Back Home, FINALLY!

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If Spring is eternal, then what is Fall? I ask out of curiosity, but more because it is clear that the Fall season has hit Hopkins. Don’t believe me? Well these photos should prove it. (Most say that Spring is the best season to see the campus and I won’t argue with that point. However, I can also support the claim that the campus is beautiful in the Fall months too.)

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I not only know that we are knee-deep in the Fall season by the changing leaves or the gaining of that precious extra hour of sleep — I know it because my travels are done!!! Yes, I have returned FINALLY to campus after the most successful season of recruitment travel in my illustrious nine years in this profession. I do always enjoy my travels throughout New England, but it is also quite nice to return home and know that you will not be living out of a suit case and reading the USA today for some time. Plus, after such a hectic September and October, it is nice to return to the Homewood campus and see all the changes that you just didn’t have time to enjoy at the start of the semester.

What changes? Well, this season there actually is  a number of projects to reveal and get excited about:

(1) CHARLES COMMONS

Two months ago, the Gazette featured a story on the opening of Charles Commons – the new residential and retail complex set to change housing, dining, and student life at Hopkins. Much hype existed over the summer as the Commons came to completion, but no one expected the enthusiasm would still exist two months later. This complex has revolutionized many aspects of student life, and as the new Barnes & Nobles bookstore and Starbucks opened a few weeks ago the students continue to praise everything about the Commons. We all expected it to be nice and impressive — few expected it to be as amazing as it truly is. I know over the next few weeks I will be enjoying the many parts of the complex, and hopefully taking some more pictures, but here are some to share now.

Commons3Commons2Commons1Charles Commons is just step one in the changing fabric of the neighborhood of Charles Village. Plans are in place for making the neighborhood more like a College Town; read about the future of Charles Village here.

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(2) THE DECKER QUAD

As we celebrate the opening of Charles Commons this fall, in just one short year we will once again have a “ribbon-cutting” ceremony for the new Decker Quad. The Decker Quad project includes four important upgrades to the Homewood campus:

  • A three story, 79,000 square foot Computational Sciences building for the Whiting School of Engineering. (The exterior of the building is nearly complete as you will see in the pictures.)
  • A three-level, 604 space underground garage. (Almost completed, and much needed.)
  • A full scale quad stretching from Garland Hall to the new Mason Hall. More green grass and bricks — woo hoo.
  • And the cornerstone, a 28,000 square foot admissions and visitor center (Mason Hall). The building will represent the new entrance to the Homewood campus and from the designs I have seen it is going to be AMAZING. Plus, I finally get my own office!!!

Here’s a few recent articles about the project: one, two, and three. And some pictures:

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(3) KNOWLEDGE FOR THE WORLD CAMPAIGN

This change is not a new building, or new construction, but rather an advancement of a campaign to boldly move Hopkins into the next generation. President Brody detailed the new $3.2 billion goal in a message to the campus community last week. Typically, news about development issues don’t excite me, but this one did. You can read the Gazette article, or check out the campaign web site.

This was one of the first things I read when returning from travel, and I must say it made me even more enthusiastic to be part of the Hopkins community at this unique period in time. Just reading the accomplishments to date and the outline of new initiatives on the horizon, made me realize that the University is absolutely on the right track. Maybe that is where the “buzz” is coming from — as I mentioned in a previous post. Here are the highlights from President Brody’s message, in my point-of-view:

  • “The campaign has been, by any measure, an outstanding success. We will be forever grateful to the more than 184,000 individuals and organizations who have committed, to this point, $2.3 billion.”
  • “We have raised $200 million for student aid. We have endowed 61 faculty chairs to ensure that Johns Hopkins attracts and retains premiere teachers and scholars. We have built labs library collections, and clinics… We have built first-rate classrooms, world-class concert and rehearsal space, residence halls, and recreation and arts buildings that have made immeasurable contributions to student life.”
  • “We live in a new world where old assumptions no longer apply, where old theories of international relations and strategies of world leadership no longer suffice. Johns Hopkins must help replace them.”
  • “We live in a new world where the answers to our most persistent questions are no longer to be found just on lab benches and in live experiments. They lie hidden in terabytes of accumulated date, or wait to be unearthed through the manipulation of mathematical models. Johns Hopkins must advance the application of computational science to humanity’s most pressing problems.”

And even more goals:

  • “Johns Hopkins must help promote new approaches to the pursuit of prosperity and new protocols for assisting economics not yet ready for the global marketplace.”
  • “Johns Hopkins must be a leader in nanobiotechnology.”
  • “Johns Hopkins must ensure that its graduates are even better prepared for the opportunity to make a difference.”
  • “We should rededicate ourselves — right now — to the idea that Johns Hopkins is an engine of discovery and that knowledge can improve the world. We should recommit ourselves — in partnership with generous benefactors literally around the world — to the purpose of advancing knowledge and making a difference.”

I hope all these changes excite you too…

P.S. Just a quick update on the new Hopkins Interactive. It is coming, a month later than expected, but it is coming. Before launching this huge new endeavor, we wanted it to be perfect. I expect just two more weeks before the complete re-launch. Until then, here are some preview images: Subicon05_1 Subicon04 Subicon03

These images will make sense when the site re-launches!

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