He Sold His Blood
I was a student at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and graduated in 1970. Although every year I received a full-tuition scholarship and a loan from the university, and lived frugally, in my first year, I extrapolated my bank balance, and by March, it was at zero.
I had been selling my blood every eight weeks for $25 per unit but needed extra funds until I began a summer research job in late May in Kingston, Ontario.
Although I had an A.B. magna cum laude from Princeton University, I could not find a single bank manager in Baltimore who would lend me $300 based on my own signature. I eventually found a junior faculty member who kindly countersigned my promissory note—a somewhat humiliating experience.
I originally intended to remain in the United States, but because of the trauma of the Martin Luther King Jr. riots in April 1968 and the fact that I married a Canadian woman, I returned to my country of birth.
I sincerely applaud Michael Bloomberg for a generous donation [“Bloomberg donates ‘unprecedented’ $1.8 billion to Johns Hopkins”/AP] that will hopefully prevent future indigent Hopkins students from repeating my personal experience.
While Michael Bloomberg’s gift is focused on undergraduates and financial aid as a key for access, raising funds to support graduate students remains a top priority for Johns Hopkins. In the recently concluded Rising to the Challenge campaign, some $377 million was raised for graduate scholarships and fellowships. —Editor