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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University November 8, 2004 | Vol. 34 No. 11
Descendants of Johns Hopkins Give $2 Million to Endow Professorship

Johns Hopkins

By Eileen Murphy
Development Communications

Descendants of Johns Hopkins have given $2 million to endow a professorship in the School of Medicine at the university their ancestor founded.

The Johns Hopkins Family Professorship in Oncology Research was funded by 12 collateral descendants of the Baltimore financier whose record bequest established both The Johns Hopkins University and The Johns Hopkins Hospital more than 125 years ago.

"This wonderful gift from the Hopkins family continues a family legacy of philanthropy, a legacy established by one of the great figures in the entire history of American philanthropy," said William R. Brody, president of the university. "We are most grateful that Johns Hopkins' descendants have chosen to honor their forebear, and to do it in a way that will continue his work and extend his vision for a better world."

The leadership donors are James E.T. Hopkins, a great-great-nephew of the founder; Janie Elizabeth "Liza" Bailey, a great-great-great-niece; and Bailey's husband, Michael Musgrave. An additional 10 members of the family contributed, including Judge John L. Clark, whose 1998 bequest initiated the professorship fund.

"This gift clearly affirms the Hopkins family's generosity and loyalty but also demonstrates its keen awareness of the central challenges facing medical research and practice in the 21st century," said Edward D. Miller Jr., dean of the medical faculty and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine. "This is the kind of support that means Johns Hopkins Medicine will continue to lead the way in meeting those challenges."

James E.T. Hopkins, a retired thoracic surgeon, is a 1941 alumnus of the School of Medicine who had graduated in 1937 from what is now the university's Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. He is the author of the military history Spearhead: The Complete History of Merrill's Marauder Rangers. His niece, Liza Bailey, recently retired from Credit Suisse First Boston.

Speaking on behalf of his relatives, James Hopkins said, "We need people who can do medical research, and we need to fund their work. This professorship is a way for this generation of the Hopkins family to advance medical science and do something meaningful for higher education."

The Hopkins family's legendary relation, Johns Hopkins, was an important investor in the nation's first major railroad, the Baltimore and Ohio, and became a director in 1847 and chairman of its finance committee in 1855. In 1867, Hopkins arranged for the incorporation of The Johns Hopkins University and The Johns Hopkins Hospital. He died on Christmas Eve 1873, directing that his bequest be divided equally between the two institutions. It was, at the time, the largest philanthropic bequest in U.S. history.

The Hopkins family's gift will endow a professorship in the Division of Hematology within the Department of Medicine.

Myron L. Weisfeldt, the William Osler Professor of Medicine and director of the Department of Medicine, expressed his appreciation to the current generation of Hopkins philanthropists.

"This gift will enable a world-class physician researcher to further our work in the diagnosis and treatment of blood and other types of cancers," Weisfeldt said. "The medical world will continue to benefit from the Hopkins family's philanthropy."

Appointment to an endowed professorship is one of the highest honors a university can bestow on a member of its faculty. The first Johns Hopkins Family Professor will be named during the weekend of May 19, what would have been Johns Hopkins' 210th birthday.

The Hopkins Family gift is part of the Johns Hopkins: Knowledge for the World campaign. Commitments to the campaign have reached $1.558 billion, more than three-quarters of the $2 billion goal. Priorities of the campaign, which benefits both The Johns Hopkins University and The Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System, include strengthening endowment for student aid and faculty support; advancing research, academic and clinical initiatives; and building and upgrading facilities on all campuses. The campaign began in July 2000 and is scheduled to end in 2007.


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