March 29, 2010

Restoration of historic Gilman clock tower to honor Adam Falk

A gift of $1.2 million in honor of departing Krieger School Dean Adam Falk will fund restoration of the clock tower in historic Gilman Hall, the literal and metaphorical high point of the Homewood campus.

The gift is from 44 friends and admirers of Falk, including trustees, present or past Krieger School advisory board members and several Krieger Dean’s Office and Development staff members. It was announced at a reception last week by trustees Charles I. Clarvit and James L. Winter, who led the fund-raising effort in Falk’s honor with fellow trustee Jeffrey H. Aronson.

Falk, who will become president of Williams College on April 1, has been Krieger’s James B. Knapp Dean since January 2005. One of his major projects has been the $73 million renovation of Gilman Hall, Homewood’s 95-year-old landmark building. Falk laid out the vision for the project as an initiative to restore Gilman’s historic role as a national model for innovative teaching and scholarship in the humanities. He led the fund raising and has overseen construction, which began in 2007 and will be completed this summer.

Though Falk is a physicist, Clarvit said, “only a true humanist, with a real passion for the humanities, could have devoted the effort you did.”

Falk, clearly moved by the tribute and an ovation from several hundred people at the reception, said he had grown up professionally in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, the Krieger School and the university and would always love Johns Hopkins.

“To be a dean here at Hopkins is to have an extraordinary privilege,” he said.

For information on the Gilman clock tower and how it has been restored, go to