The Johns Hopkins Gazette: July 19, 1999
July 19, 1999
VOL. 28, NO. 40


Downtown Center Gets $1 Million Pledge

Lobby of new SPSBE facility will bear name of the Passano family

Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

Baltimore civic leaders and Johns Hopkins alumni Helen M. and E. Magruder (Mac) Passano Jr., along with their daughters, Catherine, Tammy and Sarah, have committed $1 million to the university.

Their gift will support the new Downtown Center of the School of Professional Studies in Business and Education. In January 2001, the school will relocate its Downtown Center, now at Charles and Saratoga streets, to a larger site in the former Hamburger's building on the southwest corner of Charles and Fayette.

Helen Passano holds a master's degree from the school, from which her husband earned both his bachelor's and master's degrees. Since 1984, Mac Passano has been a member of the school's advisory council.

"Helen and I, along with our daughters, are delighted to have the opportunity to honor the longtime relationship between Johns Hopkins and the Passano family," Mac Passano said. "It is also our great pleasure to make this gift as a tribute to retiring dean Stanley Gabor, who first addressed the need for a downtown center early in his 17-year tenure at the school."

Hopkins will name the main lobby of the new Downtown Center for Mac and Helen Passano and their daughters, as well as for Mr. Passano's father, 1927 Hopkins alumnus Edward M. (Ned) Passano Sr., who died last year, and grandfather, Edward Boetler Passano.

The Passano family headed Waverly Press (originally Williams & Wilkins) from 1898 until its sale last year. In 1943, Edward B. Passano established the Passano Foundation, which makes awards annually for outstanding contributions to science, medical research and medical education. Twenty Passano Award recipients have gone on to win Nobel Prizes.

Mac Passano now serves as chairman and director of the foundation, Helen Passano as secretary/director and Catherine Passano as treasurer/director.

"The Passano family has a long and distinguished history of community involvement, leadership and philanthropy in Maryland and at Johns Hopkins," President William R. Brody said. "We are grateful that Helen and Mac and their family are continuing that tradition, which so significantly benefits both Hopkins and the community."

In addition to working with the Passano Foundation, Helen Passano serves on the boards of trustees of the Roland Park Country School and the College of Notre Dame and is a member of the Junior League. Mac Passano represents Hopkins on the board of the Independent College Fund of Maryland, serves on the board of visitors of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, chairs the board of visitors of the Department of Mass Communication and Communication Studies at Towson University and serves on the board and chairs the Education Committee for the Pride of Baltimore.

The new Downtown Center will be housed in the renovated Hamburger's building, owned since 1997 by Baltimore attorney, Orioles owner and Hopkins trustee Peter Angelos. Angelos also has made a significant gift to support programs in business, management and information technology at the new center.

With 38,000 square feet, the new center will replace the current, smaller Downtown Center, which opened in 1987. It will include classrooms wired for multimedia and Internet access, computer labs, conference and seminar rooms, a library, offices and the 180-seat Jean and Allan L. Berman Auditorium. The new center will also serve as the administrative headquarters for SPSBE's Graduate Division of Business and Management.

The Passano family gift counts toward the Johns Hopkins Initiative, which has total commitments of $1.258 billion as of June 30.