Hopkins wraps up fund drive with $3.7 billion

Major gifts lift eight-year capital campaign beyond its goals

January 23, 2009|By Stephen Kiehl | Stephen Kiehl,stephen.kiehl@baltsun.com

The Johns Hopkins University raised $3.7 billion during an eight-year capital campaign that ended in December, a sum close to double the original goal and one that enabled the university to start a business school, construct new facilities, endow 92 professorships and boost student financial aid.

Hopkins officials announced the total during a celebration for trustees and campaign leadership in Palm Beach, Fla., last night. It is the second-highest amount of money raised by an American university in a single campaign, behind only Stanford University, which has brought in $3.8 billion in its current campaign for $4.3 billion.

The impact can already be seen on Hopkins' Homewood and East Baltimore campuses, where cranes hover over $1 billion worth of new buildings. Much of the money, however, will go to support faculty and students, launch academic and clinical programs, and fund research initiatives on diseases such as cancer and malaria.

More than 250,000 individual donors and foundations contributed to the Knowledge for the World campaign. The money was raised at the impressive pace of $1.2 million per day over 3,105 days. The campaign ends as Dr. William R. Brody concludes his 13-year tenure as Hopkins president, and it will be seen as one of his legacies, observers said.

"It's not an impressive sum, it's a stunning sum for a university to raise," said John Lippincott, president of the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, an association for fundraisers. "We are talking about the pinnacle of educational fundraising in terms of what Hopkins has achieved."

The campaign's original goal of $2 billion was reached two years ahead of schedule. But momentum was building and the university still had unmet needs, so trustees raised the target to $3.2 billion. With the help of several gifts of $100 million or more, as well as significant support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Hopkins exceeded even the revised goal by half a billion dollars.

"People give money to causes that they really feel make a difference in the world," said Pamela Flaherty, chairwoman of the Hopkins board of trustees. "Not only did we attract people of substantial means, but we had over 250,000 people who contributed something because they believe in this vision and they believe that Johns Hopkins makes an impact."

The university enlisted a corps of volunteers to make phone calls and host events at their homes. And in 10 cities, including London, Hopkins scheduled all-day events for alumni at which top professors discussed their work.

Hopkins said that almost $3.1 billion, or 82 percent of the total, came from sources outside Maryland, enhancing the university's role as a driving force in the state economy. Hopkins is the largest private employer in Maryland, with 38,000 employees.

The university has not been immune to the recession that is crippling the state and national economies. Hopkins' endowment stands at $2.4 billion, a decline of 20 percent in the past six months. Other universities have seen even larger drops.

Hopkins' Krieger School of Arts & Sciences is freezing its faculty and staff salaries and cutting department operating budgets by 10 percent for the next fiscal year, according to an internal e-mail sent by the dean last week.

The campaign raised money for 13 endowed professorships at the Krieger school. Other efforts include a new quadrangle on the Homewood campus, the Peabody Institute reconstruction and new buildings at Hopkins campuses in China and Italy.

In East Baltimore, a new critical care tower and children's center are being built on a 5-acre site. At a cost of about $1 billion, the two 12-story towers will provide 1.6 million total square feet of space for 33 operating rooms, 355 adult beds, 205 pediatric beds and the adult and pediatric emergency departments.

"What we really need to do was to have facilities that match the quality of our faculty," said Dr. Edward Miller, dean of the Hopkins medical school. "Some of our facilities were built in the 1930s. ... You cannot give modern care in old facilities."

About $2.1 billion of the campaign funds is directed to the medical school and hospital, allowing Hopkins to provide researchers with a steady stream of funding and the resources they need to do advanced work.

"People think about how they can make a difference as they mature in life and how they can use their resources not on a big car or boat but something that will have a lasting effect and be meaningful for themselves and future generations," Miller said. "It's really quite a change in people's attitudes."

As part of the campaign, Hopkins Medicine received a $150 million gift from Jones Apparel Group founder Sidney Kimmel for cancer research and patient care at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center. Hopkins also received two $100 million anonymous gifts, one to establish a malaria research institute and the other going toward the construction of the children's hospital and the renovation of Gilman Hall on the Homewood campus.

Gifts from the Gates Foundation totaled $157 million and went toward research on tuberculosis in AIDS patients, childhood pneumonia in developing countries and reproductive health.

About $301 million in donations went to graduate and undergraduate student aid, but officials say they want to raise even more in that area as the economy makes it harder for families to afford higher education.

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