Johns Hopkins Gazette | February 23, 2009
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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University February 23, 2009 | Vol. 38 No. 23
Curtain Draws on Brody Era

'Daniel Coit Gilman' and William R. Brody at Commemoration Day 2009

By Greg Rienzi
The Gazette
All Photographs Except Nancy Pelosi by Will Kirk and Jay Vanrensselaer of Homewood Imaging and Photographic Services

Outgoing President William R. Brody, on the day he moved out of his Nichols House residence, made perhaps his final appearance as head of the university. On Friday, Brody joined with the "spirit" of Daniel Coit Gilman (an actor dressed as the university's first president) to celebrate Commemoration Day, an annual event to honor the founding of the university 133 years ago, on Feb. 22, 1876.

In an official capacity, Brody will stay on as president until March 2, when Ronald J. Daniels assumes the post. That same day, Brody will take over the president's seat of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif.

Brody became president of The Johns Hopkins University on Sept. 1, 1996. His 12-year tenure ranks fifth longest among Johns Hopkins' 13 presidents.

The Gazette is not sure what welcome gift Brody received when he took over the helm of Johns Hopkins, but a fitting offering would have been a copy of Dr. Seuss' Oh, the Places You'll Go!

As university president, Brody made regular trips overseas — to China, Singapore, Italy, Switzerland and England, all countries where Johns Hopkins has a physical presence or strong alumni hub — as well as all over the United States.

On stage with Provost Kristina Johnson at Freshman Convocation, Aug. 31, 2008

Domestically, Brody was regularly called upon to represent the university on Capitol Hill, in front of the state government in Annapolis and all across the continent at meetings of the Association of American Universities.

He presided over a dozen Commencement ceremonies and countless fund-raising and special events, such as groundbreakings and anniversary celebrations.

Along the way, he met or worked with a galaxy of world leaders, politicos and dignitaries, a list that includes Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush; cabinet members Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton and Henry Kissinger; Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia; elected officials Vice President Al Gore, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Gov. Martin O'Malley and all state and federal representatives. He's had a private meeting with Pope John Paul II, dined with a Saudi sheikh and been the guest of China's minister of education at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

He's also met a string of celebrities that includes Bill Cosby, Cal Ripken and Tom Brokaw, all of whom received honorary degrees.

Brody has been a steady hand over Johns Hopkins for a dozen years. A hand that certainly tired at times, especially after shaking those of more than a thousand graduates at every Commencement. Soon the hand will wave goodbye.

Below, a snapshot of his final year at Johns Hopkins.


Commencement, May 22, 2008: Brody and Provost Kristina Johnson, center, with deans and directors, clockwise from Brody's right: Jessica Einhorn, SAIS; Ed Miller, Medicine; Ralph Fessler, Education; Jeffrey Sharkey, Peabody; Adam Falk, Arts & Sciences; Nick Jones, Engineering; Michael Klag, Public Health; Martha Hill, Nursing; Yash Gupta,Business. Missing: Rich Roca, APL.

Dedication of the Carey Business School, April 25, 2008

Bike-riding Brodys welcoming freshman families arriving at Homewood, Aug. 30, 2008

With Wendy throwing the switch for the Lighting of the Quads, Dec. 3, 2008

Greeting guests with Wendy at Peabody's 150th Anniversary Gala, April 26, 2008

Interviewing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for 'Health Care '08,' which aired Sept. 26 on MPT

A reception at Nichols House for residential advisers, Aug. 28, 2008

With the All-Nighters a cappella group at a Parents Fund reception at Nichols House, Nov. 1, 2008

With A. James Clark at the inauguration of the Whiting School's Benjamin T. Rome Deanship, Oct. 6, 2008

With board chair Pamela Flaherty at the board of trustees meeting, Dec. 7, 2008

Ready to cheer on the Blue Jays at the water polo championships vs. MIT, where Brody played as an undergrad (Johns Hopkins won), Oct. 26, 2008


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