The year in photos: A look back at 2017 at Johns Hopkins

Composite image shows a woman in blue mirror glasses, a child resting his head on his father's shoulder, a football player leaping over another, and a group of people in colored dye

Annual traditions, campus renovations, advances in research, and community partnerships—2017 was a memorable year at Johns Hopkins University.

The Hub's first Year in Photos looks back at some of the unforgettable images that caught our eye and captured our imagination.


The sun peeks up as two students walk through the breezeway

Photo by Will Kirk, Homewood Photography


Students wearing

Photo by Will Kirk, Homewood Photography

The Johns Hopkins University Intercultural Greek Council hosted a Back-to-School Block Show on the Homewood campus. Hundreds of JHU community members and students from neighboring universities came to watch step and stroll performances and to learn about the historically multicultural and historically black sororities and fraternities at JHU.

Purple crocuses bloom

Photo by Will Kirk, Homewood Photography


A young girl wearing glasses looks in awe at something outside the line of sight. Her mouth is open in amazement and eyebrows raised.
Photo by Will Kirk, Homewood Photography

At an early March event at Dr. Bernard Harris Sr. Elementary School in Baltimore, JHU President Ronald J. Daniels and others gathered to celebrate a milestone moment for Vision for Baltimore. The citywide program, which provides free eye exams and glasses to students who need them, distributed more than 1,000 pairs of glasses to Baltimore students in its first 10 months. The program is based on Johns Hopkins research showing that classroom achievement can be boosted significantly when students who need eyeglasses have access to them.

A two-tiered snowman on the JHU's campus
Photo by Will Kirk, Homewood Photography

About four inches of snow fell on the Homewood campus and across the Baltimore region on March 14—far fewer than the 12-inch-plus snow totals that some forecasts had predicted, but more than enough for Johns Hopkins to declare a late-winter snow day and for students to build a snowman or two.


A large group of students wearing clothes covers in colorful powder throw red, green, and pink powder into the air.
Photo by Will Kirk, Homewood Photography

Across The Beach, refrains of "Happy Holi" rang out as more than 150 students gathered around tables of dyed powders to load up plates of pigments to smear, sprinkle, and toss at each other. More than 400 pounds of Holi color was used at this annual spring event sponsored by the Johns Hopkins Association for India's Development and the Hindu Students Council. The festival has religious and cultural significance: it ushers in spring at the close of the harvest season in India and celebrates the triumph of the Hindu god Vishnu over the demon goddess Holika.

The faces of President Daniels and his wife, Joanna Rosen, are illuminated as they look at a movie screen
Photo by Will Kirk, Homewood Photography

Baltimore's film community turned out in mid-April—as did President Daniels and his wife, Joanne Rosen—to light up a long-dark historic movie palace, the 102-year-old Parkway Theatre, known now as the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Parkway. With a renewed two-tier, 414-seat main auditorium; two new 84-seat screening rooms; and state-of-the-art projection and sound, the Parkway will be the home of the Maryland Film Festival each May.

Child sits strapped into a purple stroller and smiles as he is given a toy. A women crouches down next to him and smiles.
Photo by Will Kirk, Homewood Photography

Karam Tarazai and his mother can now spend warm afternoons outside enjoying nature after the 6-year-old, who has a rare progressive genetic disease, received a specially designed, lightweight stroller built by a team of student engineers. "The new stroller is just wonderful," said Karam's mother. "It is very lightweight, so I can get it in and out of the car easily, and it is very comfortable for Karam—much better than his heavy wheelchair, which was almost impossible for me to manage alone."


A women wearing an Aramark Dining uniform hugs a student tightly. Both of their eyes are closed.
Photo by Will Kirk, Homewood Photography

The university celebrated the retirement of former dining worker Gladys Burrell, known to Homewood students and staff as Mrs. Gladys. Mrs. Gladys had worked in a number of Hopkins dining locations during her 47-year tenure. Over time she grew close to many students; some of those who had graduated came back to see her off. One student said, "All [three] of my siblings and I attended Hopkins, so we all formed special relationships with Mrs. Gladys. She affected all of us."

A woman in a graduation cap and gown throws her hands up triumphantly while students cross the stage behind her
Photo by Will Kirk, Homewood Photography

About 1,500 students claimed their degrees at the universitywide spring commencement ceremony at the Royal Farms Arena. Johns Hopkins also awarded six individuals honorary degrees: Frank Bruni, a New York Times columnist who also delivered the commencement speech; renowned political scientist and bioethicist Amy Gutmann; Carla Hayden, the first woman and the first African-American to lead the Library of Congress; Katherine C. Johnson, the NASA physicist and mathematician portrayed in the film Hidden Figures; philanthropist and JHU alum Ralph S. O'Connor; and Harold Varmus, a Nobel Prize-winning scientist.

Young boy rests on his father's should during graduation ceremony
Photo by Will Kirk, Homewood Photography


Women wearing purple hat grins with large sunglasses on, in reflection is another woman with a purple graduation hat on and smiling. People in white t-shirt are the background smiling/smirking
Photo by Will Kirk, Homewood Photography

About 200 Johns Hopkins faculty, staff, students, and their families waved flags, carried signs, blew kisses, donned flower crowns and leis, and in one case captained a recumbent tricycle complete with a trailing sidecar in honor of Baltimore Pride.


