The Johns Hopkins Gazette: May 4, 1998
May 4, 1998
VOL. 27, NO. 33


JH Initiative Targets New Goal Of $1.2 Billion

Student financial aid will be highest priority of remaining two years

Dennis O'Shea
News and Information

Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

The Johns Hopkins Initiative has surpassed its $900 million initial goal nearly two years ahead of schedule, enabling Hopkins trustees to vote to establish new priorities for the remainder of the campaign and set a new target of $1.2 billion.

The university's trustees, meeting Sunday in New York, decided to make student financial aid a primary focus of the remainder of the campaign.

Between now and the campaign's conclusion in 2000, Hopkins will also seek major support for the Milton S. Eisenhower Library, the university's main research library. The campaign will continue to seek support for several not-yet-completed building projects. Expanded priorities, especially for endowment and facilities, have also been set by each of the university's schools and by Johns Hopkins Medicine.

"Since this campaign began nearly four years ago, Johns Hopkins has a new president and new senior leadership, both at the university and at Johns Hopkins Medicine," said Michael R. Bloomberg (pictured at left), chairman of the university's board of trustees.

"And while Hopkins has been changing, the world has changed too, dramatically," Bloomberg said. "It's not surprising that we've identified pressing needs that were not sufficiently addressed in the first phase of the Initiative.

"There is a lot left to be done," he said. "But the success we've had so far and the enthusiasm of all our supporters for going ahead and finishing the job makes me very confident that we can do it."

Johns Hopkins University president William R. Brody (pictured at right), who recommended the strong new emphasis on scholarships and fellowships, said he has believed since he took office in 1996 that student aid is increasingly critical and that Hopkins' endowment for scholarship support is grossly inadequate. For instance, he said, the endowment for aid to undergraduates on the university's Homewood campus is $29 million. The average aid endowment for a group of similarly selective colleges and universities is $163 million.

"The need for scholarship support--throughout the university--has grown far greater than our resources can sustain," Brody said. "Only with new endowment can we ensure that no student, graduate or undergraduate, need turn down an invitation to Johns Hopkins for lack of funds."

Bloomberg and Brody also announced to trustees a major new commitment that will launch the Initiative toward its new goal: $10 million from A. James Clark, a trustee and chairman of Clark Enterprises Inc. of Bethesda, Md.

Clark's gift will fund a building on the Homewood campus to house a Biomedical Engineering Institute.

"Jim Clark's exceptional generosity enables Hopkins to expand the research, clinical and teaching work of a biomedical engineering program that is already widely considered one of the nation's best," Brody said. "New areas of research in the field are going to revolutionize diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of diseases. Jim has ensured that Hopkins biomedical engineers will help lead that revolution."

Brody reported to trustees that gifts and pledges to the Johns Hopkins Initiative now total $905.8 million. Clark's commitment will lift that total to $915.8 million.

The Johns Hopkins Initiative, publicly launched in 1994 after several years of behind-the-scenes preparation, is a joint campaign of The Johns Hopkins University and the Johns Hopkins Health System. Its original overall goal of $900 million by 2000 included $525 million for the campaign's primary focus, endowment and facilities. With the Clark commitment, the total for those priorities now stands at $535.7 million.

"We are immensely grateful to everyone whose generosity and dedication to Hopkins brought us to this point so much sooner than we ever thought possible," said Lenox D. Baker Jr. (pictured at right), a trustee and co-chair of the Johns Hopkins Initiative. "Because of our alumni and friends, Johns Hopkins today is stronger than ever, even better positioned to make critical discoveries, to teach and to care for patients," said R. Champlin Sheridan (pictured below at left), also a trustee and Initiative co-chair.

The Initiative has so far attracted eight of the 10 largest gifts ever made to Hopkins, including the largest, a $55 million initial commitment from Bloomberg. The campaign has raised more than $135 million for facilities and more than $69 million for student aid, created 72 named professorships and supported new research in all Hopkins divisions, on issues from breast cancer to biomedical ethics, from welfare reform to the politics of central Asia. The campaign has also helped Johns Hopkins use information technology to improve teaching on its traditional campuses and to expand its reach to "virtual" educational and patient care facilities in places as distant as Asia and Africa.

Priorities Set For Remainder Of Campaign

Support for student financial aid in all eight Johns Hopkins schools is the No. 1 priority for the Johns Hopkins Initiative between now and the campaign's conclusion in 2000.

The campaign has already raised more than $69 million for student aid and led to the creation of more than 100 named scholarships. But despite the efforts of Hopkins and other universities and colleges to rein in tuition growth, financial aid remains a critical need.

At their meeting Sunday in New York, the university's trustees accepted President William R. Brody's recommendation that student aid--both undergraduate scholarships and graduate and postdoctoral fellowships--be the foremost priority for the remainder of the campaign.

"Our tradition of academic excellence has always been coupled with a commitment to make a Hopkins education affordable for all qualified students," Brody said. "We must increase our endowment for student financial aid so that no student--graduate or undergraduate--will turn down an invitation for lack of funds, and to ensure that our graduates are not burdened by unreasonable debt. This is our single most important need."

There also will be a strong campaign emphasis, Brody said, on soliciting support for the Milton S. Eisenhower Library, the university's main research library.

"The Eisenhower Library has long been a crucial resource for Hopkins, and its role is about to become even more important as fundamental changes in higher education, information technology and scholarly communication begin to play themselves out," Brody said. "The digital, networked library of the 21st century will be a far different place than the traditional, industrial age library of the 20th. We need to begin building that library now."

In addition to student aid and library support, the campaign will also pursue funding for specific priorities set by each of the university's schools and by Johns Hopkins Medicine, with emphasis on strengthening endowment and improving facilities. The campaign also will continue to seek support for several not-yet-completed building projects.

The ability of students and families to afford both an undergraduate education and graduate school without assuming unduly burdensome debt has been a major concern for Brody since he became president in 1996.

Hopkins tuition--$21,700 this year for undergraduates in the schools of Arts and Sciences and Engineering--is about in the middle of the range of comparable private colleges and universities. But, primarily because of a paucity of endowment designated for student aid, the amount of scholarship support the university can offer lower- and middle-income students has been less than at many peer institutions.

Hopkins, like all highly selective institutions, is committed to admitting a diverse student body and, to the extent possible, ensuring that qualified students are not kept from the school of their choice by their families' financial circumstances. But, while other universities can use endowment income to fund much of their student aid budgets, Hopkins must divert more tuition dollars for that purpose.

This year, about 60 percent of Homewood campus undergraduates receive need-based financial aid, and the number seeking aid has increased significantly in the 1990s.

Some peer institutions--including Yale, Stanford and Princeton--recently announced that they will draw on their endowments to significantly increase student aid for middle-income families.