Ronald J. Daniels, president

Image caption: Ronald J. Daniels

Creative. Humane. Fearless in all pursuits. A devotee of Baltimore, her adopted hometown.

Pava LaPere was, and will always be, the embodiment of everything we aspire for our students and alumni to be.

Pava's life was cut tragically short last fall. Along with Pava's family, friends, and loved ones, our Hopkins community felt the immense loss of someone so young who held such vast potential—and who made such a lasting impact. I felt Pava's impact, too.

Indeed, Pava was no stranger to speaking her mind. But she did not merely tell us what we needed to hear to make Hopkins a stronger, more equitable institution. She showed us by leading the way herself.

Guided by an extraordinary knack for entrepreneurship and coalition-building, Pava helped us reimagine our commitments to student entrepreneurs by launching TCO Labs, a student-run organization providing peer support. She dreamed of creating an ecosystem of student innovators.

Pava also believed that our students deserved the same resources for their entrepreneurial endeavors as our faculty and staff. She was right, of course. Her vision eventually became FastForward U, the student innovation hub thriving at Hopkins today.

Her impact didn't stop there, however.

Upon graduation, Pava quickly became a rising star in Baltimore's growing innovation ecosystem. As founder and CEO of the startup EcoMap Technologies, she sought to remedy the glaring inequities that entrepreneurs in disadvantaged communities face when seeking financing and resources to build new businesses in Baltimore.

Pava believed in the magic of our city's entrepreneurial spirit—the people, the creativity, the untapped possibilities. She also challenged all of us across Hopkins to think critically and intentionally about our responsibilities to our neighbors and the communities of which we are so deeply a part.

This spring, during Alumni Weekend, I am thrilled that we will have the opportunity to honor Pava's legacy and her exceptional passion for innovation in Baltimore when we rededicate FastForward U as The Pava Marie LaPere Center for Entrepreneurship. We will also formally celebrate a commitment of $2 million in endowed funding that will fuel the work of the center and catalyze the ideas and ambitions of our alumni entrepreneurs.

With these actions, we are recommitting ourselves to the values we share with Pava and the work she called upon us to do, time and time again. As we help generations of entrepreneurs—our students and alumni—and carry forward a spirit of collaboration and innovation, and an unwavering belief in the people and the promise of our hometown, we will also honor the values that Pava herself held so very dear.

Signed, Ronald J. Daniels

Ronald J. Daniels