For 19 years, appreciative community members have met at Mr. Johns Hopkins' grave in Green Mount Cemetery to celebrate the legacy he established when he left $7 million in his will to found the Johns Hopkins University and the Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Mr. Hopkins died on Dec. 24, 1873, and the gathering has traditionally been held on Christmas Eve but was moved this year to Dec. 23 because the date fell on a Sunday, when the cemetery would be closed.
The informal ceremony, led by university Vice President and Secretary Emeritus Ross Jones, featured talks about Mr. Hopkins' life at his summer estate, Clifton Mansion, which is now undergoing extensive restoration. Speakers were Susan Brooks, legacy education coordinator; John Ciekot, special projects director; and descendant Sam Hopkins, whose father founded the Friends of Clifton Mansion in 1998.
The restoration is being undertaken by Civic Works, the nonprofit service organization that currently occupies the building, and the Friends of Clifton Mansion.
Following the remembrance, guests were invited to see the progress being made on the building, which was created in 1802 as a Georgian-style stone mansion and later transformed by Mr. Hopkins into an Italianate villa.