December 27, 2016
In what has become a Christmas Eve tradition for many Johns Hopkins employees, they gather each year to express gratitude at the graveside of the founder of the university and hospital along with other Baltimoreans who have benefited from his largesse in myriad ways.
Johns Hopkins died on Christmas Eve 1873, bequeathing $7 million to establish the institutions that now bear his name. What many don't know is that Hopkins' instructions to his trustees included a provision to form a training school for nurses. In doing so, the forward-thinking merchant created one of the first nursing schools in the United States.
At this year's Dec. 24 gathering at Green Mount Cemetery, the history of that pioneering directive was shared by Phoebe Evans Letocha, collections management archivist for the Alan Mason Chesney Medical Archives of the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.
Letocha's prepared remarks, titled "Johns Hopkins' Legacy for Nursing Education," are as follows: