Longtime Johns Hopkins University trustee and influential
civic leader Anne "Nan" Merrick Pinkard died of respiratory
failure on March 3. She was 83.
President William R. Brody, in a letter to the
university community, said that with her passing, Baltimore
had lost one if its most treasured citizens and "Johns
Hopkins has lost one of its greatest friends."
Pinkard was a trustee of the university from 1973 to
1991 and a trustee emerita until her death. She chaired the
Buildings and Grounds Committee from 1974 to 1990, guiding
development of much of the university's physical
infrastructure, and in 1998 the
JHU School of
Nursing's new building was named in her honor. In 1977,
she was the first woman elected in her own right as a Johns
Hopkins Hospital trustee, after previously serving ex
officio in her role as president of the Johns Hopkins
Johns Hopkins, indeed, was in Pinkard's blood.
She was born in Baltimore, the daughter of Anne McEvoy
and Robert G. Merrick Sr., who received undergraduate and
doctoral degrees from Hopkins and served as a university
trustee from 1953 to 1968. An alumna of Goucher College,
she did graduate work at Johns Hopkins and Cornell.
Her brother, Robert G. Merrick Jr., who died in 1990
at the age of 58, was also a university trustee, as is her
eldest son, Walter D. Pinkard Jr.
A staunch supporter of culture and history, Nan
Pinkard had a particular fondness for Johns Hopkins' two
historical treasures, Homewood
and Evergreen museums. Homewood
was especially dear to her, as the Federal period home was
restored to its original early 19th-century grandeur and
reopened as a museum through the generosity of her father,
who had lived there as a graduate student.
Speaking with The Baltimore Sun about how
deeply Pinkard cared for Johns Hopkins, Catherine Rogers
Arthur, curator of Homewood Museum, said, "Hopkins was in
her genes, and she truly loved Homewood House," she said.
"She continued her father's tradition of generously
contributing to Homewood House." She also funded many
projects and programs, including a book on the history of
the house; endowed the Introduction to Material Culture
course introduced in fall 2006; and served on the Homewood
House Advisory Committee.
In 1990, Pinkard became president of the Robert G. and
Anne Merrick Foundation, which her parents established in
1962. The Merrick Foundation merged with the Jacob and
Annita France Foundation in 1998 and was renamed the
As the foundation's president, Pinkard made an
indelible mark on the Baltimore community, supporting
important initiatives in community development, health and
social services, civic and cultural life, education and
historic preservation. The foundation, for example,
supported the restoration of the Hippodrome Theatre and the
Baltimore Healthy Neighborhood Initiative and created a $1
million endowment to provide financial support for Maryland
Institute College of Art students while they are engaged in
For Johns Hopkins, the foundation helped support the
Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute, renovations to the
Newton H. White Athletic Center and the School of Public
Health and construction of what would become The Johns
Hopkins Hospital's Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Building,
the clinical care cancer facility that opened in 2000.
Because of Pinkard's passion for architectural
preservation, Peabody restored and maintained the historic
facades of Mount Vernon townhouses built by Charles Carroll
for his daughters as part of Peabody's campus expansion.
The buildings now house academic offices, the Friedheim
Music Library and practice rooms.
Pinkard also actively supported the School of Nursing
and, through the France-Merrick Foundation, contributed to
construction of the school's first permanent home. To honor
her unwaivering leadership in the establishment of the
university's School of Nursing, the school named its new
building on the East Baltimore campus for her. The Anne M.
Pinkard Building opened in 1998 as the first structure
dedicated solely to nursing education at Johns Hopkins.
"Nan was a friend to the School of Nursing, a champion
of our cause and a benefactor who was key to creating both
the school and our building," said Martha Hill, dean of the
School of Nursing. "Even in the last months of her life,
Nan remained passionate about the school and our students.
She would ask about the France-Merrick Nursing Scholars and
was eager to know where they are and what they are doing to
improve patient care."
In his letter, President Brody called Pinkard a kind,
selfless and unassuming leader, and said that it was no
surprise that her spirit had touched many.
"And it is absolutely no surprise now that I, and so
many members of the Johns Hopkins community, should feel so
grievously wounded by the loss of Nan's friendship, her
advice, her wisdom and her support," Brody said. "We shall
She is survived by her sons, Walter, Robert, Gregory
and Peter, and 11 grandchildren. Her husband, Walter D.
Pinkard Sr., chairman of the commercial real estate firm
W.C. Pinkard & Co., died in 1994.