Today in History – February 22, 1876 – Johns Hopkins opens as first research university in America.
At his inauguration, Johns Hopkins first president, Daniel Coit Gilman asked: What are we aiming at? The encouragement of research … and the advancement of individual scholars, who by their excellence will advance the sciences they pursue, and the society where they dwell. The result was the nation’s first research university, dedicated to advancing students’ knowledge as well as to advancing research and scholarship. Gilman introduced the importance of integrating teaching and research. The best teachers are usually those who are free, competent and willing to make original researches in the library and the laboratory, Gilman said. The best investigators are usually those who have also the responsibilities of instruction, gaining thus the incitement of colleagues, the encouragement of pupils, the observation of the public.
As the first academic research university in the United States, Johns Hopkins University has, for the past 132 years, been dedicated to a single purpose – expanding knowledge and putting that knowledge to work for the betterment of humanity. Although engineering has been taught at Johns Hopkins since 1912, the G.W.C. Whiting School of Engineering 27 years ago. We are fully committed to the research model of an academic institution and we recognize that in today’s interconnected world, we must continue to harness the tremendous potential offered by new technologies.
Recently I led the Whiting School of Engineering in a strategic planning process. We defined our existing strengths and identified specific areas to train our focus. The plan is based on four interconnected priority areas: Collaboration and Innovation, Bioengineering, Education for Leadership, and Strategic Partnerships. Combined, these priorities comprise our Strategic Plan – our roadmap for the Whiting School’s future.
Today, our engineers are finding new methods to test and treat waste water, building robots that can explore the oceans’ depths or make heart surgery safer, preventing cyber-attacks, and using nano-technology to study and influence the inner workings of cells. In every area of research, Hopkins engineers are engaged in a process of discovery, pioneering new frontiers, and are securing their role as tomorrow’s leaders. Leadership through innovation is what Hopkins Engineering is all about: the global impact of research and education for the betterment of society.
- Nicholas P. Jones, Dean