“If I had been the son of academics maybe I would have been on campuses and would never have been as impressed as I was when I was here, because it’s the first time I really was walking among people who were world leaders, who were creating, inventing.” –New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg ’64, quoted in The New York Times about the recent gift he gave to Johns Hopkins.
On January 26, 2013, the Johns Hopkins University announced a record-setting alumni donation: philanthropist and New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s $350 million gift to the university. The donation brings Bloomberg’s lifetime donation—one that began with a $5 gift a year after his 1964 graduation—to $1.1 billion.
Almost 30 percent—$100 million—of Bloomberg’s latest gift will be dedicated to need-based financial aid for undergraduate students, ensuring that the most talented and driven students are admitted to the university’s classrooms, regardless of economic circumstance. Over the next 10 years, 2,600 Bloomberg Scholarships will be awarded.
The gift will also endow 50 Bloomberg Distinguished Professors, whose expertise crosses traditional academic disciplines and who will engage in collaborative, cross-disciplinary research ranging from politics and policy to health care delivery to basic curiosity-driven research. The goal of these professorships is to make it as easy for faculty, staff, and students to work across disciplines as within them.
“It is a magnificent gift,” says Krieger School Dean Katherine Newman. “I am impressed with its scope and how it will enable the Krieger School to fulfill our goals of continuing to create and foster a vibrant, diverse community of faculty and undergraduate scholars.”
Bloomberg’s gift ensures the perpetuity of the intellectual climate that he says so captured him as an undergraduate and enables future students to walk among scholars, scientists, writers, and teachers. Who knows? Among them may be a future mayor of New York.