About The Gazette Search Back Issues Contact Us    
The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University October 6, 2008 | Vol. 38 No. 6
WSE's Rome Deanship to be Dedicated Today

By Phil Sneiderman

A dedication ceremony for the newly established Benjamin T. Rome Deanship in the Whiting School of Engineering will take place at 4 p.m. today, Oct. 6, in Shriver Hall Auditorium on the Homewood campus.

Earlier this year university trustee emeritus A. James Clark, a leading commercial builder, committed $10 million to endow the deanship in honor of his mentor and business colleague Benjamin T. Rome. The gift provides a permanent stream of unrestricted support that the school's deans — present and future — will be able to invest strategically in faculty, students and programs.

At the dedication ceremony, the Whiting School's current dean, Nicholas P. Jones, will be recognized as the first to hold the endowed post.

Pamela P. Flaherty, chair of the university's board of trustees, will open the program with welcoming remarks. The speakers will be Clark; President William R. Brody; Provost Kristina M. Johnson; Ross B. Corotis, the Denver Business Challenge Professor of Engineering at the University of Colorado; and Jones.

Immediately following the ceremony, a reception will be held on the Wyman Quadrangle.

The Benjamin T. Rome Deanship becomes the third endowed deanship in the nine schools at Johns Hopkins. In 1997, Frances Watt Baker and Lenox D. Baker, both physicians and double-degree graduates of Johns Hopkins, endowed the deanship at the School of Medicine. In 1999, international telephone and cable television entrepreneur J. Barclay Knapp endowed the deanship of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences in memory of his father.

In announcing his gift earlier this year, Clark said, "Ben Rome was not only my first boss but a wonderful mentor as well. I owe much of my success, and the success of our business, to Ben. He was a great friend and teacher, and I am honored to be able to memorialize his name at his alma mater."

Rome, who died in 1994, was a 1925 civil engineering graduate of Johns Hopkins. He received an honorary doctorate in humane letters from the university in 1982. Rome generously supported the university's School of Advanced International Studies, especially its China Studies Program. One of the two SAIS buildings in Washington, D.C., bears Rome's name.

Rome was president and CEO of the George Hyman Construction Co. in Washington, which was founded by his uncle. Rome hired A. James Clark shortly after Clark finished college. In the late 1960s, Clark succeeded Rome as president of the Hyman Co., which later became known as the Clark Construction Group. He is now chairman and chief executive of Bethesda, Md.-based Clark Enterprises, a holding company for a variety of businesses, including Clark Construction Group.

Clark said his gift in Rome's name also was meant to express his confidence in the current leadership of the Whiting School. The present dean, Jones, a former chair of the school's Department of Civil Engineering, was appointed to the post in August 2004.

Clark is a former member of the board of Johns Hopkins Medicine. He previously donated $10 million toward construction of a three-story building for biomedical engineering research and education on the university's Homewood campus. That building, named Clark Hall in his honor, opened in 2001.


The Gazette | The Johns Hopkins University | Suite 540 | 901 S. Bond St. | Baltimore, MD 21231 | 443-287-9900 |