundation also accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express. 

For more information, contact the Office of Development at 803/323-2150.

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