The Johns Hopkins Gazette: May 22, 2000
May 22, 2000
VOL. 29, NO. 37


University to Confer Eight Honorary Degrees

Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

At the university-wide commencement ceremony, President William R. Brody will confer honorary degrees upon five distinguished individuals, with the following citations:

Citation to be read by Paul Wolfowitz, dean of the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, in presenting

Kofi Annan

You are both a man of peace and a man of the United Nations, the world's organization for peace. A distinguished career that began when you joined the U.N.'s World Health Organization in 1962 culminated in your election to serve as secretary general beginning in 1997. You are the first U.N. staff member to rise to that critical position from within.

And you have used high office well, promoting peace, seeking to prevent conflict and to stop it when it could not be prevented, and striving to protect human rights and to advance the cause of dignity for all people. Yours has been a leadership not just of words but of reasonable action and effective negotiation. You have truly made a difference in the lives of millions of people.

Born in Ghana, you have spent your United Nations career in postings around the globe, including Egypt, Geneva and Ethiopia. Your early career gave you experience with critical administrative issues such as budgets, personnel and security, and in key policy areas such as peacekeeping. With that background, as secretary general you have been able to persuade nations to commit resources and peacekeeping troops to these important missions.

Your vision of the United Nations as an agent of "preventive diplomacy" reminds us of why the institution was created. Your reforms have reshaped the organization and prepared it for the even more important role in world affairs that the new century demands.

Kofi Annan, for your outstanding service to the world for nearly 40 years and for your leadership of the United Nations, The Johns Hopkins University is proud to confer upon you the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

Citation to be read by Richard S. Ross, dean emeritus, School of Medicine, in presenting

Richard J. Bing

You are one of the great cardiologists of our time. During five decades devoted to research in cardiovascular physiology, you pioneered the application of the basic sciences to the study of the human heart. While at Johns Hopkins from 1941 to 1951, you founded and directed the cardiac catheterization laboratory in the Department of Surgery. Working alongside pioneers Alfred Blalock and Helen Taussig during Hopkins' golden era of cardiology and cardiac surgery, you provided diagnostic studies for a wide variety of heart diseases. You used the results to create groundbreaking descriptions of congenital heart disease that still are studied today.

You also pioneered the technique known as coincidence counting in the determination of blood flow and in heart imaging, laying the foundation for modern PET scanning. Your studies of heart failure directed attention to the importance of contractile proteins in this disease.

Now director of Huntington Memorial Research Institute's cardiovascular research program, you have more than 400 scientific papers to your credit. But you have also written more than 300 musical works, including pieces performed recently by the Chorus of St. Augustine in Austria and by the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Turning 90 has not slowed you down. You continue important work on nitric oxide and restoring blood flow after a heart attack, and your urge to compose music is stronger than ever.

Richard J. Bing, in recognition of a life spent as healer of the heart through both science and music, The Johns Hopkins University is proud to confer upon you the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

Citation to be read by Sue K. Donaldson, dean of the School of Nursing, in presenting

Robert J. Glaser

Throughout a career spanning more than half a century, you have striven to improve medical education and have channeled crucial support to health-related research. As a top administrator at the Washington University, Colorado and Stanford medical schools and as a faculty member at Harvard and Columbia, you shaped the careers of many hundreds of physicians, including President Brody.

Later, as president of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, you introduced programs supporting the needs of general medicine in an era of increasing specialization. Finally, as trustee and director of medical science of the Lucille P. Markey Charitable Trust, you oversaw a unique program devoted to critical initiatives at America's best schools of medicine. Your strategies and performance in this important role brought other foundations to you for advice on the organization and management of biomedical programs.

Over many years, both you and your late wife, Dr. Helen Glaser, have had a tremendous influence on the best and brightest of medical graduates: you as president of the medical honor society Alpha Omega Alpha and she as longtime managing editor of its journal. You two were "Mr. and Mrs. AOA" to generations of honorees.

Among your many professional honors is the Abraham Flexner Award for Distinguished Service to Medical Education. In 1986, the Society of General Internal Medicine recognized you with an award established in your name to be given annually to an outstanding physician in the field.

Robert J. Glaser, for your many distinguished contributions to medicine, medical education and research, The Johns Hopkins University is proud to confer upon you the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

Citation to be read by Robert Sirota, director of the Peabody Institute, in presenting

Benjamin H. Griswold III

You are one of Baltimore's most devoted native sons, legendary for achievement in business but equally respected as an advocate for and supporter of your city and its best institutions.

As a naval officer in World War II, you were decorated by the United States, the United Kingdom and France. As a partner and eventually managing director of Alex. Brown & Sons, you led the nation's oldest investment banking and securities firm--proudly established in Baltimore by your family--to new influence and success.

You have provided important local leadership as director of many Baltimore-based companies and as trustee of agencies such as the Maryland Historical Society and the Boy Scouts Baltimore Council. You are a founding donor of the Baltimore Community Foundation, which raises, manages and distributes charitable funds in the region.

For five decades, you have also been a faithful friend to The Johns Hopkins University. Like your father before you and a son who followed in your footsteps, you have helped lead this university, serving as an active trustee from 1951 to 1980 and since then as trustee emeritus.

Benjamin H. Griswold III, for all that you have done for this city and this university and for your leadership in Baltimore's business community, The Johns Hopkins University is proud to confer upon you the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

Citation to be read by Edward D. Miller, dean and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine, in presenting

Bernadine P. Healy

Training in internal medicine and cardiology at Johns Hopkins formed the foundation upon which you have built a remarkable career in cardiology, medical research, science administration and public service.

