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New York City Mayor and School benefactor Michael R. Bloomberg draws a crowd of students during an afternoon reception.

Best of the Fest

Senators chatted with students. Mayors mingled with faculty. Philanthropists and public health advocates shared advice and traded stories.

April 23 marked a rare day at the School as more than 350 invited guests and hundreds of faculty and students gathered to commemorate the School’s newest teaching and research facilities and to rededicate the School to its core mission of protecting health and saving lives. School benefactors Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and William H. Gates Sr. joined Dean Alfred Sommer for an afternoon symposium and an evening dinner.

Mayor Bloomberg (left), Robert R. Lindgren, Vice President, the Johns Hopkins Institutions (center), and philanthropist Zell Kravinsky

It was also a night of major philanthropic proportions as some of the School’s most generous donors attended and two multi-million dollar donations to the School were announced. An anonymous donor has pledged $22 million over the next 10 years to support scholarships for master’s and doctoral students.

Mayoral Moment: Dean Alfred Sommer is flanked by Mayor Bloomberg  and Baltimore Mayor Martin O’Malley.

The donor requested that the recipients be known as Sommer Scholars in honor of the dean, a long-time advocate for student financial support. In addition, Zell and Emily Kravinsky have made a multi-million dollar gift to support the School’s efforts to prevent maternal and infant mortality and blindness in the developing world. 

Invoked frequently during the day, the School’s motto—Protecting Health, Saving Lives…

William H. Gates Sr. talks with Gates Scholars.

Millions at a Time—set the tone for the festivities that celebrated past  successes in health and recognized the awesome challenges ahead. In his speech, William H. Gates Sr. acknowledged the slogan’s boldness but also defended its accuracy: “An effective vaccine for malaria or diarrhea? Or a vaccine for HIV/AIDS? Protecting health, saving lives, millions at a time? Absolutely!”

More images of the festivities.

Photo Credits: Event photography by Larry Canner, David Colwell, Robert Smith, and Bob Stockfield