Johns Hopkins today renames its School of Hygiene and Public Health in honor of university alumnus and media entrepreneur Michael R. Bloomberg, recognizing his unprecedented commitment of energy and financial support to the school and the entire university.
The school's official name is now the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Bloomberg has been chairman of the university's board of trustees since 1996 and previously was chairman of the Johns Hopkins Initiative fund-raising campaign. The founder and CEO of Bloomberg L.P., a worldwide news and financial information company, he devotes hundreds of hours a year to Johns Hopkins.
He also is the largest donor in the 125-year history of the Johns Hopkins Institutions, with gifts including $100 million to the Johns Hopkins Initiative. Of that, he designated $35 million in endowment for the unrestricted use of what will now be known as the Bloomberg School.
"Mike is utterly devoted to Johns Hopkins and its mission," said William R. Brody, president of the university. "His first gift to Hopkins was $5 in 1964, the year he graduated. Since then, through graduate school and Wall Street, raising his daughters and starting a global business, he has never lost sight of what Hopkins can do for the world. He has never wavered in his determination to help. Johns Hopkins today is a far better place--and better able to make the world a better place--because of Mike Bloomberg."
Bloomberg's interest in philanthropy as a tool to improve the human condition meshes with the mission of the School of Public Health, which focuses its research and teaching on health and the prevention of disease. The school is at work around the world, addressing such problems as AIDS and other infectious diseases, child malnutrition and maternal health, the causes and prevention of chronic diseases like cancer, and the organization and financing of health care.
"Mike gets it. He really understands our mission, our accomplishments over the past 85 years and our potential to do even more," said Alfred Sommer, dean of the Bloomberg School. "The faculty and I are honored that his name will be forever linked with the school and its work."
"This institution is the world's greatest public health school, and I am honored that it will bear my name," Bloomberg said. "The commitment of its faculty, researchers and students has had a profound impact around the globe as they have worked to improve the health and well-being of countless people who are not able to get the care they need otherwise."
The Bloomberg School was founded in 1916, the world's first stand-alone school of public health and still the largest, in students, faculty and research funding. Its original name--School of Hygiene and Public Health--reflects its roots in both the German model of biological research applied to health issues, or hygiene, and in the British tradition of public health practice. To avoid the confusion caused by today's more restricted meaning of "hygiene," the word is being dropped from the new name.
Bloomberg, 59, is a 1964 electrical engineering graduate of Johns Hopkins. He has served as a trustee since 1987. Bloomberg's gifts to Hopkins have supported all eight academic divisions. The second portion of his $100 million gift to the Johns Hopkins Initiative, announced in 1998, included $30 million for financial aid, primarily for full-time undergraduates in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and the Whiting School of Engineering.