News Entrepreneur Bloomberg Announces Record Gift to HopkinsBusiness news entrepreneur Michael R. Bloomberg has pledged $55 million to The Johns Hopkins University, the largest gift in Hopkins history.
Bloomberg, founder and owner of Bloomberg Financial Markets and a 1964 Johns Hopkins graduate, said the gift will be divided among the university's eight schools and its Milton S. Eisenhower Library. Additionally, some will go to an effort of the university and The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System to build both a cancer treatment center and a cancer research building.
Part of the gift will be for endowment, the primary focus of the $900 million Johns Hopkins Initiative, the fund-raising campaign for both the university and the health system. The rest will go toward capital projects, such as the cancer buildings, renovation of the library, and construction of a new building for the School of Nursing and two student buildings on the Homewood campus.
"Very few people get the opportunity to really change the world," Bloomberg said. "Hopkins defends our freedom with research for the intelligence and military communities. Hopkins cures and prevents disease around the world. It expands our culture and teaches our youth. Hopkins discovers and invents and makes the world a much better place for our families.
"There's no organization I know of, of a comparable size, that does so many different things so well. When I give a dollar to Hopkins, the impact is enormous. I can't think of anything I could do with my money that would bring me more pleasure. I'm personally improving the world and people's lives with my gift. What better thing could I do? How better can I repay society for all the opportunities I've had?"
Bloomberg, who chairs the Johns Hopkins Initiative, said the gift represents his initial commitment to the campaign, bringing it more than halfway to its goal just a year after its October 1994 public launch. Gifts and commitments now total $466.8 million, 52 percent of the $900 million goal. Gifts and commitments for endowment and capital purposes total $334.4 million, 64 percent of the $525 million goal for those critical needs.
"The good news is that we are halfway there. The sobering news is we have halfway to go," Bloomberg said. "What we now have to do is re-double our efforts."
Bloomberg, 53, chair-elect of the university's board of trustees, has previously given the university $8 million, supporting, among other projects, construction of the Bloomberg Center for Physics and Astronomy on the Homewood campus. He said he was influenced in planning his latest gift by the example of Zanvyl Krieger, a 1928 graduate who in 1992 committed $50 million to the endowment of the Johns Hopkins School of Arts and Sciences.
The Krieger gift, more than three times the size of the largest previous donation to the university, was the key development in the years of planning that preceded the public launch of the Johns Hopkins Initiative. It encouraged the university and health system to set their ambitious $900 million goal.
Bloomberg also said $20 million gifts from trustee Champ Sheridan and his wife, Debbie, and from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, as well as other major campaign gifts, including from the Baltimore Orioles and Orioles owner Peter Angelos, had also raised his sights.
"I'm just trying to follow on in their footsteps," he said. "My hope is this will not be the biggest gift the campaign receives. I'd be ecstatic if someone came along and used me as an example the way I've followed others. Nothing would give me more pleasure."
Daniel Nathans, interim president of the university, said Bloomberg's gift -- and the achievement of half the campaign goal so quickly -- are important confirmation that trustees and other friends of Hopkins are enthusiastic and confident. They demonstrate, he said, that the campaign is moving forward in the time between President William C. Richardson's departure and the election of a new university president.
"Mike's leadership of this campaign has been extraordinary," Nathans said, "and this gift is more extraordinary still. It's an amazingly generous response to this university's priority need, for endowment support. And it's an important example to alumni of colleges and universities everywhere of the incredible impact they can have in higher education."
Bloomberg, an engineering graduate of Hopkins who earned a Harvard MBA in 1966, runs one of the fastest-growing news and information services in the world. Bloomberg Financial Markets, founded in 1981, now provides market quotes and other financial data to traders and investors through more than 52,000 leased terminals. The New York-based company's Bloomberg Business News wire service provides breaking news stories and analysis over the terminals and to news organizations, including most of the nation's largest newspapers. The company also publishes two magazines, co-produces a public television business news show with Maryland Public Television, and operates a New York City all-news radio station, a syndicated radio service and a 24-hour worldwide all-news television channel.
Embargoed for release 12:01 a.m. ET, Monday, October 2
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