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Bloomberg has given 1.1 billion to Johns Hopkins
January 30, 2013 8:26 PM   Subscribe

To date, Michael Bloomberg has donated a total of $1.1 billion to his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University, making him the most generous living donor to any educational institution in the United States.
posted by deathpanels (40 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Great--but why is it that people always give their educational donations to one of the 20 or so schools that don't need the money?

You want to change lives through education? Give to a small state or private school where the money will make a real difference.
posted by LarryC at 8:34 PM on January 30, 2013 [15 favorites]


JHU when I was there was a troubled institution that made things somewhat crappy for undergrads, particularly engineers. I hope this donation eases things for them, maybe gives them smaller class sizes, better counseling and tutoring and housing, instead of inspiring new buildings with random clusters of admins, but I'm not that hopeful.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:42 PM on January 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


Thanks to Bloomberg's donations:
- the curse on the Hopkins seal is twice as powerful as before
- there is now a Gilman 600 on top of Gilman 500
- E Level has taken its rightful place directly below D Level
- the dorms have tall iron fences with checkpoints
- murder lane has been turned into a shark-filled moat
- the Department of Romance Languages and German has finally been allowed to return from its two-year off-campus exile in a highrise apartment building
posted by Nomyte at 8:46 PM on January 30, 2013 [15 favorites]


You want to change lives through education? Give to a small state or private school where the money will make a real difference.

I daresay you can make a real difference by giving to almost any public school in the US, given where most states are budgetwise right now. Irwin Jacobs has changed many, many lives with the amount he's given to UC San Diego's engineering school.
posted by town of cats at 8:54 PM on January 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


And, last but not least, thanks to Bloomberg's generous donations, the classy men's a cappella group, the classy women's a cappella group, the sassy women's a cappella group, the Jewish a cappella group, the Asian a cappella group, and the "we're engineers, but we sometimes like to sing Tom Lehrer and South Park songs" a cappella group have been joined by an all-legacy admit a cappella group.
posted by Nomyte at 8:54 PM on January 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


there is now a Gilman 600 on top of Gilman 500

Technically it is now Gilman 400
posted by pullayup at 9:04 PM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


For only $10 million, I will rename my kids Michael, Bloom, and Berg.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 9:04 PM on January 30, 2013 [5 favorites]


I wish college a cappella were an embodied being so I could stab it in its stupid budget-gobbling face.
posted by invitapriore at 9:10 PM on January 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


Is it really that expensive? As far as extra-curricular activities go I would have expected that sports dwarfs all other ones.
posted by XMLicious at 9:26 PM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


JHU when I was there was a troubled institution that made things somewhat crappy for undergrads

You ain't kidding. I was a master's student there for a year, and we used to call the staircase outside Gilman "the tragedy steps" because of the facial expressions on the undergrads who sat there in silence, staring blankly out at the quad.
posted by escabeche at 9:27 PM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just to continue the pile-on, I grew up in DC and had four different high school friends who went to JHU so I used to visit them in college. (I went to a liberal arts college in Ohio which they dubbed "Hippie School." Which it kinda was compared to the stark urban drama of Baltimore.)

So anyhoo, before two of them joined a frat they all lived in a high-rise apartment building for senior citizens. They all told me how "lucky" they were to have those digs, sharing a floor with pleasant octogenarians. They didn't understand just how fucking weird that living situation was. And they told me how lucky they also were that none of them had been mugged (yet).

But hey, one friend went on to become a big-shot research doctor after working in the ER at the hospital there. Given the number of trauma patients that come in (i.e., people who've been shot) it truly is one of the best places in the world to study surgery.

Great school no doubt, but no way in hell I'd have wanted to go there. It makes the University of Chicago look like Lauderdale during Spring Break.
posted by bardic at 9:34 PM on January 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


I lost my soul in Gilman 500. It can never be destroyed. We have simply forgotten the road to it. It lies beyond the hills we know.
posted by Nomyte at 9:34 PM on January 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


"I'm not made of airports!"
posted by Burhanistan at 9:34 PM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is it really that expensive? As far as extra-curricular activities go I would have expected that sports dwarfs all other ones.

