A Johns Hopkins education is not necessarily what you learn in the classroom. It's what you learn about yourself, and your capacity to achieve. Take Alexander Wolfson, A&S '98. He majored simultaneously in biology; Russian; and the history of science, medicine, and technology—and later became an anesthesiologist. "Hopkins turned me into who I am," he says. "So why not allow others to achieve their dreams?"
It's this mindset that spurred the creation of Cerulean, the new leadership giving society of the Johns Hopkins Alumni Association. When the Alumni Council voted last October to eliminate dues, it made all 172,000 Johns Hopkins graduates full members of the Alumni Association. The Cerulean Society was created at the same time to give alumni like Wolfson, who recently became a charter member, the means of getting more involved. Membership in the society, which is composed of those who have given $1,000 or more to the Alumni Association, represents a commitment to enriching the alumni experience and fostering beneficial relationships across the Johns Hopkins community, now and far into the future. "It enables those of us who feel strongly about the vision of the Alumni Association to have a little higher dedication to the mission," says Ray Snow, A&S '70, president of the Alumni Council and one of the creators of Cerulean.
Gifts to the Alumni Association directly fund special events and programs, finance alumni activity within the nine schools, sustain special awards for alumni and faculty, and fund grants for student projects. Membership in the Cerulean Society is an investment that will support the work of the Alumni Association for many lifetimes to come. The society helps fund programs that support the continuing success of Johns Hopkins graduates everywhere, even reaching out to them before they have received their diplomas.
For example, Charm City Clinic, a volunteer effort coordinated by Johns Hopkins medical students, helps residents from low-income Baltimore neighborhoods connect with health resources, such as state and federal programs that subsidize prescription costs and doctor's visits. And patients will soon have access to routine vision and cholesterol screenings, thanks to an Alumni Association equipment grant partially made possible by Cerulean support. Third-year medical student Claire Sampankanpanich, a Charm City Clinic board member and volunteer, says that Alumni Association involvement helps create community among students and alumni. "After graduation," she says, "I would like to stay involved and help with future projects. Who knows what will get started?"
It all ties back to the Alumni Association's fundamental mission, according to Snow, which is "to engage as many current and future alumni on as many different levels as we can and in as many different ways as we can." To learn more, visit alumni.jhu.edu/cerulean, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 800-JHU-JHU1.