At Johns Hopkins, your research brought together the disciplines of cardiology and pathology to detail the process of the heart's recovery following an attack. You demonstrated leadership as director of the Coronary Care Unit and, later, as associate dean. Always a teacher, you served as a mentor and role model to many young physicians and scientists, especially young women, embarking on careers in academic medicine.

On the national scene, from 1984 to 1985 you served as science adviser to President Reagan. You were president of the American Heart Association in 1988, and in 1991 President Bush appointed you to the nation's preeminent position in biomedical policy-making, the directorship of the National Institutes of Health.

While leading the American Heart Association, you called attention to a lack of information about heart disease in women. Later, at the NIH, you launched the Women's Health Initiative, a $625 million effort to study the causes, prevention and cures of the diseases that affect women.

You have held many other positions of leadership in biomedical science and education, including director of research at Cleveland Clinic and dean of the Ohio State University School of Medicine. Now, you continue in public service as president of the American Red Cross.

Bernadine P. Healy, for a career-long dedication to the acquisition of knowledge through research and its application to the betterment of humanity, The Johns Hopkins University is proud to confer upon you the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

Citation to be read by Alfred Sommer, dean of the School of Public Health, in presenting

Victor A. McKusick

When you began your career six decades ago, science's best-known geneticist was still a 19th-century monk who studied how peas changed from one generation to the next. Researchers did not know for certain where organisms stored hereditary information.

But as scientists proved that DNA carries life's genetic blueprint and as they began to understand its structure, you led the charge to convince the medical community that these discoveries opened up staggering possibilities for diagnosis and treatment.

You demonstrated over decades of research that genes and diseases are more pervasively linked than scientists had ever thought. You showed--again, over decades of work--that understanding those links is an indispensable key to better medical care. You compiled those links in a comprehensive catalog, Mendelian Inheritance in Man, an invaluable resource whose online edition you still oversee today.

Your many contributions have won you the gratitude and deepest respect of your colleagues, culminating in the presentation to you in 1997 of one of the highest honors in medicine, the Albert Lasker Award for Special Achievement in Medical Science.

Throughout your career, you also have inspired fellow physicians with your care and compassion for patients and with your energy and devotion to medical students. Class after class of medical students and new interns still have the unique Hopkins experience of a climb to the top of the "dome" of the original hospital building, guided by the one and only Dr. McKusick.

Victor A. McKusick, for your pioneering leadership in medical genetics and remarkable contributions as clinician and teacher, The Johns Hopkins University is proud to confer upon you the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

Citation to be read by Richard E. McCarty, dean of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, in presenting

Harvey M. Meyerhoff

You are a builder not only of structures but of institutions. Your legacy for the world includes the magnificent U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, established in large measure because of your determination to cast light upon one of the darkest moments in human history.

Your legacy in our region includes the continued health and dynamism of countless social and cultural agencies. You have profoundly influenced organizations as varied as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the United Way, the League for the Handicapped, Park School and the National Aquarium.

And your legacy at Johns Hopkins is equally expressive of the breadth of your mind and spirit. As a trustee and chair of The Johns Hopkins Hospital's building committee during the 1970s and later as chairman of the health system board, you oversaw an extraordinary rejuvenation of Hopkins facilities. At the university, where you also have served as a trustee since 1973, you have supported investigations of the very roots of Western civilization by the Department of Near Eastern Studies. You have made possible scholarship in bioethics and international studies and research into cancer and Crohn's disease. You have enhanced the spiritual life of students at the Homewood campus.

You once said that "to engage fully in life, all of us need strong minds and healthy bodies, which are essentially the goals of all endeavors at Johns Hopkins." In so many ways, you have advanced those noble goals and provided an example for others to emulate.

Harvey M. Meyerhoff, for outstanding service, leadership and generosity, The Johns Hopkins University is proud to confer upon you the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

Citation to be read by Paul Wolfowitz, dean of the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, in presenting

Steven Muller

You are one of the most important links between our youth as a start-up experiment of a university and our maturity as one of the great institutions of the world.

Like Presidents Gilman, Remsen and Eisenhower, you served Johns Hopkins for the better part of a generation. Like them, you provided strength through continuity. You guarded the seeds they planted and, like them, invested years in cultivation.

But you also radically transformed Johns Hopkins. You built the university we celebrate today and wrote an agenda for its future. That agenda has been adopted and executed by Presidents Richardson, Nathans and Brody, who have come after you.

You saw that this university was less than whole without schools of engineering and nursing. Today, we could not imagine Johns Hopkins without them. You saw that Baltimore and Maryland would be infinitely poorer without the Peabody Institute, and you brought it into the university and began the work of saving it. Today, it completes us, enabling Johns Hopkins to provide as well for the soul as we do for the mind and body.

You showed us how to serve students with off-campus centers closer to home and work. You showed us how to be a university in the world, with such bold initiatives as the Nanjing Center. You even showed us how to be a university beyond the world, making Hopkins an important player in the exploration of the universe through the establishment, on the Homewood campus, of the Space Telescope Science Institute and the Bloomberg Center for Physics and Astronomy.

You also set, met and exceeded audacious goals for funding the work of the university. You began uniting the governance of university and hospital, an effort that evolved over years into the Johns Hopkins Medicine we know today.

Steven Muller, for your work preserving the institution that was and creating the institution that is, The Johns Hopkins University is proud to confer upon you the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.