Picture of Colonel Clarence Hodson

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February 15, 2017


Frederick, Maryland—February 15, 2017—Hood College has received $3.5 million from its largest benefactor, the Hodson Trust, to support student scholarships, two endowed faculty chairs, and faculty and student research. This is the largest gift Hood has received from the Trust since 2007.

The Hodson Trust continued its previous support to the Hodson Endowed Chair in Nursing. It also granted funding for an Endowed Chair in Advanced Bioproducts Research and Education to match the grant by the Maryland Department of Commerce E-Nnovation Initiative Fund (MEIF). In addition, the Trust provided funding for scholarships for academic excellence and continuing high achievement scholars. The Trust is also supporting faculty-student summer research.

President Andrea E. Chapdelaine, Ph.D., received the gift from the Hodson Board of Trustees during a ceremonial presentation in Baltimore. Acknowledging the transformational impact of these gifts for Hood, President Chapdelaine thanked the trustees for their generous commitment to Hood.

"From investing in our faculty and students to enhancing our facilities, Hodson continues to make a difference for Hood," she said. "For this, and their unwavering support of our students, I am deeply grateful."

Throughout the College, the Hodson name is prevalent in scholarships for students, fellowships for faculty, and named buildings. These include the Hodson Fitness Center, the Hodson Outdoor Theater, the Hodson Swimming Pool, the Hodson Gallery in the Tatem Arts Center, the Hodson Science and Technology Center, the Beneficial-Hodson Library and Information Technology Center.

The Trust was settled in 1920 by the family of Col. Clarence Hodson, who grew up in Maryland. Hodson believed that credit should be available to the average American, a revolutionary idea in 1914 when he founded the Beneficial Loan Society. Beneficial became one of the nation's most successful corporations.

Each year, the Hodson grant is distributed among four Maryland institutions: Hood, Washington and St. John's colleges and The Johns Hopkins University.

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Continuing a deeply valued, decades-long relationship, The Hodson Trust awarded $3 million in December as its annual gift to Washington College. The funds will further endow merit scholarships, support student research, and make the College more accessible and affordable for exceptional students with limited means.

The largest grant, of $1.8 million, will add to The Hodson Trust Merit Scholarship Endowment, which provides four-year awards to students who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, character, and citizenship.

In addition, $850,000 will augment George's Brigade, a program that covers tuition, room, board, and fees for a select group of high-achieving, first-generation college students with financial need. Thanks to this level of support, the College will cover all costs over the next four years for 16 George's Brigade students, as well as for others who enroll as the program continues.

A grant of $350,000 will boost the Hodson Trust Undergraduate Research Scholars Fund. The fund supports collaborative faculty-student research in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Particular emphasis is placed on research opportunities that connect student learning to the social, historical, cultural, and ecological context of Chestertown, the Eastern Shore, and the Chesapeake region.

The family of Col. Clarence Hodson established the Trust in 1920 to benefit four private educational institutions in Maryland: Washington College, Hood College, St. John's College, and The Johns Hopkins University. Hodson served on the Board of Washington College from 1920 until his death in 1928. He received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Washington College in 1922.

The Hodson Trust is the school's largest single benefactor to date. Starting with a grant of $29,884 bestowed in 1936, the Trust has given Washington College nearly $76 million. "We are tremendously grateful to The Hodson Trust for its 2016 grant to increase the endowments of student scholarships and undergraduate research funds," says College President Sheila Bair. "As we continue to address the twin issues of access and affordability, The Hodson Trust remains our most steadfast champion."

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