This weekend Johns Hopkins will unveil a new campus
landmark honoring generations of
philanthropic visionaries and celebrating a tradition of
giving that goes back to our founder himself.
The Johns Hopkins Founders Wall, made of marble and
brick and stretching 104 feet in front of
Garland Hall on Homewood's Decker Quadrangle, is engraved
with the names of the institution's most
generous supporters. Listed first is Johns Hopkins, whose
1873 bequest of $7 million created a
university and hospital in his name. The list continues 106
names long, with a chronological order of
donors whose philanthropy at Johns Hopkins has matched or
exceeded his founding gift.
Daniels noted that the wall is purposefully positioned
to greet visitors and serve
as an important reminder of the central role that these
donors and their philanthropy play at Johns
"Johns Hopkins owes its very existence and its global
prominence to the people on this wall," he
said. "Looking at this list is like looking at a timeline,
a history, of Hopkins' continued growth and
achievements. These are donors who transformed this
institution. They built labs, offices, classrooms
and entire buildings. They were the catalysts for medical
research that saved lives. They provided
scholarships to scores of deserving students."
One such student is Jerome "Axle" Brown, a
Hodson-Gilliam Success Scholar and a senior in the
Krieger School of Arts and Sciences who plans to pursue a
career in public service. "Having directly
benefited from scholarship funds, I know firsthand the
importance of our university's most generous
donors," Brown said. The Hodson Trust is one of the many
scholarship supporters counted among the
benefactors listed on the wall.
Plans for the monument began in late 2007 and
construction began last summer. For months,
three artisans have been hard at work off-site, chiseling
names into the marble.
The names engraved on the Founders Wall include
individuals, families, foundations and
corporations. The donors come from Baltimore, across the
United States and points around the globe.
They have supported every corner of the institution from
the humanities to the hospital, the Peabody
Institute to the Center for Talented Youth. Their
philanthropy represents all types of giving, from
support for students, faculty, programs and research to
funding capital projects and deans' and
The monument also pays tribute to those who have given
anonymously. A plaque on the right side
of the wall notes that some of the institutions' most
generous donors are not listed by name for this
reason. In addition, the wall has a number of blank panels,
providing for the next chapter in Johns
According to Daniels, the monument recognizes that
philanthropy has been the "bedrock" of the
Johns Hopkins Institutions since their inception in 1876.
Johns Hopkins' own commitment changed the
face of higher education and medical care in America, and,
in the years since, a succession of donors
have carried on his vision through their own acts of
generosity and leadership.
"When people look at the wall, they will see a
permanent symbol of our deep gratitude for the
generosity and support that sustain and, indeed, propel
this world-class institution to ever greater
heights," Daniels said.
The wall will remain covered until Saturday, May 2,
when it will be officially dedicated at an
event celebrating the impact of philanthropy at Johns