Strengthening the Core

January 3, 2019 by Paul Pegher

Among the Rising to the Challenge campaign’s biggest successes? An unprecedented investment in the humanities

In October 2018, Johns Hopkins University celebrated the impact of the Rising to the Challenge campaign, which concluded with more than $6 billion of support for the mission of the university. Much of that sum will go to endowed scholarships and professorships, financial aid, and research—especially in medicine, sciences, and interdisciplinary endeavors. But among the campaign’s achievements, one stands out—more than $300 million for social sciences and that oft-overlooked cornerstone of higher education, the humanities.

This unprecedented commitment comes at a time when, on a national scale, the humanities’ role in the academic landscape has been called into question. Numerous reports point to declines in undergraduates declaring humanities majors, tenure-track faculty positions, and federal appropriations through the National Endowment for the Humanities. Meanwhile, as politicians call for “more welders, not philosophers,” colleges note that parents tend to discourage their daughters’ and sons’ humanistic pursuits in favor of disciplines that they believe will better prepare them for the job market.

Read more in the Winter 2018 issue of Johns Hopkins Magazine.

Topics: Alumni, Foundations, Parents, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, Fuel Discovery, Support Scholars