University of Toronto 2005 Awards of Distinction

Cartoonist Lynn Johnston and her dentist husband, Rod, were honoured by the University of Toronto Faculty of Dentistry at its ‘Awards of Distinction’ gala. Proceeds from the event support oral health research through the faculty’s research endowment fund.

Johnston, a North Bay-area resident, puts a human face on the field of dentistry through her comic strip For Better or For Worse, syndicated in more than 2,000 papers worldwide. Rod Johnston is a 1978 graduate of U of T’s Faculty of Dentistry who has demonstrated, both in his dentistry practice and his personal life, the value of community service.

The gala’s other honourees include Toronto’s Dr. David Cowan, Oklahoma’s Dr. William Ben Johnson and Windsor’s Dr. Bryan Walls.

Cowan, a U of T graduate and a dentist in private practice, also teaches at the Faculty of Dentistry, where many students have benefited from his expertise in operative dentistry.

A pioneer in the field of endodontics, Ben Johnson created Thermafil, a novel root filling technique that is now used worldwide.

Dentistry is Walls’ chosen profession, but racial harmony is his passion. A fifth generation descendant of slaves who came to Ontario via the Underground Railroad, Walls and his family established the Underground Railroad Museum near Windsor and he has been named to the Order of Canada.