Alonzo G. Decker Jr., an engineer who served on the university's board of trustees for 34 years and who led a very successful fund-raising campaign during the 1970s, has died at the age of 94.
Born in Baltimore and the son and namesake of one of the founders of Black & Decker Corp., Decker served the Towson-based power tool manufacturer for seven decades, retiring in 1979 as chairman of the board.
Credited with helping to introduce the company's popular line of do-it-yourself power tools, Decker was the chief executive of Black & Decker during its greatest expansion in company history.
Decker joined the Hopkins board in 1968 and led the Hopkins Hundreds Campaign, the first university campaign in the nation to set a goal as high as $100 million. It produced $109 million between 1973 and 1976, the university's centennial.
"He was a superb human being," Ross Jones, a Johns Hopkins vice president and secretary emeritus, told The Baltimore Sun. "He had tremendously good judgment and common sense, a practical man. He epitomized being a gentleman and had a warm and generous personality. He was a beloved person around here."
The Decker Gardens, which front the President's residence, the Greenhouse and the Johns Hopkins Club on the Homewood campus, were created and named in 1976 in honor of Decker and members of his family in appreciation for their generosity to Hopkins.