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Christmas Eve: Graveside Commemoration of Mr. Johns Hopkins on 141st Anniversary of His Death

December 19, 2014
To: Reporters, editors, columnists, producers
From: Dennis O’Shea
443-997-9912 (o) | 410-499-7460 (m)

Why do people from Johns Hopkins gather every year in the cold? On a busy day before a holiday? In a graveyard? Simple: If not for someone buried there, we wouldn’t be here.

Photo of 2013 observance at Green Mount Cemetery

Attendees pay their respects — and take photos — at Mr. Hopkins grave after last year’s observance.

Members of the Johns Hopkins university and health system communities are invited to an annual graveside observance honoring their founder, Mr. Johns Hopkins. This year’s brief ceremony will take place at his grave in Green Mount Cemetery in Baltimore at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 24, the 141st anniversary of his death.

Mr. Hopkins left $7 million in his will to establish a university and hospital in Baltimore that revolutionized higher education and health care and evolved into the worldwide Johns Hopkins institutions we know today.

The 16th consecutive Christmas Eve observance will be led by university Vice President and Secretary Emeritus Ross Jones. It will include informal remembrances of Mr. Hopkins and presentation of a memorial wreath.

Several regular attendees will collaborate in a reading from Mr. Hopkins’ obituary in the Baltimore American; that should make for  an interesting comparison with the more familiar obituary from the Dec. 25, 1873, edition of the Baltimore Sun.

Logistics: To reach the gravesite, enter at the cemetery’s main gate at 1501 Greenmount Ave., about five blocks south of North Avenue; drive straight up the hill, park near the crest, and look for the gathering to the right. For information, contact Dennis O’Shea.

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