Remembering Congressman Elijah Cummings

Dear Johns Hopkins Community,

Yesterday, I joined a chorus of voices that celebrated publicly the life and legacy of Congressman Elijah Cummings. I know so many of you share a profound sadness at this loss of an extraordinary and dear friend and an unflinching champion for the people of Baltimore, our state, and our nation.

A proud son of this great city, Elijah Cummings held all of us—individually and collectively—to the highest standards. He confronted us with our failings and demanded of us our potential. With a sharp wit, kind heart, and towering wisdom, Elijah Cummings was a singular force for justice and a fierce advocate for those whose voices he knew must be heard in order for our country to deliver on its promise. His love and loyalty to his family, our city, and the West Baltimore community he faithfully returned home to every night knew no bounds.

As have so many across our city and in our nation’s capital, we at Johns Hopkins have been truly fortunate to call Elijah Cummings a friend. On occasions too numerous to recite in full, he shared his experiences, his wise counsel, and his support with our community, from the halls of the Capitol to the pews of West Baltimore’s churches, from the stages of our lecture halls to our classrooms and clinics. And we had the great privilege to celebrate his achievements with our university’s highest recognition, an honorary degree, in 2015. We want to share a few of our memories here.

We hold his family, his staff, and all those whose lives he touched in our hearts at this difficult time, and we move forward in the spirit of his life and leadership, which stands as a shining example of the values we hold most dear.


Ronald J. Daniels