Psychological and Brain Sciences Department to Receive Fellowships
Once a graduate student himself, Robert Waldrop, a retired psychologist who spent 16 years on the faculty of the University of Maryland, has made a bequest to the Krieger School to ease the financial burden of graduate work, allowing students to focus on their research.
Waldrop’s gift will ultimately allow for five fully funded Robert S. and Dorothy L. Waldrop Graduate Fellowships in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. The gift provides for the greatest concentration of fellowships in one department in the school’s history.
“It’s a very special kind of gift, because graduate education is not widely supported by specially earmarked fellowships like these,” says Krieger-Eisenhower professor Michela Gallagher, chair of the department. “These fellowships will help us recruit and support really excellent students.”
Waldrop’s distinguished career included a position in the administration of the dean of students office at the University of Michigan, another as dean of students at Vanderbilt University, and nine years as chief of the vocational counseling service in the Department of Medicine and Surgery at the Veterans Administration in Washington. Though not an alumnus of Johns Hopkins, Waldrop, 93, and his wife, Dorothy, who died last year, felt strongly about helping to educate the best graduate students, and, after developing ties with Hopkins and eventually with Gallagher, they decided to invest in Krieger School students. Prior to the bequest, the Waldrops had given generously to the Krieger School, and Waldrop subsequently contributed memorial gifts to other divisions of the University.
Of her relationship with the Waldrops, Gallagher says: “It really felt to me like it developed into a kind of partnership. I think that through their interactions with the department they felt they were making the right decision in supporting the department in this way.”
Waldrop’s desire to support graduate students has never waned. “The future of psychological science and service to the world is in the hands of graduate students,” Waldrop says. “Students need help to do their best work in graduate school, and I believe that this gift will help Hopkins attract and prepare the very best graduate students.”
Waldrop holds a PhD in psychology from the University of Michigan, and his research interests over the years focused on career planning, test construction, and the evaluation of adjustment to aging. Formerly of Annapolis, Md., he now lives in Florida.