Honoring a Diverse History

Published in Hopkins Medicine - Spring/Summer 2021

Johns Hopkins has announced the first steps in a new effort to recognize and more visibly celebrate the names and stories of remarkable people who are part of the institution’s history, with a specific focus on individuals from historically marginalized and underrepresented groups.

“Since our founding, many thousands of people associated with our university and health system have made an outsized impact on so many different areas of human endeavor. Yet we know that our institution’s recognition of some of these achievements has been insufficient,” wrote JHU President Ronald J. Daniels, Hopkins Medicine CEO Paul B. Rothman, and Johns Hopkins Health System President Kevin Sowers in a message to the Johns Hopkins community in late April.

The Diverse Names and Narratives Project presents “an opportunity to seek out, affirm, and elevate the diverse and underrepresented accomplishments and experiences of extraordinary people who have lived, studied, worked, and healed on our campuses and in our communities,” they added.

To begin, Hopkins has identified three prominent initial naming opportunities, including the Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center. While the building in which it sits was named for Robert M. Heyssel when it opened in 1992, the center itself is colloquially known as “J-HOC.” The other two naming opportunities are situated on the Homewood campus: Charles Commons, a residence hall, and the Undergraduate Teaching Labs building.