Picture of Colonel Clarence Hodson

The Hodson Trust provides funds that enable the four Maryland colleges to further grow their educational offerings and scholarship programs.


Support Over Eight Decades Tops $155 Million

Baltimore, Maryland – December 1, 2004 – At a luncheon on December 1, the Hodson Trust will present grants totaling $6.5 million to four Maryland colleges. Johns Hopkins University, Hood College, Washington College, and St. John's College each will receive $1,625,000.

The Hodson Trust was settled in 1920 by the family of Colonel Clarence Hodson, founder of the Beneficial Corporation, to support excellence in education. "Col. Hodson believed that credit should be available to the average American, a revolutionary idea in 1914 when he founded the Beneficial Loan Society, " according to Hodson Trust Chairman Finn M. W. Caspersen. "That single idea led to the creation of one of the nation's most successful corporations, and provided the means to fund The Hodson Trust." With this year's grants, the Hodson Trust has given a total of $155.6 million to the four colleges it supports.

"The power of a single original idea, coupled with strong follow-through, can produce remarkable results," Caspersen said. "The colleges and university that the Hodson Trust supports are among the best idea factories in the world. We believe these grants are an excellent investment, supporting the development of new ideas that will change individual lives and benefit all of America."

The Hodson Trust has given millions of dollars to endow academic merit scholarships at all four schools. In addition, grants from the Trust have supported research, academic programs, new facilities, professorships and other initiatives to advance the missions of the four Maryland institutions of higher education.

Johns Hopkins international relations major Saul Garlick—one of four students who will speak at the December luncheon—said the Hodson Trust "literally opened up a world of opportunities for me." Garlick, who founded a non-profit student group that raises money for schools in Africa, commented, "Because of the Hodson Scholarship, I have not needed to work at a part-time job while I have been at school, which has meant that I could focus my attention on the extracurricular activities that are giving me the experiences I want and need to accomplish my dreams for the future."

Natalie Rinn, a St. John's College senior who also will speak at the luncheon, received Hodson Trust support for an internship last summer at the Montgomery County Office of the Public Defender. "Learning how the legal process worked, I explored whether my theories of government seemed true," she said. "This experience really enriched my education."

At Hood College, the 2004 Hodson Trust grant will support a range of initiatives, including a technology incubator and an Academic Achievement Center. Hood President Ronald Volpe said, "The Hodson Trust, through its continuing generosity, has made an immeasurable difference in the lives of our students and has been instrumental in helping to shape Hood College into the educational institution it is today. This year's generous gift, in addition to being an endorsement of the bright future of Hood College, will assist the ongoing transition and transformation as a fully coeducational college."

Washington College President Baird Tipson said, "We are profoundly grateful for the continued support of the Hodson Trust. With the help of Finn Caspersen and the Hodson Trust, Washington College recently completed its most successful campaign in history. The Hodson Challenge provided a significant investment in scholarships, faculty chairs, and facilities, while also inspiring others to give generously." According to Tipson, the 2004 Hodson grant will help fund construction of the John S. Toll Science Center and meet a Kresge Foundation challenge for completion of this project. "The annual Hodson Trust award is a vote of confidence for our institution, and a tribute to the enduring value of a liberal arts education," he concluded.

"St. John's College is deeply grateful for the good support of the Hodson Trust," according to its president, Chris Nelson. The grant will help fund the construction of Gilliam Hall, the Annapolis college's first new dormitory since 1954. "We are proud to honor the late James H. Gilliam Jr., a Hodson trustee," Nelson continued. "Through its generosity, the Hodson Trust is enabling St. John's to transform our campus and strengthen the community life so vital to our program. In doing this, the Hodson Trust also honors a great man, a philanthropist, a man who dedicated himself to serving the public good."

At Johns Hopkins University, the Hodson Trust grant will create a new endowed fund for a University archivist and increase the endowment for the Hodson Directorship of the Digital Knowledge Center at the University's Eisenhower Library. It also will support the Hodson Scholarship endowment, the Provost's Undergraduate Research Awards, and the Hodson Trust Young Investigator in Oncology Award at Hopkins' Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Johns Hopkins President William R. Brody said, "We are grateful for all that the Hodson Trust has done to strengthen this university. Throughout our campuses, the name Hodson is synonymous with excellence."

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