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"A scholarship really belongs to all of us"

Scholarships provided by alumni like the Krieger School's Arnold Blaustein allow students to maximize their Hopkins experiences and minimize their anxieties about debt
Posted February 9, 2016
Arnold Blaustein Arnold Blaustein

The spectre of student loan repayment looms large for college students, particularly for those considering careers in the social sciences, like undergraduate student Kevin Wells.

Wells, who plans to pursue social and public policy for his career, has long worried that the cost of a Hopkins education meant saddling himself with debt a public servant's or nonprofit researcher's salary just couldn't surmount. Thanks to support from Arnold Blaustein, A&S '62, and his wife, Donna, who established a scholarship for Krieger School students who demonstrate academic achievement and financial need, Wells can rest a little easier.

"It’s taken a huge weight off my shoulders," Wells, a Krieger School senior, says of the Blaustein scholarship. "It's lessened my anxiety about paying back a huge sum in loans after graduation."

Blaustein understands that sentiment. The Baltimore native wouldn't have been able to attend a university like Hopkins without financial aid. Fortunately, Hopkins offered him a scholarship, which enabled him to study organic chemistry under the late Professor Emeritus Alsoph Corbin, an experience Blaustein credits with providing the foundation for his medical career.  

"The chance to do that level of independent research with faculty of that caliber at a young age, that was so important at that stage of my career," says Blaustein, an oncologist at Miami's Mount Sinai Medical Center who gained national renown for his expertise in hematologic malignancies and lymphoma.

"The Hopkins education — being able to interact with students and professors of this caliber — strengthens the future generation for a lifetime," he says. "I thought that, if I could share this aspect of a Hopkins education with a young man or woman at that stage of their life, it would be a special gift.

"If students have the intelligence to benefit from this place, but perhaps not the finances to get here, why not help them?"

Wells has done his best to help pay the gift forward.

He directs Adoremus, Hopkins' Christian a cappella group, with which he's sung since his first year on campus. Involved in Model United Nations since high school, Wells is serving as a chair for Hopkins' Model United Nations Conference this year.

And last summer, Wells participated in research associated with the university's 21st Century Cities Initiative, a priority of the Rising campaign, analyzing and coding interviews with landlords in Texas about the Dallas Housing Choice Voucher Program. The experience helped Wells hone skills that will come in handy after graduation, when he plans to pursue graduate studies in sociology and public policy.

"My experiences at Hopkins, especially over the past year and a half," says Wells, "have helped me really focus on my future."

Blaustein is always pleased when he hears from Wells and other Hopkins students about their studies and accomplishments. Their thank-you letters confirm his belief in the importance of supporting education through scholarships.

"You have to consider the impact that scholarship aid has, not just on the individual, but its impact on all of us," he adds. "A scholarship really belongs to all of us."