MUM50 - Middletown Campus Champion Logan T. Johnston

This is the sixth in a series of historical vignettes tracing the work of the community and Miami University that led to the opening of Miami University Middletown in September 1966.

This graphic element represents Miami University Middletown being Ohio's first permanent branch campus with classes opening on September 1, 1966.

One of the key community leaders who worked to make Miami University Middletown possible was Logan T. Johnston.

Born in 1900 in Pittsburgh, the son of Presbyterian missionaries, Johnston graduated from the Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon) in 1923. Two years later he joined Columbia Steel Company, which merged with Armco in 1927. By 1933 he had moved to Middletown and headed Armco's Railroad Sales Company until 1945.

Moving through the ranks of Armco's Sales Department, he rose to Vice President of Sales in 1953, became a Vice President of Armco in 1957, and Executive Vice President in 1959, before becoming President in 1960. Five years later he became Chairman of Armco, a position he held until his retirement in 1971.

As President of Armco, Johnston was instrumental in the transfer of the initial 127 acres of land to Miami for the establishment of the Middletown Campus, and presented the deed to Miami President John Millett on January 28, 1963 (the land was then valued at $375,000 according to reports in The Middletown Journal).

When a Branch Campus Committee was organized on April 1 of that year, comprised of community leaders working toward establishing the Middletown Campus, Johnston served as chair and as the community's liaison to Miami. A year later he was appointed by the governor to Miami's Board of Trustees.

At the groundbreaking for the Middletown Campus in January 1965, Johnston was surprised by Miami's Acting President Ray Wilson who announced that the first academic building would be named in his honor. At that time, and many times afterword, Johnston referred to the Middletown Campus as "the realization of a community dream."

Photo 1: Portrait of Logan T. Johnston (c. 1965) Photo 2: Chart of the Branch Campus Committee structure that mobilized the community in support of the campus Photo 3: At the dedication in September 1966, Colin Gardner, Gov. James Rhodes, and Logan T. Johnston

Left: Portrait of Logan T. Johnston (c. 1965).

Middle: Chart of the Branch Campus Committee structure that mobilized the community in support of the campus.

Right: At the dedication in September 1966, Colin Gardner, Gov. James Rhodes, and Logan T. Johnston.

Photo Credits: Portrait of Logan T. Johnston courtesy of his family.
Other images from Miami University archives.

To read other stories in this series, visit http://bit.ly/1cQM9Gt.