History of the C.B. "Bud" Johnston Library

View from C.B. 'Bud' Johnston Library Mezzanine


In the fall of 2013, the C.B. "Bud" Johnston Library moved from our previous space on the main campus of Western University to the new Richard Ivey Building at the Ivey Business School. The library has two floors, with the top a mezzanine featuring a beautiful catwalk of colourful books. The library also features 8 Bloomberg computers and 2 bookable group study rooms.


In the fall of 2007, the Business Library at Western University re-opened after being renovated, refurbished, and re-named as the C.B. “Bud” Johnston Library. The reason for the re-naming is to honour “Bud” and to ensure that an awareness of him will survive with students, faculty, and alumni for many generations. The rationale behind this profile is a simple one, and one that is not surprising given that it is written by staff members in the C.B. “Bud” Johnston Library. It is to provide you with information and to store that information and share it with all who wish to use it to learn more about the person for whom the library was named.

The basic facts about “Bud” are presented here. The more complex reasons why “Bud” is regarded as a “legend’ and remembered with such affection are to be found in the remarks that are provided below.

“Bud” grew up in the small town of Creighton Mine, which was located near Sudbury, Ontario. The town no longer exists, but one journalist speculated that if “Bud” had stayed around “it would still be humming”. His association with Western and the Business School began in the 1950s and he received an HBA degree (Honours Business Administration) in 1954 and an MBA in 1957. He was Associate Dean from 1975 to 1978 and Dean of the Western Business School from 1978 to 1989. He continued to teach (and win teaching awards) until he retired in 1997. He died in October 2003 at the age of 73.

Ex-deans are not necessarily and automatically honoured, nor are those who are described simply as “an affable chain-smoking marketing specialist”. Although additional impressive facts about “Bud” could have been presented above, they would not explain why he is so honoured. For additional insights about the person as opposed to the dean, read on.

Remarks about ”Bud’s” enthusiasm as a teacher and energy as a dean are easily and frequently found:

“When I arrived at the School in the summer of 1978, Bud Johnston was just taking over as Dean. In a faculty with many classroom stars, he had a reputation as the best teacher in the School, so it was suggested that I attend one of his classes in a summer executive program. Seeing Bud in action was an unforgettable introduction to Western; he taught a 25-year-old case, spent 80 minutes in constant motion, told an X-rated joke, finished drenched in sweat, and received a prolonged standing ovation. Needless to say, I wondered how I (or any mere mortal) could ever fit in the School.” -- T. Deutscher

Bust of C.B. 'Bud' Johnston“Nine years later, Bud asked me to work with him as an Associate Dean, which I did for the final two years of his eleven-year term. That time gave me a deep appreciation and affection for one of the giants in the history of Ivey. Bud was larger than life. He had flaws, it’s true – but I’ve never met a person who cared more about, and invested more energy in, the School and its people. Speak to anyone who worked closely with him, and you will find a person who marveled at Bud’s deep commitment and incredible vigour. For we who knew him well, Bud was truly a beloved leader. For more recent arrivals at Ivey, you benefit every day from the legacy of this remarkable man.” -- T. Deutscher

“Bud epitomized our school’s dedication to practical education and to societal contribution. Bud ensured everyone he dealt with felt his warm humanity, knew his passion for excellence at work, and enjoyed his humorous antics at play. Bud lived life fully, infecting all of us with his boundless enthusiasm. He gave of himself selflessly to enrich others and will never be forgotten by those who were fortunate to know him.” -- M.Pearce.

“I was most affected by Bud’s commitment to teaching and his absolute belief that Ivey (then the Western Business School) could be among the half dozen truly outstanding places in the world to get a management education.” -- J. Gandz

“Bud” also played an important role in recognizing the importance of “globalization” – before that term gained currency. He helped create the Canada – China management development program, supported the Canada – Kenya executive management program and began many of the student exchange relationships with international business schools.

“Bud was the key driver behind the School’s executive development programs in Brazil. Not only did Bud ensure that our standards of high quality teaching and fun were met, but he also provided the marketing muscle to ensure sufficient enrollments.” -- M. Leenders.

