Newswise — The Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics has marked a major milestone in its history with the endowment of its directorship, ensuring leadership for the institute’s programs in perpetuity. Made possible by a gift from the long-time Berman Institute supporter and board member for whom it is named, the Andreas C. Dracopoulos Directorship further distinguishes the Berman Institute as the first center of bioethics scholarship known to have this type of endowed directorship.
“Mr. Dracopoulos’ extraordinary generosity further secures the Berman Institute’s future. It will enable us to multiply the impact of our work and mission, helping to shape and respond to the pressing bioethics issues of this generation, and those to come,” says Ruth R. Faden, director of the Berman Institute and the Philip Franklin Wagley Professor of Biomedical Ethics.
"I don't think of this donation as a gift, because the Berman Institute has earned this. Rather, I consider it a recognition of what the Institute has already achieved,” says Dracopoulos. “It’s my hope this will spur both the University and the Berman Institute to take bioethics at Johns Hopkins to the next level."
Bioethics as a field is only a few generations old, and thus does not have the same history with philanthropists as other areas of health and academics, Faden explains. Generosity and foresight like Dracopoulos’ is helping to establish and fortify the field as a permanent feature of the academy, she says.
“We are truly grateful for Andreas' extraordinary support of the Berman Institute. This gift embodies the depth of Andreas' commitment to Berman's pathbreaking work in bioethics, his vision for its continued success and, most importantly, his great humanity," says Ronald J. Daniels, President of Johns Hopkins University.
In addition to serving on the Berman Institute’s Advisory Board, Dracopoulos is a member of the Johns Hopkins Board of Trustees. As president of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Dracopoulos has supported initiatives across the University, including seed money for the Berman Institute’s “rapid response” communications program, which facilitates the faculty’s timely public outreach on pressing bioethics issues as they arise. Globally, Dracopoulos and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation contribute to diverse efforts in health, education, social welfare and culture that they anticipate will have broad, lasting and positive social impact.
With more than 30 faculty members representing a range of disciplines including philosophy, medicine, public health, biomedical science, social science and law, the Berman Institute is one of the world’s largest and most distinguished centers of bioethics.
Johns Hopkins recognizes the Andreas C. Dracopoulos Directorship as a contribution to Rising to the Challenge: The Campaign for Johns Hopkins, an effort to raise $4.5 billion, primarily to support students, faculty, and clinicians and interdisciplinary solutions to some of humanity's most important problems. The campaign, supporting both Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Medicine, was publicly launched in May 2013 and is targeted for completion in 2017. Including the Dracopoulos gift, more than $2.4 billion has been committed so far.