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Johns Hopkins University

The Johns Hopkins University is a private research university in Baltimore, Maryland. Founded in 1876, the university was named for its first benefactor, the American entrepreneur, abolitionist, and philanthropist Johns Hopkins. His $7 million bequest (approximately $147.5 million in today's currency)—of which half financed the establishment of the Johns Hopkins Hospital—was the largest philanthropic gift in the history of the United States up to that time. Daniel Coit Gilman, who was inaugurated as the institution's first president on February 22, 1876, led the university to revolutionize higher education in the U.S. by integrating teaching and research. Adopting the concept of a graduate school from Germany's historic Heidelberg University, Johns Hopkins University is considered the first research university in the United States. Over the course of several decades, the university has led all U.S. universities in annual research and development expenditures. In fiscal year 2016, Johns Hopkins spent nearly $2.5 billion on research. The university has additional graduate campuses in Italy, China, and Washington, D.C., in addition to its main campus in Baltimore, Maryland.

The first name of philanthropist Johns Hopkins comes from the surname of his great-grandmother, Margaret Johns, who married Gerard Hopkins. They named their son Johns Hopkins, who named his own son Samuel Hopkins. Samuel named one of his sons for his father, and that son became the university's benefactor. Milton Eisenhower, a former university president, once spoke at a convention in Pittsburgh where the master of ceremonies introduced him as "President of John Hopkins." Eisenhower retorted that he was "glad to be here in Pittburgh.

Gilman focused on the expansion of graduate education and support of faculty research. The new university fused advanced scholarship with such professional schools as medicine and engineering. Hopkins became the national trendsetter in doctoral programs and the host for numerous scholarly journals and associations. The Johns Hopkins University Press, founded in 1878, is the oldest American university press in continuous operation.

Prior to becoming the main Johns Hopkins campus, the Homewood estate had initially been the gift of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, a Maryland planter and signer of the Declaration of Independence, to his son Charles Carroll Jr. The original structure, the 1801 Homewood House, still stands and serves as an on-campus museum. The brick and marble Federal style of Homewood House became the architectural inspiration for much of the university campus versus the Collegiate Gothic style of other historic American universities.

In late 2019, the university's Coronavirus Research Center began tracking worldwide cases of the COVID-19 pandemic by compiling data from hundreds of sources around the world. This led to the university becoming one of the most cited sources for data about the pandemic. Tatiana Prowell with Johns Hopkins University won a 2020 Webby Special Achievement Award.

The first black undergraduate entered the school in 1945 and graduate students followed in 1967. James Nabwangu, a British-trained Kenyan, was the first black graduate of the medical school. African-American instructor and laboratory supervisor Vivien Thomas was instrumental in developing and conducting the first successful blue baby operation in 1944. Despite such cases, racial diversity did not become commonplace at Johns Hopkins institutions until the 1960s and 1970s.

JHU's bylaws specify a Board of Trustees of between 18 and 65 voting members. Trustees serve six-year terms subject to a two-term limit. The alumni select 12 trustees. Four recent alumni serve 4-year terms, one per year, typically from the graduating class. The bylaws prohibit students, faculty or administrative staff from serving on the Board, except the President as an ex-officio trustee. The Johns Hopkins Health System has a separate Board of Trustees, many of whom are doctors or health care executives.

Johns Hopkins offers a number of degrees in various undergraduate majors leading to the BA and BS and various majors leading to the MA, MS and Ph.D. for graduate students. Because Hopkins offers both undergraduate and graduate areas of study, many disciplines have multiple degrees available. Biomedical engineering, perhaps one of Hopkins' best-known programs, offers bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees.