Benjamin S. Carson is the inaugural recipient of a
endowed by notable philanthropists and supporters of Johns
Dedication of the professorship, called the Benjamin
S. Carson, Sr.,
M.D., and Dr. Evelyn Spiro, R.N., Professorship in
took place May 29 at the Intercontinental Harbor Court
Carson has been director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at
Johns Hopkins Children's Center since 1984, when he
became the youngest ever
appointed to this academic level at Johns Hopkins. Only the
11th African-American to be board-certified in neurosurgery
in the United States, he is
also a professor of neurosurgery, oncology, plastic surgery
and pediatrics in
the School of Medicine.
"I am delighted that my name will now forever be
Johns Hopkins," Carson said of the professorship. "I do not
think I could
have had such a wonderful career anywhere else."
The professorship is named for Carson and for Evelyn
Spiro, a nurse,
honorary PhD and a principal donor for this chair, along
with her husband,
Donald, and Ernest Bates.
The Spiros have generously supported facilities and
students, faculty and staff throughout the world, both as
through the Donald and Evelyn Spiro Foundation. Their
began at Johns Hopkins Medicine with The Johns Hopkins
Nursing Scholars Program, a summer course for students from
the Evelyn L.
Spiro School of Nursing at the couple's alma mater, Wagner
College in New
"Like so many, I have been inspired by [Ben Carson's]
story for quite
some time," Evelyn Spiro said. "I am honored to help
achievements at Johns Hopkins [that will] continue in his
Ernest Bates was the first African-American to
graduate from the
university's School of Arts and Sciences, in 1958 with a
bachelor's degree in
biology, and was one of the first three African-Americans
to be board-certified in neurosurgery in the United States.
Bates earned his medical
degree from the University of Rochester and completed his
neurosurgery at University of California, San Francisco. In
1977, he founded
American Shared Hospital Services, a publicly traded health
and today is its chairman and chief executive officer.
Bates is emeritus vice
chairman of the university's board of trustees and serves
on the advisory
boards of Johns Hopkins Neurosurgery and the Bloomberg
School of Public
A longtime proponent of a Carson professorship, Bates
says he is
particularly pleased to see this come to fruition. "Ben has
royally earned this
academic honor," Bates said. "What I admire is that he has
done it the old-fashioned way — through attention to
detail, a love of knowledge and the
drive to be the very best."
Carson's personal story was first chronicled in his
autobiography, Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story,
published in 1990.
Henry Brem, the Harvey Cushing Professor and director
Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins, says that this endowed
allow Carson's groundbreaking work on behalf of children to
by future generations.
"I have worked with him in the operating room," Brem
said, "so I can
attest to the fact that Ben Carson does, indeed, have
hands. But more than that, he possesses a gifted heart."
"This is a professorship that is long overdue," said
Edward D. Miller,
the Frances Watt Baker and Lenox D. Baker Jr. dean of the
and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine. "Ben is a vital part of
Hopkins community. His work, both professionally and
personally, has always
been a source of inspiration."