I should have said "music budget," which at my school was meager enough before the myriad a cappella groups raided it so that they could have matching cashmere sweaters.
posted by invitapriore at 9:40 PM on January 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


The days helping run the student cinema were some of the best days of my life. I hope those Century 35mm projectors we got from a Maryland state prison are still rolling along.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:57 PM on January 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


But anyway, better a university (even a relatively well-off one) than another election campaign.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:58 PM on January 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


I lost my soul in Gilman 500.

Hey, I know that room! I had workshop with Robert Stone in there. I can't believe you're making me miss Hopkins.
posted by escabeche at 9:59 PM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I can only imagine how much the Alumni Association pesters you for donations once you've broken into the Fortune 50. Eventually it could be worth a billion dollars just to shut them up once and for all.
posted by ceribus peribus at 10:01 PM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I can't believe you're making me miss Hopkins.

OK, how's this: imagine a choice between Hopkins and College Park, MD.
posted by Nomyte at 10:03 PM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've heard that NYC Public Schools could also use some money.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:18 PM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


That said, I don't want to shit on an individuals personal generosity, and I know that JHU does great things. Public education in NYC should just be better funded, is all (and shouldn't have it's budget dependent on making sure that all non-city New York districts get twice as much, as Albany currently does things.)
posted by Navelgazer at 10:20 PM on January 30, 2013


"College Park, MD"

/shudder
posted by bardic at 10:30 PM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I lost my virginity on the JHU campus, so in a way, you could say I also made a donation.

Don't make me spell it out for you.
posted by phaedon at 10:31 PM on January 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I’m pretty impressed by someone donating over a billion dollars to anything.
posted by bongo_x at 10:55 PM on January 30, 2013


You want to change lives through education? Give to a small state or private school where the money will make a real difference.
Hopkins is a private school. And he's changed lives by, as TFA states, financing "20 percent of all need-based financial aid grants to undergraduates over the past few years" in the form of Bloomberg Scholarships. The recipients generally recognize it as an honor and contribute significantly to campus life.

Technically it is now Gilman 400
Ugh. This is like saying FedEx Field or the Staples Center.

'04. You bet I did, and I enjoyed it.
posted by knile at 12:48 AM on January 31, 2013 [4 favorites]


Sports dwarfs? I would like to see that, please make it happen Michael!
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:35 AM on January 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Great--but why is it that people always give their educational donations to one of the 20 or so schools that don't need the money?

You want to change lives through education? Give to a small state or private school where the money will make a real difference.


I thought a little bit about this and then remembered reading in the article last week that a substantial amount of the support when to the School of Public Health, which is one of the top public health research institutions in the world.

It helps to look a bit more at what the money is going to support. Yeah, some of is going to technology and architecture - stuff that feels sort of like icing on the cake - but a substantial amount is going to research, and there's a certain point at which you DO want to give that money to institutions near the top, because they're the best-equipped to make the most of it.

Bloomberg School of Public Health An ardent believer in the power of public health discoveries and practice to impact the lives of millions around the globe, Bloomberg has directed $289 million to what since 2001 has been known as the Bloomberg School of Public Health. He has given $125 million since 2001 to establish and support the Malaria Research Institute within the Bloomberg School of Public Health. The multidisciplinary center seeks to eradicate that mosquito-borne disease, which in 2010 afflicted an estimated 216 million people and killed 655,000 worldwide. The institute conducts basic and applied research on mosquito biology, the malaria parasite, disease processes and potential vaccines.

Bloomberg's public health-related gifts have also supported research into gun violence prevention, tobacco use reduction, safe water, mental health, road safety and global health initiatives.


