Minding Your P's, Q's at Johns Hopkins University

By Buren, Abigail Van | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), March 9, 1994 | Go to article overview

Minding Your P's, Q's at Johns Hopkins University


Buren, Abigail Van, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


Dear Abby: I have been reading with amusement the letters from people who have had trouble with their names.

The name I had trouble with was not MY name; it was the name of the university I attended. When I would tell people I was at Johns Hopkins University, nine out of 10 would say, "Oh, so you go to John Hopkins . . . and you want to be a doctor!"

Abby, to set the record straight, the name of the school is Johns (note the "s" after John) Hopkins. And not everyone at Hopkins wants to be a physician; in fact, two-thirds do not. I have seen Johns Hopkins written as "John Hopkin," "Johns Hopskins," "James Hopkins" and "St. Johns Hopkins." The admissions office has received letters with at least 20 other spellings.

When Milton Eisenhower (brother of President Dwight Eisenhower) was president of Johns Hopkins University, he spoke at the University of Pittsburgh, and was introduced as the president of "John Hopkins." When he got to the lectern, he said, "Thank you; it's nice to be speaking in 'Pittburgh'!" CHRIS GREGG, BALTIMORE

Thanks for an amusing and informative letter. Read on for more information concerning Johns Hopkins from the university's Office of News and Information:

Who was Johns Hopkins? First things first: Why the extra "s" after John? Because his first name was really a last name. His great-grandmother was Margaret Johns, daughter of Richard Johns, who owned a 4,000-acre estate in Calvert County, Maryland.

Margaret Johns married Gerard Hopkins in 1700. …

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