Curtain Draws on Brody Era
'Daniel Coit Gilman' and William
R. Brody at Commemoration Day 2009
By Greg Rienzi
All Photographs Except Nancy Pelosi by Will Kirk and Jay
Vanrensselaer of Homewood Imaging and Photographic
Outgoing President William R. Brody, on the day he moved
out of his Nichols House residence, made perhaps his final
appearance as head of the university. On Friday, Brody
joined with the "spirit" of Daniel Coit Gilman (an actor
dressed as the university's first president) to celebrate
Commemoration Day, an annual event to honor the founding of
the university 133 years ago, on Feb. 22, 1876.
In an official capacity, Brody will stay on as president
until March 2, when Ronald J. Daniels assumes the post.
That same day, Brody will take over the president's seat of
the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla,
Brody became president of The Johns Hopkins University on
Sept. 1, 1996. His 12-year tenure ranks fifth longest among
Johns Hopkins' 13 presidents.
The Gazette is not sure what welcome gift Brody received
when he took over the helm of Johns Hopkins, but a fitting
offering would have been a copy of Dr. Seuss' Oh, the
Places You'll Go!
As university president, Brody made regular trips overseas
— to China, Singapore, Italy, Switzerland and
England, all countries where Johns Hopkins has a physical
presence or strong alumni hub — as well as all over
the United States.
On stage with Provost Kristina
Johnson at Freshman Convocation, Aug. 31, 2008
Domestically, Brody was regularly called upon to represent
the university on Capitol Hill, in front of the state
government in Annapolis and all across the continent at
meetings of the Association of American Universities.
He presided over a dozen Commencement ceremonies and
countless fund-raising and special events, such as
groundbreakings and anniversary celebrations.
Along the way, he met or worked with a galaxy of world
leaders, politicos and dignitaries, a list that includes
Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W.
Bush; cabinet members Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice,
Hillary Clinton and Henry Kissinger; Supreme Court Justices
Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia; elected officials
Vice President Al Gore, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi,
Gov. Martin O'Malley and all state and federal
representatives. He's had a private meeting with Pope John
Paul II, dined with a Saudi sheikh and been the guest of
China's minister of education at the 2008 Summer Olympics
He's also met a string of celebrities that includes Bill
Cosby, Cal Ripken and Tom Brokaw, all of whom received
Brody has been a steady hand over Johns Hopkins for a dozen
years. A hand that certainly tired at times, especially
after shaking those of more than a thousand graduates at
every Commencement. Soon the hand will wave goodbye.
Below, a snapshot of his final year at Johns Hopkins.
Commencement, May 22, 2008: Brody
and Provost Kristina Johnson, center, with deans and
directors, clockwise from Brody's right: Jessica Einhorn,
SAIS; Ed Miller, Medicine; Ralph Fessler, Education;
Jeffrey Sharkey, Peabody; Adam Falk, Arts & Sciences; Nick
Jones, Engineering; Michael Klag, Public Health; Martha
Hill, Nursing; Yash Gupta,Business. Missing: Rich Roca,
Dedication of the Carey Business
School, April 25, 2008
Bike-riding Brodys welcoming
freshman families arriving at Homewood, Aug. 30,
With Wendy throwing the switch for
the Lighting of the Quads, Dec. 3, 2008
Greeting guests with Wendy at
Peabody's 150th Anniversary Gala, April 26,
Interviewing House Speaker Nancy
Pelosi for 'Health Care '08,' which aired Sept. 26 on
A reception at Nichols House for
residential advisers, Aug. 28, 2008
With the All-Nighters a cappella
group at a Parents Fund reception at Nichols House, Nov. 1,
With A. James Clark at the
inauguration of the Whiting School's Benjamin T. Rome
Deanship, Oct. 6, 2008
With board chair Pamela Flaherty
at the board of trustees meeting, Dec. 7, 2008
Ready to cheer on the Blue Jays at
the water polo championships vs. MIT, where Brody played as
an undergrad (Johns Hopkins won), Oct. 26, 2008
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