As you have read often in these pages, I believe that a central emphasis of ours must be to nurture and strengthen all aspects of the Krieger School community. This focus informs every aspect of the work we do, from developing academic departments and curricula to building relationships with alumni and enriching student life.
It should come as no surprise, then, that the stories we tell in this issue of Arts and Sciences Magazine reflect our emphasis on community in many ways. Our feature story on life inside Charles Commons highlights the remarkable contributions to student life this complex has made since its opening last fall. The photo essay illustrates how truly transformative Charles Commons has been, not only to student life but to the larger Charles Village neighborhood as well.
We will share with you in future issues of this magazine our progress on another ambitious and important transformation—that of Gilman Hall, the university’s flagship building and home to the Krieger School’s humanities departments. The renovation, beginning this summer, will maintain Gilman’s historical integrity while incorporating exciting new elements, including a dramatic, glass-enclosed central atrium that will become a gathering place for the entire university. Superb seminar rooms, teaching spaces, and common areas will unite students, researchers, and faculty, fostering interdisciplinary collaboration and interaction as never before. When it is complete—we expect by the summer of 2010—the renovated Gilman Hall also will provide a new home for archaeological study and exhibition and will be the campus’s first “green” building.
It’s an exciting time at the south end of the Homewood campus as well, with the Decker Quadrangle construction nearing completion and Mason Hall—our new visitor center—scheduled to open this summer. This 28,000-square-foot facility, at the new “front door” of the Homewood campus, will be a wonderful place in which to greet prospective students and their families and welcome home alumni.
Speaking of alumni, we are thrilled to share with you an inspiring story about Westley Moore ’01, a Hopkins standout and Rhodes Scholar who is now a White House Fellow. Johns Hopkins manifests itself in the world most significantly through its thousands of graduates. Coming to know better the members of this extraordinary group is one of the singular pleasures of my service in the deanship.
As we celebrate our progress and share in the successes of our alumni, we must also be mindful of a less happy truth: Often, Johns Hopkins is not as inclusive a community as it should be. All too frequently, Hopkins is experienced less positively by women and underrepresented minorities than by those in the majority. Last fall, a deplorable incident involving a racially offensive invitation to a fraternity Halloween party sparked a difficult but ultimately essential campus conversation about community, inclusiveness, and diversity. Around the same time, a university report on the status of women raised complementary issues concerning equity and institutional culture.
We have seized on this opportunity to renew our commitment to diversity and equity. In the Krieger School, we are working with faculty to promote curricular enhancements, renewing student life initiatives to bring together diverse groups of students, and exploring the possibility of a multicultural center. I look forward to keeping you abreast as we move ahead on these initiatives.
James B. Knapp Dean