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From President Daniels: Johns Hopkins launches $4.5 billion campaign

Dear Volunteer Leaders, Alumni, Parents and Friends,
Posted May 4, 2013

This evening on the Homewood campus, together with our faculty, students, and many of Johns Hopkins’ most dedicated graduates and friends, we formally launched Rising to the Challenge: The Campaign for Johns Hopkins.

The announcement of this $4.5 billion fundraising campaign was a powerful moment, resonant with all Johns Hopkins has accomplished and imbued with excitement about what we will yet achieve.

A goal of $4.5 billion is ambitious.  It is the largest fundraising effort in our history.  

However, at Johns Hopkins, a campaign is never merely about a financial goal. It is an opportunity to reflect on our past, set our aims for the future, and galvanize our collective strengths to meet those goals.  It is also an opportunity to effect meaningful change — to foster our capacity for collaboration, to invest in faculty in unprecedented ways, and to ease the financial burden of a Johns Hopkins education so that the most talented students can study here, regardless of means.

This campaign is being driven by our highest academic priorities and will focus on three central themes: advancing discovery and creativity, enriching the student experience, and solving global problems. Funds raised during this campaign will bolster our achievements in these areas, as well as sustain and advance the priorities identified in the 10 by 20 plan: one university, individual excellence, commitment to our communities, and institution building.

For these and many other reasons, Rising to the Challenge is a campaign focused on people and ideas.  Less than 10 percent of the campaign goal will be earmarked for facilities and capital needs, and funds raised will roughly double the number of endowed professorships at Johns Hopkins.

To that end, nearly half the total campaign goal — $2.25 billion — will go toward research across the university and health system and to programs that will enrich the academic experience, promote diversity, and strengthen connections between Johns Hopkins and its surrounding communities.  Nearly $1 billion will support faculty and allow for the addition of about 300 endowed professorships.  Nearly $700 million will bolster financial aid resources.

We have made substantial progress toward our goal. Since the campaign’s quiet phase began in January 2010, $1.94 billion has been raised. Our progress has been fueled by the contributions of more than 150,000 supporters, about 250 of whom have committed $1 million or more.  Among those individuals is philanthropist, alumnus, and New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, whose landmark $350 million gift was announced in January.  Leaders like Mike and many other dedicated supporters make possible the significant work occurring each day across Johns Hopkins — from labs and patients’ bedsides, to classrooms and study carrels and performance spaces. We are nurturing a fertile environment that ignites individual imaginations and inspires collaborations that transcend disciplinary boundaries in search of solutions to global problems.

To foster this kind of interdisciplinary synthesis, Rising to the Challenge includes a goal of $700 million for signature initiatives. We will add others during the life of the campaign, but we are beginning with four. They span the globe, and are deeply rooted in areas where Johns Hopkins has special purchase:

  • The Johns Hopkins 21st Century Cities Initiative
  • The Johns Hopkins Global Health Initiative
  • The Johns Hopkins Individualized Health Initiative
  • The Johns Hopkins Science of Learning Institute

These signature initiatives and our other campaign objectives emerged from discussions that took place over several years across the university’s many divisions. Thanks to the vision of our deans and academic leaders, we have identified priorities for Rising to the Challenge that will have impact well beyond the expected close of the campaign in 2017.  Their leadership is evident in every facet of Rising to the Challenge.

In addition to our deans and directors, I am profoundly grateful to the exceptional team of people who are leading this effort.  In particular, I owe a debt of gratitude to the chair of the board of trustees, Pam Flaherty, who has been a full partner and visionary in shaping the campaign’s contours. I also extend my sincere thanks to the chair of this campaign, Jeff Aronson, who is also incoming chair of the board of trustees.  Jeff has worked tirelessly with Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Fritz Schroeder and many others in the lead up to the launch of this historic campaign.

And I must also express my gratitude to all of you — our volunteers, alumni, parents, and friends who embody a mission that inspires such immense generosity. You rise to the challenge every day, and so it is for you and those who will follow in your footsteps that we launch Rising to the Challenge: The Campaign for Johns Hopkins.

I invite you to learn more about Rising to the Challenge, and how you can help us achieve our goals, at


Ronald J. Daniels