FROM a Page One story, under the byline Dot Hyphen-Dash, in the April Fool's Day edition of The John Hopkins News-Letter:
President William Richardson announced in a press conference yesterday that his final act as president of The Johns Hopkins University would be to drop the "s" in "Johns."
When pressed for a reason, Richardson revealed that the "s" was originally a typographical error on Johns Hopkins' birth certificate. While digging through the university's collection of Johns Hopkins' private papers, Richardson came across a letter from a doctor, addressed to Johns Hopkins' parents stating ". . . Once again, I am truly sorry that I was not able to restrain myself from adding that 's.' I don't know what came over me. It just seemed so funny at the time, and 's' is, after all, my favorite letter in the alphabet."
"It is obvious that Johns Hopkins' legal name was not the one meant for him at all," President Richardson announced, "We also have reason to believe that he wished the university to be named after the name his mother chose for him, but somehow, that was messed up too. It's definitely the right thing to do for him."
President Richardson evidently did not just have Johns Hopkins' dying wish in mind. . .
"We think that by getting rid of the 's' we won't be perceived as stuffy," Richardson added.
. . . In a random poll of 30 Hopkins undergraduates, the response to the news was overwhelmingly negative. Senior Ima Trote wailed, "Like, I just finally got everyone I know to pronounce it correctly. I'll have to start correcting them again. They'll think I never knew what I was talking about! What a bummer!"
Freshman sweethearts Wimpole Jones and Zsa Zsa Smith commented, "We chose to attend this fine academic institution because it sounded different. . . . We immediately felt a connection as soon as we heard the name of the university, back in the third grade. It's very distressing. We feel so alone now."