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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University March 12, 2007 | Vol. 36 No. 25
Anne M. Pinkard, longtime Johns Hopkins trustee, dies at 83

President William R. Brody, Nan Pinkard and trustee Joe Reynolds at a School of Nursing leadership event in 2004.

By Greg Rienzi
The Gazette

Longtime Johns Hopkins University trustee and influential civic leader Anne "Nan" Merrick Pinkard died of respiratory failure on March 3. She was 83.

President William R. Brody, in a letter to the university community, said that with her passing, Baltimore had lost one if its most treasured citizens and "Johns Hopkins has lost one of its greatest friends."

Pinkard was a trustee of the university from 1973 to 1991 and a trustee emerita until her death. She chaired the Buildings and Grounds Committee from 1974 to 1990, guiding development of much of the university's physical infrastructure, and in 1998 the JHU School of Nursing's new building was named in her honor. In 1977, she was the first woman elected in her own right as a Johns Hopkins Hospital trustee, after previously serving ex officio in her role as president of the Johns Hopkins Women's Board.

Johns Hopkins, indeed, was in Pinkard's blood.

She was born in Baltimore, the daughter of Anne McEvoy and Robert G. Merrick Sr., who received undergraduate and doctoral degrees from Hopkins and served as a university trustee from 1953 to 1968. An alumna of Goucher College, she did graduate work at Johns Hopkins and Cornell.

Her brother, Robert G. Merrick Jr., who died in 1990 at the age of 58, was also a university trustee, as is her eldest son, Walter D. Pinkard Jr.

A staunch supporter of culture and history, Nan Pinkard had a particular fondness for Johns Hopkins' two historical treasures, Homewood and Evergreen museums. Homewood was especially dear to her, as the Federal period home was restored to its original early 19th-century grandeur and reopened as a museum through the generosity of her father, who had lived there as a graduate student.

Speaking with The Baltimore Sun about how deeply Pinkard cared for Johns Hopkins, Catherine Rogers Arthur, curator of Homewood Museum, said, "Hopkins was in her genes, and she truly loved Homewood House," she said. "She continued her father's tradition of generously contributing to Homewood House." She also funded many projects and programs, including a book on the history of the house; endowed the Introduction to Material Culture course introduced in fall 2006; and served on the Homewood House Advisory Committee.

In 1990, Pinkard became president of the Robert G. and Anne Merrick Foundation, which her parents established in 1962. The Merrick Foundation merged with the Jacob and Annita France Foundation in 1998 and was renamed the France-Merrick Foundation.

As the foundation's president, Pinkard made an indelible mark on the Baltimore community, supporting important initiatives in community development, health and social services, civic and cultural life, education and historic preservation. The foundation, for example, supported the restoration of the Hippodrome Theatre and the Baltimore Healthy Neighborhood Initiative and created a $1 million endowment to provide financial support for Maryland Institute College of Art students while they are engaged in community service.

For Johns Hopkins, the foundation helped support the Zanvyl Krieger Mind/Brain Institute, renovations to the Newton H. White Athletic Center and the School of Public Health and construction of what would become The Johns Hopkins Hospital's Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Building, the clinical care cancer facility that opened in 2000. Because of Pinkard's passion for architectural preservation, Peabody restored and maintained the historic facades of Mount Vernon townhouses built by Charles Carroll for his daughters as part of Peabody's campus expansion. The buildings now house academic offices, the Friedheim Music Library and practice rooms.

Pinkard also actively supported the School of Nursing and, through the France-Merrick Foundation, contributed to construction of the school's first permanent home. To honor her unwaivering leadership in the establishment of the university's School of Nursing, the school named its new building on the East Baltimore campus for her. The Anne M. Pinkard Building opened in 1998 as the first structure dedicated solely to nursing education at Johns Hopkins.

"Nan was a friend to the School of Nursing, a champion of our cause and a benefactor who was key to creating both the school and our building," said Martha Hill, dean of the School of Nursing. "Even in the last months of her life, Nan remained passionate about the school and our students. She would ask about the France-Merrick Nursing Scholars and was eager to know where they are and what they are doing to improve patient care."

In his letter, President Brody called Pinkard a kind, selfless and unassuming leader, and said that it was no surprise that her spirit had touched many.

"And it is absolutely no surprise now that I, and so many members of the Johns Hopkins community, should feel so grievously wounded by the loss of Nan's friendship, her advice, her wisdom and her support," Brody said. "We shall miss her."

She is survived by her sons, Walter, Robert, Gregory and Peter, and 11 grandchildren. Her husband, Walter D. Pinkard Sr., chairman of the commercial real estate firm W.C. Pinkard & Co., died in 1994.


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