The Johns Hopkins University opened in 1876, with the inauguration of its first president, Daniel Coit Gilman. "What are we aiming at?" Gilman asked in his installation address. "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 mission laid out by Gilman remains the university's mission today, summed up in a simple but powerful restatement of Gilman's own words: "Knowledge for the world."
What Gilman created was a research university, dedicated to advancing both students' knowledge and the state of human knowledge through research and scholarship. Gilman believed that teaching and research are interdependent, that success in one depends on success in the other. A modern university, he believed, must do both well. The realization of Gilman's philosophy at Johns Hopkins, and at other institutions that later attracted Hopkins-trained scholars, revolutionized higher education in America, leading to the research university system as it exists today.
After more than 130 years, Johns Hopkins remains a world leader in both teaching and research. Eminent professors mentor top students in the arts and music, the humanities, the social and natural sciences, engineering, international studies, education, business and the health professions. Those same faculty members, and their research colleagues at the university's Applied Physics Laboratory, have each year since 1979 won Johns Hopkins more federal research and development funding than any other university.
The university has nine academic divisions and campuses throughout the Baltimore-Washington area. The Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, the Whiting School of Engineering, the School of Education and the Carey Business School are based at the Homewood campus in northern Baltimore. The schools of Medicine, Public Health, and Nursing share a campus in east Baltimore with The Johns Hopkins Hospital. The Peabody Institute, a leading professional school of music, is located on Mount Vernon Place in downtown Baltimore. The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies is located in Washington's Dupont Circle area.
The Applied Physics Laboratory is a division of the university co-equal to the nine schools, but with a non-academic, research-based mission. APL, located between Baltimore and Washington, supports national security and also pursues space science, exploration of the Solar System and other civilian research and development.
Johns Hopkins also has a campus near Rockville in Montgomery County, Md., and has academic facilities in Nanjing, China, and in Bologna, Italy. It maintains a network of continuing education facilities throughout the Baltimore-Washington region, including centers in downtown Baltimore, in downtown Washington and in Columbia.
When considered in partnership with its sister institution, the Johns Hopkins Hospital and Health System, the university is Maryland's largest employer and contributes more than $10 billion a year to the state's economy.