This is part of an occasional series of historical
pieces by Ross Jones, vice president and secretary
emeritus. A 1953 graduate of Johns Hopkins, Jones returned
in 1961 as assistant to President Milton S. Eisenhower and
was a close aide to six of the university's 13
Immigration issues have captured the interest of
government leaders and citizens alike as bills related to
the subject are debated in Congress.
Over the years, because of its large international
student population, Hopkins has had to deal with many
immigration issues. One incident is recorded in a letter
the university received from the U.S. Immigration and
Naturalization Service's district director on Ellis Island,
N.Y., written on June 22, 1938.
The letter, now in the university's Hamburger
Archives, said that "the following person arrived on the SS
Laconia, September 22, 1936, and was admitted as a
temporary visitor for a period of one year, destined to
His name was Viswanathan Krishovier, or at least
that's what the INS thought. At Hopkins he was registered
as Dharmavedhani Krishnier Viswanathan, and he had come
from Madras, India, seeking a certificate in public
The INS letter continued: "As no word has been
received that he has left the country, it will be
appreciated if you will advise whether such departure has
taken place, giving us the date, manner and port of
departure. If the person has not left the country, will you
please inform me of his present address?"
After consulting registrar Irene Davis, university
secretary P. Stewart Macaulay wrote to the district
director that "our information goes no farther than this.
He left Johns Hopkins, reporting that he was going to sail
for home on August 4, 1937. The port of departure and other
details are unknown to us."
Mr. Macaulay could have added that the gentleman
received his certificate in public health before departing
There is no indication whether the INS ever found