BUILDING booms visible to the naked eye in the East Baltimore medical complex and the Homewood arts and science campus attest to the success of the Johns Hopkins University's capital fund-raising campaign, which just concluded.
The university's six-year goal of $900 million in pledges may have seemed too ambitious when announced in 1994. At the end of the drive, having raised the goal to $1.2 billion, the university counts pledges of more than $1.5 billion.
For this it can thank the bull market of most of the 1990s, the growing economy, new industries, the loyalty of alumni and friends and the importance of the multifaceted work that JHU does.
Such generosity equips the university in obvious ways to face the new century, with arts, science, medical, student and other facilities. Less visible are the endowed professorships, scholarships and library improvements ensuring the quality of learning and research.
The Johns Hopkins University was not the only institution raising money in this period. In 1994, its endowment stood at $725 million and ranked 21st in the country, relatively low for a university with an eminence and grant funding higher than that. The endowment now stands at about $1.7 billion and may have moved up from a 1999 ranking of 23rd.
During this drive, such benefactors as Michael R. Bloomberg, Zanvyl and Isabelle Krieger and R. Champlin and Debbie Sheridan have joined the fabled names of great Baltimore philanthropists. Baltimore and Maryland are wealthier for their enrichment of their university.
The Johns Hopkins University in all its dimensions is the most important enterprise in this region. Its vitality and constant renewal are signs of strength for the future.