Hopkins' success in fund raising $900 million: Goal met, increased by $300 million to seek more for student aid and Eisenhower Library.

May 05, 1998

THE MOST IMPORTANT people on any university campus are not the professors currently getting grants but the freshmen who will enter next year.

Will they have an experience as meaningful and enriching as successful Johns Hopkins alumni who in gratitude helped the university reach its $900 million capital campaign goal two years early?

The success owes much to the generosity of such people as A. James Clark, a trustee and Bethesda construction magnate, who pledged $10 million toward an additional $300 million Hopkins hopes to raise in the remaining two years of the campaign. His gift will build a home for expanded biomedical engineering.

Now the search is on for donors to boost student aid and upgrade the Milton S. Eisenhower Library.

Johns Hopkins has fallen behind in the amount of financial aid it can offer students. College education as a consumer product is like an automobile model with ever-higher sticker prices and discounts. Raising the endowment for student aid would bring more of the most talented candidates to the Hopkins campus.

The Eisenhower Library is retooling for the revolution in information retrieval.This electronic transformation has given research libraries the schizophrenic mandate to lead the way to the future while remaining the repository of the past. Both missions need constant attention.

These are worthy goals to stress in the quest for more donors. It is always harder to raise money for existing structures and programs than to start new ones.

The Hopkins attainment of its $900 million goal two years early comes less than a year after Goucher College trustees attained their $40 million campaign goal two years early. Such institutions should seize the opportunity to raise their sights. The extended stock market boom, with the attendant consumer confidence of the affluent, will not last forever.

Baltimore gains from the growth of Johns Hopkins in all its parts and from its constant quest for excellence. With one ambitious fund-raising goal in hand and another set in motion, the community can only say, keep up the good work.

Pub Date: 5/05/98

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