Hopkins alumnus James Anderson and his spouse, Morag Anderson, donated $100 million to the University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) Europe. In recognition of the donation, which is the largest private contribution to a university in Italy, the Bologna Center campus will now bear the name “The Johns Hopkins SAIS Europe Bologna Center James and Morag Anderson Campus.”
James Anderson, based in the U.K., runs investment organizations in both Stockholm, Sweden and Edinburgh, U.K. He studied at the SAIS Bologna Center for his Master's in International Affairs and holds the position of Hopkins trustee and Advisory Council chairman.
In an email to the student body, President Ronald J. Daniels announced that the donation will be used to hire more full-time resident faculty, offer financial assistance to both undergraduate and graduate students, expand the existing Bologna campus and create an integration fund to support faculty and staff engaging in cross-disciplinary teaching and research.
“Now, at a moment when the international order that SAIS and SAIS Europe helped create is more fragile than ever, the expertise and the work of SAIS Europe are more vital than ever,“ he wrote. “With this gift, SAIS Europe will build on its existing strengths in international politics, economics, and foreign languages and further strengthen partnerships with European universities in diverse areas of global policy studies.”
Daniels also noted the significance of the donation in helping SAIS Europe create a better environment for cultivating new ideas, teaching and engagement with pressing global challenges.
In an email to The News-Letter, Veronica Anghel, lecturer in Risk in International Politics and Economics at SAIS Europe, shared her excitement upon hearing about the donation.
“Memories of great events tend to include the precise moment when you realized your life may never be the same,” she wrote, “The James and Morag Anderson gift is a service to learning that will transform SAIS Europe and the lives of everyone in our community.”
She believes that the donation will spark a more ambitious research and teaching agenda.
“I can now imagine us carrying our work in risk foresight and policy making with fewer limitations. Most importantly, we can now share that knowledge with a greater body of colleagues and students from more diverse social-economic backgrounds,” she wrote.
Mia Aleman, a junior in the BA/MA program for International Studies who will be attending SAIS Europe in the next academic year, expanded on the significance of the donation to her studies in an email to The News-Letter.
“My family has always encouraged my passion for the arts and their role in diplomacy, but we are all aware of the risk of investing in such a niche career field,” she wrote. “The donation can expand funding opportunities that will allow me to advance my education and provide additional opportunities to further my career.”
Aleman hopes that the University will use the donation to increase the financial aid available to students, as the average graduate student loan debt balance is over $100,000 among federal borrowers.
In an email to The News-Letter, Assistant Vice President for Media Relations and News J.B. Bird highlighted additional changes that will be brought to SAIS Europe. He cited support of greater integration through travel and exchanges of SAIS Europe with other Hopkins programs around the world.
Hopkins undergraduates will also benefit from enhancements to the SAIS BA/MA tuition fund, which provides financial support to students who earn their bachelor’s degree at the University and their master’s degree at SAIS over a five-year period.
“Work on the improvements begins immediately, and students should begin to see the effects with the next incoming class if not sooner,” Bird wrote.
In an email to The News-Letter, Cherise Kim, another junior in the BA/MA program for International Studies who will be attending SAIS Europe in the next academic year, noted that the fund will help her pursue her personal goals.
“During my time in Bologna, I hope to gain firsthand international experience, make new connections and deepen my experience and knowledge of my focus areas in international affairs, all of which can hopefully be facilitated by these funds,” she wrote.
Kim expressed her hope that the donation will be used to fund endeavors such as experiential learning experiences for students. She believes that cost should not be a barrier to obtaining the valuable education SAIS is able to offer.