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.


Continues a Tradition of Supporting Excellence in Education

Baltimore, Maryland – December 12, 2001 – Today the Hodson Trust will present four Maryland colleges with educational grants for student scholarships totaling $8.37 million. The grants will be distributed to Johns Hopkins University, Hood, Washington and St. John’s colleges.

"Neither business nor our nation can prosper without an educated populace," said Finn M.W. Caspersen, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Hodson Trust. "The Trust was founded on the principle that education is a necessity that serves not only the individual but the community as a whole. Despite the difficult economic environment, Hodson Trust is pleased to continue to show a strong level of financial commitment to these four Maryland colleges. We know that our funds are further supplementing the ability for these colleges to provide financial assistance to students as well as to enhance the development of important educational programs."

The Hodson Trust was settled in 1920 by the family of Beneficial Corporation founder, Colonel Clarence Hodson, to support excellence in education. The Hodson Trust has honored Colonel Hodson’s interest in higher education through the donation of millions of dollars in academic merit scholarships, as well as research grants. Under the stewardship of Finn Caspersen, the Trust’s donations to the four colleges has grown from $12.6 million to over $118 million over the past 25 years.

Each year, the Hodson grant is distributed among the four colleges. In addition to student scholarships and internships, the grants are also used for professor endowments, research grants, information technology initiatives, athletic programs and endowment funds.

One of the many students to benefit from the scholarship program is Gia Megan Grier of Washington College, who commented, "My college experience has put me on the path to enter the post-graduate realm ready to lead and enact positive change on my society. The work of Mr. Finn Caspersen, Chairman of the Hodson Trust, and the trustees has resulted in the ability of thousands of students to make positive contributions on college campuses all over the state. This will also allow us to continue in life, repaying the Hodson Trust by our positive impacts on the global community."

"Over a period of 65 years, the Hodson Trust has been the largest single donor to Washington College. Much of the $35 million the Trust has given has gone into endowment, largely for scholarships, where it has continued to grow as well as to support literally thousands of students," said Washington College President John S. Toll. "In one year alone, using the Hodson Challenge, Washington College created four new, fully endowed chairs. The challenge was a brilliant idea of Mr. Caspersen. To date, it has stimulated $8.4 million in new gifts. Based on this success, Mr. Caspersen has agreed to extend the Hodson Trust match for the challenge from $10 to $15 million for the continued Campaign for Washington College. Hodson Trust’s enlightened philanthropy has been a cornerstone for progress of Washington College."

"From my office window on the Homewood campus I am able to watch our newest academic building--Hodson Hall--being built," said Dr. William Brody, President of Johns Hopkins University. "The steady and methodical progress of the workers involved in its construction is an apt metaphor for the tremendous and consistent support Johns Hopkins University has received from the Hodson Trust for more than four decades. This year's grants will support vital university activities ranging from the Eisenhower Library to the Weinberg Oncology Center, the Provost's Undergraduate Research Awards to endowment support of the Hodson Trust scholarships. As ever, the generosity of the Hodson Trust makes a critical difference in our ability to provide a world-class education, and to make that education available to students from all backgrounds. We are deeply grateful for the support and enduring friendship the Hodson Trust has shown to Johns Hopkins."

This year, Hood's gift will be devoted to the renovation and construction of the Hodson Science and Technology Center. Hood College President Dr. Ronald J. Volpe said, "Our new science and technology center recognizes the increasing importance of science and technology in the Washington, D.C., and Baltimore regions. It will help contribute to the advancement of Hood's students and to the economic progress of the region and the state of Maryland. From the first gift it gave to Hood in 1936 to the very generous gift today, The Hodson Trust continues to play an important role in making Hood College a premier educational institution."

St. John's will use the funds from the Hodson Trust as a challenge to other donors to renovate Mellon Hall, the college's largest classroom building containing all of the college's laboratory classrooms, music rooms, several faculty offices, seminar classrooms, art studios, and auditorium. The challenge has been remarkably successful as the college is closing in on the targeted goal of $12.9 million needed to complete the work now underway. Christopher B. Nelson, president of St. John's, stated, "The Hodson Trust is providing valuable leverage for the college to raise additional millions of dollars to support the Mellon Hall renovation. This challenge program is both extraordinarily generous in itself and extremely encouraging of further generosity from the college's other friends and alumni. We are very grateful to the Trust and to Finn Caspersen, its chairman."

Back to Top