France-Merrick Gift Largest of New "Initiative" Two Baltimore foundations have pledged $4 million to The Johns Hopkins Institutions, the largest commitment to the university and health system since October's public launch of their $900 million campaign. The gift, the largest ever by The Jacob and Annita France Foundation and The Robert G. and Anne M. Merrick Foundation, includes $3 million to support construction of a new building for the university's School of Nursing and $1 million for Johns Hopkins Hospital's new Cancer Center, now under construction at Broadway and Orleans streets in Baltimore. "Our foundations have been involved in preserving or constructing important buildings, but not just for the sake of bricks and mortar," said Anne M. Pinkard, president of the foundations. "We are interested in buildings that reach out to people, that serve the community and that, in this case, help to build bridges between Hopkins and the community. "These projects will fill those roles, and we are pleased to be associated with them through the largest commitment our foundations have ever made," Pinkard said. The France-Merrick gift brings the total of commitments to the Johns Hopkins Initiative to $311 million, more than one-third of the institutions' overall goal for a campaign scheduled to continue until 2000. Commitments for endowment and capital purposes--the primary focus of the campaign--stand at $225 million, 43 percent of the target of $525 million. The planned School of Nursing building will consolidate the school's teaching, research and administrative activities, now spread among five locations in and around the Hopkins East Baltimore and Bayview campuses. The $14 million building on Wolfe Street in East Baltimore will house--among other activities--the school's new Center for Underserved Communities and other programs to provide service to the East Baltimore community or to educate nurses for work in inner cities and isolated rural areas. "This generous gift assures the construction of a permanent home for the School of Nursing," said Sue Donaldson, the univer-sity's dean of nursing. "We are inspired by it to be more creative in achieving our goals and look forward to expanding the school's programs in the new building." The new Cancer Center, slated for completion in 1997, will allow Hopkins to serve as many as 15 percent more cancer patients each year, more conveniently, more comprehensively, and with state-of-the-art technology. The added space also will enhance Hopkins cancer screening, education and community outreach programs in Maryland, which suffers from one of the nation's highest cancer death rates, and in East Baltimore, one of the worst affected areas of the city. "The new center will have the latest in technological advances and will be designed to provide a warm and humane environment in which to deliver outstanding care to patients from this region and from around the country and the world," said Martin D. Abeloff, director of the current Hopkins Oncology Center. The Cancer Center is expected to cost $97 million. The state of Maryland has committed $30.5 million in recognition of the center's potential importance in addressing the state's cancer problem. Francis X. Knott, a trustee of The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System, is leading an effort to secure the support of private donors.
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