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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University July 19, 2004 | Vol. 33 No. 40
St. John Commits $5.85 Million to SPSBE Real Estate Program

Edward A. St. John, founder, president and CEO of MIE Properties, has made a $5.85 million commitment to the Johns Hopkins University School of Professional Studies in Business and Education. The donation will be used to launch a full-time master's degree program to complement the school's existing part-time real estate curriculum.

In appreciation of this contribution, the university will name the school's real estate department the Edward St. John Department of Real Estate, which will oversee all real estate activities and curricula and continuing education programs at the school. In 2002, St. John donated $115,000 to the Real Estate Department for the construction of a state-of-the-art conference room, located in downtown Baltimore.

This most recent gift is the largest ever to what is now the School of Professional Studies in Business and Education.

"Our philanthropic activities are primarily focused on strengthening existing or creating new educational programs and, in Johns Hopkins University, we have a highly respected institutional partner that can create and execute meaningful curriculums," Edward St. John said. "This new full-time real estate master's program fills an important gap and targets recent undergraduates looking to establish a strong foundation in the real estate industry. The program will create a new depth and breadth of knowledge among young professionals entering the real estate field."

The current real estate program, which operates under the school's Graduate Division of Business and Management, is one of five multidisciplined academic programs in the nation devoted to real estate science and one of the few that offers courses in design, construction, land use regulation and real estate law. Most of the students are midcareer professionals, many of them holding advanced degrees in law or business.

According to Michael A. Anikeeff, chair of the Edward St. John Department of Real Estate, the new full-time program was designed for the entry-level real estate professional, with input and recommendations from the Real Estate Department's advisory board, of which Edward St. John is a part.

The curriculum of the 12-month program will incorporate many of the elements found in the existing part-time program. Key differences include the requirement of an internship at an approved real estate-related company or institution, recruitment that will broaden to a national and international environment and the addition of individual counseling and advisory services.

"We believe this program to be unique in academia and [that it] will provide a competitive advantage in attracting the world's best young talent to the real estate arena," Anikeeff said. "Edward St. John's investment in The Johns Hopkins University will leave a lasting mark on one of the nation's most respected educational institutions. The program will provide the means to educate and inspire community developers and leaders for ages to come."

Last month, St. John donated $2.3 million to the Maryland Science Center's $35 million expansion and renovation campaign, representing the largest individual gift and the third-largest donation, behind the state of Maryland and the city of Baltimore. The Maryland Science Center recently renamed its IMAX Theatre the MIE Properties IMAX Theatre and also named the newly opened Earth science and dinosaur exhibition building the Edward St. John Hall.

Since founding MIE Properties in 1971, St. John has designed, constructed and owns more than 10 million square feet of office, industrial and retail space that houses more than 1,400 tenants in Maryland, Colorado, Louisiana, Wisconsin and Virginia. He also has developed residential projects and currently owns more than 2,200 apartment units. Currently, MIE is developing more than 1 million square feet of additional flex/office space in 10 different office parks.

With this gift, commitments to the Johns Hopkins Knowledge for the World campaign total more than $1.36 billion, more than two-thirds of the $2 billion goal. Priorities of the fund-raising campaign, which benefits both The Johns Hopkins University and The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System, include strengthening endowment for student aid and faculty support; advancing research, academic and clinical initiatives; and building and upgrading facilities on all campuses. The campaign began in July 2000 and is scheduled to end in 2007.


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