Johns Hopkins Gazette: December 2, 1996 Form

Judaic Studies Visiting
Professorship Endowed

The Charles Crane Family Foundation of Baltimore has pledged $1 million to establish a visiting professorship in Judaic studies in The Johns Hopkins University's Krieger School of Arts and Sciences.

The professorship, to be called the Charles Crane Visiting Professorship in Judaic Studies, will be the first endowed chair in this field at Hopkins.

"The Crane Professorship provides tremendous impetus to our efforts to increase opportunities at Hopkins for studying the interrelations of religion, history and culture," said Steven Knapp, provost of Johns Hopkins and dean of the Krieger School.

Visiting professors funded by the Crane Foundation gift will be chosen from academic specialties not represented on the permanent faculty and will be appointed for up to one academic year. It is expected that Crane professors will teach both undergraduate and graduate courses and offer lectures open to the public.

"It's exciting for us at the Charles Crane Family Foundation to be able to work with Johns Hopkins to bring distinguished scholars in Judaic studies to our community," said Shale D. Stiller, a trustee of both the Crane Foundation and the university. "The Crane Foundation hopes its gift will inspire many others to work with Hopkins to strengthen and expand the university's program in this field, with the ultimate aim of making this program one of the finest in the country."

Johns Hopkins has a long history of teaching and research in fields that form a foundation for specialized work in Judaic studies. The Department of Near Eastern Studies, for example, focuses on the civilizations of the ancient Near East and offers courses in the Hebrew Bible, the history of Judaism, the history of Jewish civilization and Jewish literature. The department also offers courses in biblical and modern Hebrew. The School of Arts and Sciences already has endowed professorships in biblical and ancient Near Eastern Studies, Semitic languages and archaeology.

Charles Crane, whose generosity established the Charles Crane Family Foundation, was a successful real estate developer in Baltimore. He died in March 1994.

The Crane Foundation gift counts toward the Krieger Challenge to raise $100 million in endowment for the School of Arts and Sciences. So far, the challenge has attracted gifts and pledges of $93 million for the school's endowment. The challenge was issued by Zanvyl Krieger, a member of the Class of 1928, who in 1992 pledged $50 million to the school, asking that his gift be matched by other donors.

The Krieger Challenge is a cornerstone of the Johns Hopkins Initiative, a comprehensive campaign to raise $900 million for the university and for the Johns Hopkins Health System. The campaign, announced publicly in 1994, has received $647.3 million in gifts and pledges, almost 72 percent of the goal. Gifts or pledges of $406.5 million for endowment and facilities represent 77 percent of the $525 million goal in those areas, the primary focus of the campaign.

The Krieger School has so far received gifts or pledges of $114.2 million, 81 percent of the $140 million goal for its portion of the campaign.

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