Johns Hopkins’ Baltimore Scholars Program renamed to honor Elijah Cummings

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The Baltimore Scholars Program, a scholarship offered to graduates of Baltimore City and D.C. public schools, will become the Cummings Scholars Program in honor of the late U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings. (AP Photo)

By Nicole Batey Special to the AFRO

A financial aid program offering scholarships to high-achieving Baltimore City and D.C. public school graduates accepted into Johns Hopkins University (JHU) will be renamed to honor the late U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings. The Baltimore Scholars program, established in 2005, and its recently created D.C. counterpart will become the Cummings Scholars Program, linking the legacy of Congressman Cummings and his passion for empowering young people through education to the young people who dream of attending college.
Eligible students with family incomes of $80,000 or less receive full cost-of-attendance scholarships covering tuition, room and board and fees. The family contribution for students with family incomes between $80,000 and $150,000 is capped at 10 percent of family income.

“The scholars should understand that this program is named after someone just like them—one who came out of the same schools, walked the same streets, did the same things as they did—and rose to become one of the most powerful members of Congress.”

DR. MAYA CUMMINGS

“It’s the perfect tribute to Elijah. He was 100 percent for young people. He would travel the ends of the earth to make sure he could be there for young people,” said Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, wife of the late congressman. “At the same time he was a huge champion for Johns Hopkins University. He was
very proud that JHU, a world-class institution, was located in his district. And so to have this double-header with JHU scholars program named after Elijah was the perfect intersection of his interests.”

University officials said they wanted a program name that would reflect the best of Baltimore and the nation’s capital. The Cummings name combined those elements, they said. “Congressman Cummings fought tirelessly throughout his career to create educational opportunities for young people in Baltimore and across the nation because he believed in the power of education to change lives, transform communities, and invigorate democracy,” said Johns Hopkins President Ron Daniels. “The Cummings Scholars are living embodiments of Congressman Cummings’ legacy, and we look forward to all that they will accomplish in the years ahead.

Cummings, a Baltimore native, served for 14 years in the Maryland House of Delegates and represented the 7th congressional district of Maryland for 23 years until his death in 2019. His many leadership roles included serving as chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and of the House Oversight and Reform
Committee. Throughout his legislative career, Cummings was the “people’s champion” for policies to help poor and working-class Americans, once proclaiming that, “The true measure of our union is the state of the least among us.

In 2015, JHU presented Cummings with one of its highest awards, an honorary degree recognizing his years of public service to his country and his hometown and his commitment to the well-being of his constituents through access to high-quality health care and education, clean air and water, and a
stronger economy.

“The scholars should understand that this program is named after someone just like them—one who came out of the same schools, walked the same streets, did the same things as they did—and rose to become one of the most powerful members of Congress,” said Dr. Maya Cummings. “That will hopefully inspire them to be pioneers and accomplished individuals in whatever they choose to do.”