Exceeding optimistic projections, the 2003
United Way Campaign has surpassed its lofty goal with
still a week left to go. To date, the combined
contributions from those at the university, Johns Hopkins
Medicine and the Applied Physics Laboratory total
$2,454,395, more than $72,000 past the desired mark, and
Jan. 12 is the official last day Johns Hopkins pledges are
marked toward the 2003 United Way of Central Maryland
As of Dec. 30, 2003, nine of the university's 14 units had
exceeded their goals, with the other five closing in on
theirs. Of special note in this year's campaign, Homewood
Student Affairs bested its goal by 43 percent, raising
$30,400, with a participation rate of 63 percent.
APL raised $647,000, the highest total in its history. The
university topped its goal of $1,120,000 — the
largest goal in the history of the JHU United Way campaign
— and raised $1,203,000. Overall, Johns Hopkins
institutions had 470 leadership members — 87 of them
new — a designation for those who donate $1,000 or
This year's three campaign chairs — for the
university, Ralph Fessler, dean of the School of
Professional Studies in Business and Education; for APL,
Jay Dettmer, supervisor of the Electronic Services Group;
and for Johns Hopkins Medicine, Martin Abeloff, director of
Oncology at the School of Medicine, set a combined Hopkins
goal of $2,382,100. The figure represents a total for
contributions from JHM and all university divisions except
the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, whose
donations are reported to the Washington, D.C., capital
Last year's combined Hopkins gifts to the United Way of
Central Maryland totaled $2,295,230.
Fessler said that Johns Hopkins showed its high level of
dedication to the community at large by investing so
generously this year.
"We thought the goal was stretching it a bit, given the
economy and times, but we have surpassed it, and I'm sure
it will go higher. It's really a testimony to the Hopkins
community," Fessler said. "It was really a privilege to
serve as chair this year. The campaign brought out a deep
understanding for me how committed Hopkins is to the
broader community, especially at a time when government
resources and the [United Way] organizations themselves
have been challenged."
Fessler said that what stood out for him in particular in
this year's campaign were the many individuals who came out
to participate in the university's Day of Caring event,
which took place in September at St. Jerome's Head Start, a
childcare center in Baltimore that provides academic skills
training to children from low-income families. JHU
volunteers led children in arts and crafts projects, flower
planting and other activities.
"It was wonderful having the opportunity to see firsthand
the great work being done at places like that," he said.
APL's Jay Dettmer said that in addition to the 9 percent
increase in donations, the Lab had a 24 percent increase in
participation in its Day of Caring projects. More than 480
APL employees volunteered 1,539 hours on 51 projects.
"These results showed me that APL staff members truly care
about our communities and are willing to give not just of
their money but also of themselves," he said.
Martin Abeloff said that he, too, was impressed by the very
deep commitment and enthusiasm shown by the campaign staff
and those who have volunteered both time and money.
"But our challenge remains to be able to encourage and
convince the many others to participate," Abeloff said. "We
have done very well this year, but in some respects, it's
never good enough. We still have work to do."