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.


Baltimore, Maryland – December 6, 2000 – Today the Hodson Trust will present four Maryland colleges with grants for student scholarships and large capital improvements totaling $17 million. This year, the Hodson Trust surpasses the $110 million mark in cumulative grants to Johns Hopkins University, Hood, Washington and St. John’s colleges.

"This year’s donation is the largest grant ever given by the Hodson Trust to these four educational institutions. We hope to continue providing funds that enable these institutions to further grow their educational offerings and scholarship programs. We believe that by supporting excellence in education we can help create opportunities for the leaders of tomorrow," said Finn M.W. Caspersen, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Hodson Trust.

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 $110 million over the past 24 years.

Each year, the total 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 Erika L. Jefferson a Hodson Trust scholar at Hood College, who commented, "I know that without the Hodson Trust my college career would have been very different. I would have needed to commit time to well-paid work. I would not have been afforded the opportunity to work at an inner city youth ministry, volunteer to review a welfare-to-work program, or participate in campus activities. My life would have been committed to working to pay college bills rather than growing in experience and contributing to the community. I am grateful to the Hodson Trust for the investment made in my life."

This year, Hood’s gift will be devoted to the construction of a science and technology center. Dr. Robert N. Funk, President ad interim said, "The influence of the Hodson Trust is evident in everything Hood College has done over several decades to heighten the intellectual quality of our students’ experiences and to strengthen the liberal arts, which are of course the foundation of education at Hood. Contributions from the Trust are particularly visible on our campus this year, as we watch the construction of the Hodson Science and Technology Center. The Trust’s generosity has made possible the establishment of a Center which is a physical statement of our commitment to strengthen the teaching of the sciences and to encourage faculty and student research."

Johns Hopkins is applying the 2000 year grant towards both an expansion project as well as towards its scholarship program. Dr. William R. Brody president of Johns Hopkins commented, "Over the years, the Hodson Trust has been one of the biggest and most consistent supporters of the mission of Johns Hopkins University. But this year's generous gift is unprecedented. We are tremendously grateful for the continued support for the Hodson Scholarships, the Hodson Young Investigator in Oncology award, the Provost's Undergraduate Research awards and the commitments the Hodson Trust has made to the Eisenhower Library's Digital Knowledge Center and our new cancer research and clinical buildings. Donors are precious. But partners, like the Hodson Trust, are priceless. We will always remember and appreciate all they have done on our behalf."

St. John’s will use the funds from the Hodson Trust to complete the funding for a student internship program that provides individuals with opportunities to be introduced to the world they will enter following their studies. A second portion of the grant will go towards the valuable renovation of the college’s academic building which houses all the laboratories, music rooms and art studios. It is the biggest and most important renovation project of the decade. Christopher N. Nelson, president of St. John’s stated, "The munificence of the Hodson Trust, demonstrated year-in and year-out, makes it possible for St. John's to be a better college all around than it otherwise ever could be. No words can measure the good this does for our students."

"We are extremely grateful for the support of the Hodson Trust," said Washington College President John S. Toll. The gifts of over $6 million last year and this year have funded the Washington College Hodson Trust Challenge, a matching gift initiative to double endowment monies for new scholarships, programs, and professorships. "The Hodson Trust has leveraged dramatically our success in recruiting good students and in attracting and retaining gifted professors. The transformational relationship that develops in the close interaction between brilliant and dedicated professors and students defines the Washington College experience. We thank Finn Caspersen for his support of this dynamic and innovative challenge program."

Back to Top