The need to raise money from private sources has always
existed at Johns Hopkins. Celebrating the institutions'
first 50 years, the Half Century Campaign from 1924 to 1926
raised a little over $4,375,000 for the university, and
gifts designated for the hospital amounted to $1,528,000.
Other contributions brought the grand total to a little
more than $7 million.
A decade later, in early 1936, more funds were
Hopkins faced enormous financial challenges. The
Depression years had caused large accumulated deficits. The
faculty had voluntarily reduced their salaries by 10
percent. Many professorial chars were unfilled. Student aid
had been slashed.
President Isaiah Bowman, in office less than a year,
launched a $750,000 Sustaining Fund to help meet expenses
for the next two years. He appointed P. Stewart Macaulay, a
1923 graduate who recently had become secretary of the
university, as coordinator of the campaign. The trustees
quickly gave $75,000, or 10 percent of the goal, and some
$10,000 was appropriated for campaign expenses. Macaulay
drew up plans to solicit the university's 8,475 alumni, and
Bowman wrote dozens of earnest letters explaining the
circumstances and requesting generous support.
Suddenly, there was a little "blip." The president
told the trustees that one Howard Simmons of the Harvard
Club of Baltimore had informed him that Harvard was
planning to raise money in the city in connection with
"However," Simmons had told him, "Harvard does not
desire to solicit subscriptions in this territory without
the approval of President Bowman." Simmons had even
suggested, Bowman told the trustees, that Harvard would be
willing "to solicit subscriptions from their own membership
and divide any sum so raised equally" between Harvard and
Despite such a display of institutional generosity,
unimaginable today, the trustees' board minutes of March 2,
1936, indicate that the trustees advised Bowman to express
their "appreciation of the Harvard Club's very generous
offer of cooperation and state that the university would be
much gratified if the club did not solicit funds in this
territory at the present time."
No record of Mr. Simmons' reply was found in the
Hamburger Archives at Homewood. But, by the end of December
1936, nearly $513,000 had been raised, assuring the
successful completion of the Sustaining Fund by 1938.
Ross Jones is vice president and secretary emeritus of
the university. A 1953 graduate of Johns Hopkins, he
returned in 1961 as assistant to president Milton S.
Eisenhower and was a close aide to six of the university's