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 $149 Million

Baltimore, Maryland – December 3, 2003 – At a luncheon on December 3, the Hodson Trust presented grants totaling $7 million to four Maryland colleges. Johns Hopkins University, Hood College, Washington College, and St. John's College each received $1,750,000.

"The Hodson Trust is a real success story," said Finn M. W. Caspersen, chairman of the Hodson board of trustees since 1976. "It started in the 1920s with just a few hundred dollars. The Trust's resources have grown tremendously over the years, allowing us to provide substantial support to four outstanding institutions of higher learning in Maryland." With this year's grants, the Hodson Trust has given a total of $149 million to the Maryland colleges.

"We consider these grants to be an excellent investment in talented scholars and important educational initiatives," Caspersen commented.

The Hodson Trust was settled in 1920 by the family of Colonel Clarence Hodson, Beneficial Corporation founder, to support excellence in education. The Hodson Trust has honored Col. Hodson's interest in higher education by giving 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 colleges.

"The Hodson Trust has had a profound impact on my life," said Washington College senior Angela Crenshaw, an economics and environmental studies major. She added that her Hodson Scholarship enabled her to study abroad, an experience that "changed the way I think about the world."

"Without the Hodson Trust, I would never have found my true passion," commented Hood College junior Rainey Sokol. A Hodson Scholarship enabled her to concentrate fully on academics, "not on a plethora of part-time jobs," she said. "This opportunity opened my eyes to a course of study that I never would have chosen otherwise," the law and society major added.

At Hood College, this year's Hodson Trust funding will support student scholarships, the new Hodson Science and Technology Center, and other infrastructure needs on campus. "This very generous gift is perhaps one of the most significant we have ever received from the Hodson Trust," according to Hood President Ronald J. Volpe. "Most importantly, it will lead the way in funding Hood College's transition to coeducation at this critical time," he said.

"This year's gift from the Hodson Trust will make it possible for us to close in on the final funding for the renovation of Mellon Hall, our largest classroom building," said St. John's College President Chris Nelson. "It also gives us the shot in the arm necessary to move forward aggressively with the construction of our newest dormitory, Gilliam Hall, which will be dedicated next summer in honor of James H. Gilliam Jr., a trustee of the Hodson Trust who, sadly, passed away last summer." "We are honored that Mr. Gilliam's name will grace our campus," Nelson continued.

Washington College President John S. Toll said, "We are profoundly grateful for the continued support of the Hodson Trust. It is with the help of Finn Caspersen and the Hodson Trust that Washington College is about to complete the most successful campaign in its history," he continued. "Through this initiative we have established endowed scholarships, academic programs, faculty chairs and state-of-the-art facilities that will ensure an enriching liberal arts education for future generations of students." This year's Hodson Trust gift will help to support the construction of a science center at the southern entrance to the Chestertown college's campus, Toll said.

Johns Hopkins University President William R. Brody said this year's Hodson grant will increase the endowments for Hodson Scholarships and the Hodson Directorship of the Digital Knowledge Center at the University's Eisenhower Library. It also will support the Provost's Undergraduate Research Awards and the Hodson Trust Young Investigator in Oncology Award at Hopkins' Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center.

According to Brody, "The partnership between the Hodson Trust and Johns Hopkins goes far beyond the usual relationship between a University and a supporting foundation. Finn Caspersen has taken an active personal interest in Johns Hopkins and its students," the Hopkins president said. "He and the other members of the Hodson Trust board are dedicated to moving this University forward in ways that would not have been possible without the Trust's support.".

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