DEC. 24

Remembering—and celebrating—Johns Hopkins, the man

Beneficiaries of his namesake institutions to gather on 146th anniversary of his death

The tombstone marking the birth of Johns Hopkins on May 19, 1795, and his death on Dec. 24, 1873.

Image caption: The tombstone marking the birth of Johns Hopkins on May 19, 1795, and his death on Dec. 24, 1873. In his will, he left $7 million to establish the Baltimore university and hospital that bear his name.

Image credit: LARRY CANNER / HOMEWOOD PHOTOGRAPHY

If you've yet to incorporate the graveside remembrance of Mr. Johns Hopkins into your annual holiday traditions, this could be the year to start.

Professor Stuart "Bill" Leslie, who is writing the definitive history of the university, will be the speaker at this year's ceremony, to be held at Green Mount Cemetery at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 24, the 146th anniversary of our founder's death. A longtime faculty member in the Krieger School's History of Science and Technology Department, Leslie has described the opportunity to write a good, readable university history as "a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

The $7 million that Johns Hopkins left in his will to establish a university and hospital in Baltimore revolutionized higher education and health care and evolved into the worldwide institutions we know today. For 21 years, appreciative members of the Johns Hopkins community have gathered to remember him at a brief Christmas Eve observance led by university Vice President and Secretary Emeritus Ross Jones.

Immediately following the tribute, attendees are invited to an informal reception with light refreshments at Clifton Mansion, Mr. Hopkins' Italianate summer estate, which is located 2 miles from Green Mount at 2701 St. Lo Drive. Hosted by Civic Works and the Clifton Legacy Program, the 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. gathering will be an opportunity for visitors to see the building's latest renovations and hear about how Mr. Hopkins and his predecessors used the house.

To learn more about Mr. Hopkins' final days and his death, you can read the text of his Baltimore Sun obituary.

Directions to the Dec. 24 commemoration of Mr. Johns Hopkins:

Enter Green Mount Cemetery's main gate at 1501 Greenmount Ave., about five blocks south of North Avenue; drive up the hill, park near the crest, and look for the group gathering to the right.

Directions from Green Mount Cemetery to Clifton Mansion:

Head north on Greenmount Avenue and turn right onto East North Avenue. Turn left onto Harford Road and then right onto St. Lo Drive. Maps will be passed out at the cemetery.

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