Students walk through the Homewood Campus Breezeway and the sun shines in the background.
Photo by Will Kirk, Homewood Photography

After the 14-month Krieger Waterproofing and Colonnade Restoration Project, the Breezeway, along with entrances to Krieger and Ames halls, reopened. The major renovation project began in May 2016 because Krieger Hall, one of the oldest buildings on the Homewood campus, had water infiltrating the floors below ground level. The adjacent colonnade also had water damage. With the reopening, student groups finally could table in the high-traffic space again.


President Daniels speaks at podium with crowd behind him
Photo by Will Kirk, Homewood Photography

In early August, Goldman Sachs and Bloomberg Philanthropies announced a five-year, $10 million commitment to continue Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program in Baltimore and named JHU the host site. The program aims to increase economic opportunities by giving entrepreneurs a practical business education, support services, and access to capital. To date, more than 6,300 small business owners have participated in the program at 14 sites across the U.S. Johns Hopkins hosted two special sessions of a 10,000 Small Businesses pilot program earlier in the year.

A statue of a woman raising a golden fist in the air and carrying a baby in a sling on her back stands before an empty, vandalized statue base
Photo by Will Kirk, Homewood Photography

Before sunrise across Baltimore City, statues commemorating Confederate figures were removed from their plinths following an order by Mayor Catherine Pugh in mid-August. Among the statues removed was the Robert E. Lee-Stonewall Jackson monument—formerly located in Wyman Park Dell near JHU's Homewood campus—which was replaced briefly by local artist Pablo Machioli's statue, 'Madre Luz' (pictured). In a statement commending Pugh's order, Hopkins President Ronald J. Daniels said, "We share the belief that [Confederate] statues and what they represent have no place in our city and applaud this action as a way to affirm the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion that strengthen our university, our city, and our nation."

Close-up of the Johns Hopkins University sign
Photo by Will Kirk, Homewood Photography

Residence Life staff clad in blue polos excitedly cheer and shake bells as students arrive to campus. JHU President Ronald J. Daniels stands amid them with an equally excited expression.
Photo by Will Kirk, Homewood Photography

On move-in weekend, more than 1,300 first-year students began their Hopkins journeys. Residence Life staff cheered on new students and their families as they arrived to JHU. The Class of 2021 includes students who came from as close as two miles from campus and from as far as more than 9,000 miles away. New Blue Jays arrived from 35 states and Washington, D.C., as well as 33 countries.

Gilman Hall tower silhouette at sunset
Photo by Will Kirk, Homewood Photography


Inside Shriver Hall, mountains of chairs begin to me pulled up and removed from the ground.
Photo by Will Kirk, Homewood Photography

Shriver Hall, which first opened in 1954, closed during the fall semester for installation of new lighting and seats as part of a large and complex renovation project.


Hopkins player holding football seems to fly over top of a Muhlenberg player who is landing on the ground.
Photo courtesy of Paul Duncan, Muhlenberg Athletics

Johns Hopkins freshman Zac Fernandez took to the air for a key first down late in the fourth quarter of a critical late October game at Muhlenberg. Fernandez's 21-yard catch and run took the ball to the 1-yard line, and the Blue Jays scored on the next play to secure a 31-24 victory. The win helped Hopkins clinch its ninth consecutive Centennial Conference title.

Five students clad in white lab gear and safety glasses wear blue rubber gloves. One girl smiles, they all stand around a table with lab equipment
Photo courtesy of Rob Riddle

Montgomery County seventh-graders piped liquids into a test tube during one of the interactive tours of the labs at JHU's Montgomery County Campus. The annual Frontiers in Science and Medicine Day taught students about careers in STEM fields—some donned hazmat suits to learn about epidemiology, some peered at a brain specimen under a microscope to learn about Alzheimer's disease, and some learned about the relationship between mosquitoes and malaria, or about the role of robotics in medicine, or about the intersection of technology and pharmaceuticals.


Leaves in fall
Photo by Will Kirk, Homewood Photography


Parker Solar Probe
Photo courtesy of NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Ed Whitman

The thermal protection system for the Parker Solar Probe—the first-ever spacecraft to touch the sun's corona—is lowered into the thermal vacuum chamber at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. This key piece of engineering that will permit the spacecraft to perform two dozen close flybys of the sun was developed by APL and the Whiting School of Engineering. The solar probe, launching next year, has been relocated from APL to the Space Flight Center for environmental testing.

Snow falls on the grass and brick walkway with Gilman Hall in the background
Photo by Will Kirk, Homewood Photography

Hundreds of students gather on the quad while the sky lights up with fireworks and laser lights. A campus building in the background glows with holiday lights.
Photo by Will Kirk, Homewood Photography

The colorful celebration and Hopkins tradition, Lighting of the Quads, took place after two postponements. Fireworks, art installations, hot cocoa, and an iceless skate rink were just a few of the featured attractions that made the event well worth the wait.

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