"Working with Bud in Holland and Brazil were my first experiences in asking Jack [Wettlaufer – the Dean at the time] for hazard pay when I went abroad with him! It was Dave Burgoyne who gave me the secret …” If you want to get to sleep before the sun comes up, never, never let him catnap in the cab or on the plane.” -- J. DiStefano

“Bud” was the major force behind the creation of the “National Centre for Management Research and Development” (now known as the “Lawrence National Centre for Policy and Management.”) -- Carol Johnston

“Part of his vision was to also establish a national centre for management research and development, with a mandate to assist in funding business research at Western and at other Canadian business schools and to disseminate the findings to practicing managers and academics. His vision became a reality in 1986 with the opening of The National Centre for Management Research and Development, which ultimately led to the school’s first Research Chair sponsored by the private sector. While leading these activities, Bud raised more than $25 million for the School, and directed a five-week Senior Management Training Course, now called the Ivey Executive Program.” -- Ivey Media Release, September 27, 2007.

“I remember too, his extraordinary leadership in convincing the government to build the NCMRD. He invented networking. His relationships got him in the door to promote the idea and his silver-tongued, devilishness persuaded the minister to back it.” -- J. DiStefano.

“Bud” and his wife Carol were also active in the community and, in fact, the Business Library is not the only facility bearing his name. Carol was the founder of the London Regional Children’s Museum in 1975 and is still actively involved (as she is with the “Bud” Johnston Library). Recently the new atrium space at the Museum was named “Carol and “Bud” Johnston’s Atrium of Excellent Adventures.”

Articles about C.B. "Bud" Johnston

  • “Johnston’s Ivey Legacy Lives On” by Hank Daniszewski, London Free Press, Sept. 30, 2007, p.3.
  • “Where Chaos is a Good Thing” by Ian Gillespie, London Free Press, June 24, 2005.

    (An account of the naming of the atrium at the Regional Children’s Museum. For more about Mrs. Johnston and the Children’s Museum see also: “Kid’s Museum Loses its Best Friend: Carol Johnson Founded Canada’s First Children’s Museum – Everyone Was Crying When She Said Goodbye” by Nancy Miles and Mary Lou Cornish, Toronto Star, May 20, 1990.)

  • “Exceptional Business Educator Had a Passion for Excellence” by Herb Shoveller, London Free Press, Oct. 28, 2003, p.D8.

    (The author notes: “In my brief encounters with Johnston, he displayed an understanding for the role of the journalist that is not always evident. Arrogance or condescension in such matters didn’t arise with him.”)

  • “Former Business Dean Remembered as Builder” by Jennifer O’Brien, London Free Press, Oct. 28, 2003, p. D8.
  • “Ivey School Receives $ 1 M Gift from Valcon” London Free Press, June 3, 2002, p.A3.

    (The Valcom president, Paul MacPherson, indicated that the gift is in honour of three professors who had a significant impact on his career – “Bud”, David Leighton and Donald Thain).

  • “Western’s MBA Class of ’63: Many in the Most Memorable Group to Pass Through the Business School at London, Ont. Marched Right to the Top” by Gordon Pitts, Financial Post, Aug. 27, 1990, p.5.

    (In discussing this influential group, “Bud” is quoted – “It was a hell of a class to teach. There were so many characters in it.”)

  • “Centre Will Offer Practical Help to All Managers” by Bruce Gates, Financial Post, Aug. 24, 1985, p.39.

    (On the founding of the NCMRD which “Bud” notes “will expand our ability to contribute to management education across Canada.”)

  • “Opening of London Centre Called New Era for Research and Business” by Andrea Gordon, Toronto Star, Dec. 7, 1986.
  • “Inside Western’s MBA Program, Report on Business Magazine, Feb. 1988, p.26.

    (In discussing the role of women in business it is noted that “No one at Western cares what sex you are as long as you hold your own” and that special treatment for women would be patronizing. “Bud” notes – “We have proceeded along the lines that the problem will correct itself if we put out a supply of capable women.”)

  • “New Deans at Western, UBC Will Have Tough Acts to Follow” Financial Post, May 28, 1990, p.7

    (“For the past decade, Peter Lusztig and C.B. (Bud) Johnston set the standards for management education in Canada – Lusztig as dean of the University of British Columbia and Johnston as his counterpart at Western University in London.”)

Additional information about “Bud” and the Western Business School (now the Ivey Business School) can be found in Learning to Lead: In Celebration of Seven Decades of Business Education at Western, 1923-1993.