Krieger Gift Lends Stability to Arts & Sciences at Hopkins Dennis O'Shea -------------------------------- Homewood News and Information It's now the Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. The university's first academic division was named last week in honor of Zanvyl Krieger, a 1928 graduate and longtime benefactor who has committed $50 million to an effort to increase the school's endowment by nearly three-quarters. The chairman of the Johns Hopkins board of trustees, Morris W. Offit, said the board's decision to name the Krieger School is a "tribute to a generous alumnus and friend." "I'm very honored, of course," Krieger said after Offit announced the naming at a trustee dinner Oct. 1. "I do believe the School of Arts and Sciences is the nucleus of the university. I believe that without a School of Arts and Sciences, all you have is a collection of professional schools." Krieger made his 1992 pledge in anticipation that it would attract an additional $50 million in other contributions over the next five years, adding, in all, $100 million to the Arts and Sciences endowment. That endowment stood at about $130 million when Krieger's effort was announced. With more than two of the five years remaining, Hopkins has received commitments totaling $87 million in gifts and pledges as a result of Krieger's gift and responses to it from other donors. Krieger's own $50 million commitment, even without the matching funds from other donors, represents the largest gift ever directed exclusively to a U.S. college or school of arts and sciences, the portion of a university that focuses on the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. "The very first time I met Mr. Krieger," said Steven Knapp, dean of the Krieger School, "he mentioned his belief that the School of Arts and Sciences is the core of the university. This gift really ensures that it can continue to play that role. He is giving us the financial stability and flexibility we need to move forward in new directions, while preserving our standards of academic excellence. "And we now know," Knapp said, "that some payout from the gift will be available to the school in academic year 1997-98, which is when we would otherwise be facing a deficit. In that respect, Mr. Krieger has really come to our rescue." The Krieger School is the fourth of Johns Hopkins' eight academic divisions to be named for its founder or for a key benefactor. The others are the Peabody Institute, the Paul H. Nitze School for Advanced International Studies and the G.W.C. Whiting School of Engineering. Krieger's 1992 commitment was then by far the largest gift in the history of Johns Hopkins and remained a record until last week, when Michael Bloomberg, a 1964 graduate and owner of Bloomberg Financial Markets, announced a $55 million pledge. Bloomberg, chair of the $900 million Johns Hopkins Initiative fund drive, said that Krieger's generosity had inspired him and raised his sights. Krieger said he was delighted with Bloomberg's commitment. "I congratulate Michael," he said. "It's a great honor to be topped by Michael." ----------------------------------------------------------------- "I've Decided I Want To Die A Poor Man..." Zanvyl Krieger says there's a simple reason why he's given so much of his money away while he's still alive. If you wait till you're dead and give it away in your will, he says, you don't get the fun of watching how your money is used. "I've been told the lines of communication from 6 feet under are not very good," Krieger says. "So I've decided I want to die a poor man. "If things keep going this way," he jokes, "that's what's going to happen." Krieger, a 1928 Johns Hopkins political science graduate and a Baltimore native, has been a critical figure for decades in Baltimore-area philanthropy. His interests have included the Kennedy Krieger Institute, the Krieger Eye Institute at Sinai Hospital, Associated Jewish Charities and the Krieger Schechter Day School. Recently, he has been a major supporter of the American Museum of Visionary Art, scheduled to open this fall near Federal Hill. Before his $50 million commitment to Arts and Sciences, Krieger gave $7.5 million to Hopkins to establish the Krieger Mind/Brain Institute, an interdisciplinary research center in neuroscience, cognitive psychology and computational neurobiology. He has created two endowed professorships in the School of Medicine and has also endowed the Krieger Pediatric Center of the Wilmer Eye Institute. Retired now, Krieger has had careers enough for a half-dozen people: lawyer, real estate developer, businessman, professional sports owner, investor and philanthropist. After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1931, he returned to Baltimore to practice law and became an assistant attorney general. During World War II, he was a lawyer in the Army Air Force. The youngest of eight children, Krieger was involved with his family's ownership in Baltimore-area brewing and other concerns, and used his income from those interests to make his start in real estate development. He helped bring both the Colts and the Orioles to Baltimore, and was part-owner in the football franchise at the time of its 1958 NFL championship and in the baseball team when it won its first World Series in 1966. In 1964, Krieger was the key investor in a new company, United States Surgical Corp. The company revolutionized surgery with the introduction of surgical staples, which have replaced traditional sutures. It also pioneered the field of laparoscopic surgery. Krieger was married for 40 years to Isabelle Lowenthal Krieger, who died in 1989. They had two daughters.
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