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Blum-Iwry Professorship in Near Eastern Studies

IwrySamuelSAMUEL IWRY (pictured), A&S 1951 (PhD), who earned his degree in Near Eastern Studies and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa on the award of his doctorate, was known for his wide-ranging scholarly endeavors in ancient Near Eastern studies, Biblical archaeology, the history of the Hebrew language, Jewish civilization, and modern Hebrew literature. At Hopkins, Dr. Iwry was a member of the team, led by renowned professor William Foxwell Albright, that first authenticated the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Dr. Iwry served on the Hopkins faculty from 1951 to 1991, retiring as a full professor. He also served as distinguished professor of literature and as dean at the Baltimore Hebrew University and was an exchange professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. The recipient of many honors and awards–including a Fulbright Scholarship and the National New American of the Year Award–Dr. Iwry was known as a spellbinding lecturer and energetic leader in Jewish communities worldwide. Dr. Iwry died in 2004 at the age of 93, and his wife, NINA ROCHMAN IWRY, died in 2011.

BlumAlvinMildredALVIN BLUM, A&S 1930; his wife, MILDRED G. BLUM, Bus 1969 (MLA); and the Blum family created this professorship, as well as an endowment in the Department of Near Eastern Studies to support a lectureship and graduate fellowships, in honor of Dr. Iwry’s distinguished career and of their friendship with the Iwrys. Before his retirement, Alvin Blum served as president of Blum’s, a Baltimore department store founded in 1908 by his father and known to Baltimoreans as “the store with a heart.” After the retail business was sold, Alvin and his brother, Irving, Bus 1934, who earned his economics degree through Hopkins’ Courses in Business Economics, developed Blum’s Inc. into an investment and finance business. Mr. Blum died in 2004.