More on Bloomberg's donations - capital and infrastructure make up less than 1/4 of what he's given for.
posted by entropone at 5:53 AM on January 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sure he's been generous, but keep in mind the tax break. At the Mitt Romney rate of 14%, the federal government has subsidised this gift by at least 150 million.
posted by Walleye at 6:08 AM on January 31, 2013


Sure he's been generous, but keep in mind the tax break. At the Mitt Romney rate of 14%, the federal government has subsidised this gift by at least 150 million.

As a taxpayer, I might have other preferences for exactly how to subsidize basic research and higher education - I lean more toward public schools than private, for one thing - but I'm really not losing any sleep over this specific instance of "Taxpayers indirectly subsidizing basic research and higher education."
posted by Tomorrowful at 6:57 AM on January 31, 2013 [5 favorites]


Gilman 400.

Dammit is that true? John Irwin once swore to me Dylan Thomas gave a reading in Gilman 500 and threw up on the floor during a poem. RIP the best part of that campus.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:39 AM on January 31, 2013


Sure he's been generous, but keep in mind the tax break. At the Mitt Romney rate of 14%, the federal government has subsidised this gift by at least 150 million.

"And clearly, it makes him feel good, which means fewer endorphins for the rest of us!"
posted by Etrigan at 7:40 AM on January 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


making him the most generous living donor

That depends on your definition of "generous." I'm not normally one to quote the bible, but one of the more resonant passages is Mark 12:41-44:
Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.

Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on."
Given Bloomberg's wealth, I doubt he's the most generous donor, just the largest. Which is no small thing, I give him credit where credit is due and I hope it inspires his fellow multibillionaires to try to up the ante.
posted by Riki tiki at 8:25 AM on January 31, 2013


As one of those admins that works at Johns Hopkins School of Medcine, I'm thrilled that he gave the money to this university even if it doesn't affect me directly. Considering that there was a hiring and wage freeze up until very recently, we weren't really rolling in it from where I'm sitting.
posted by josher71 at 8:51 AM on January 31, 2013


Fellow Hopkins employee here -- is Hopkins really that bad for its students?? I work at the Homewood campus (in the Bloomberg Physics and Astronomy building in fact) and as far as I am concerned the campus is freakin beautiful!

Although once I had to go to some engineering building to meet with some people from the computer science department and it looked like something out of the later levels of Portal 2. I'd forgotten about that...
posted by capnsue at 9:00 AM on January 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


It'll take a lot more than that to make me forget the end run around term limits he pulled off.
posted by digsrus at 9:40 AM on January 31, 2013


That depends on your definition of "generous." I'm not normally one to quote the bible, but one of the more resonant passages is Mark 12:41-44…

The Hopkins motto is John 8:32.
posted by Nomyte at 10:26 AM on January 31, 2013


If I can add one more Gilman 500 comment here, here's an image of it early in renovation. And a view from it, while I was still around. (not my image). Now, "the space formerly known as room 500 is now a two-floor tall space on the fourth floor with a catwalk up to the clock tower." And even with those tragedy steps, "The real point of Gilman Hall... is to nurture a community of scholars". Ah, how I remember IFP2 sort of.
posted by knile at 10:37 AM on January 31, 2013


Oh boy, Hopkins! That's the school I dropped out of. Tell me, do the medical undergrads still engage in the wonderfully named practice of throating each other? Sabotage has never sounded so inappropriate.
posted by Therapeutic Amputations at 10:43 AM on January 31, 2013


I daresay you can make a real difference by giving to almost any public school in the US, given where most states are budgetwise right now.

I don't disagree, but it's worth pointing out that most of the highest-fundraising universities last year were public institutions. Those huge endowments are no longer limited in any way to the Ivies. The big state universities raise just as much and charge relatively equivalent tutions (for out of state students).
posted by Lutoslawski at 11:15 AM on January 31, 2013


The Hopkins motto is John 8:32.

Doesn't "the truth" depend on your interpretation of the Bible?

Now go forth, and stone the adulteresses. And buy a bigger needle.
posted by BlueHorse at 1:40 PM on January 31, 2013


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