Turning on the Waterworks

Spring 2021 As Seen in Our Spring 2021 Issue
Turning on the Waterworks

At the center of the Pinkard expansion, a symbol of JHSON history and a job well done

Sabrina Scarborough was having a moment.

The associate director of Campus Operations behind so many of the flesh-and-blood aspects of the Pinkard expansion could have been reflecting upon the years she’s spent seeing the project through, or on the fact that she’s leaving the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing (JHSON) once a few more “punch-list” items are completed. The drama, the drudgery! The heartache, the headache!


“The fountain!”

To JHSON long-timers, many of spring’s most special memories are of times spent in the Courtyard. Sunlit studies, picnics, impromptu outdoor meetings, rights of passage, stress relief … and to more than a few of us, simply a turn of the faucet that would animate the old water feature each year at winter’s end.

Several springs later, the Courtyard and fountain have returned, a bit different but just as meaningful as the day they debuted as a gift from Bob and Townsend Kent, parents grateful for the care shown by nurses toward their child. And today, the fountain remains a symbol of our benefactors’ deep belief in the mission of sending the brightest, most well-prepared nurses into the workforce—or back into it, even stronger.

To certain others, it’s now a symbol of a job well done. Of a building expansion completed without interruption, through a deadly global pandemic, through a project-long, municipal wrestling match over broken steam pipes, through teeth-rattling jackhammers and mind-bending musical chairs—never missing a beat in the education of those who trust JHSON to help them become more than even they imagined.

So sure, a few finishing details remain. But as for dotting the I-beams and crossing the thresholds, the fountain is as sure a sign as any that the Pinkard expansion is a success, thanks to the vision, faith, and doggedness of Dean Patricia M. Davidson, the generosity of so many donors, and the contributions of faculty, students, and staff who never accepted inconvenience as an excuse for anything less than excellence.

Spring is here. The water is on.

(Forgive Scarborough if she gets a bit misty.)

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