Picture of Colonel Clarence Hodson

In the tradition of Clarence Hodson who generated hundreds of thousands of dollars from a $100 beginning, the Trust continues to multiply.


December 2, 1998

BALTIMORE -- The Hodson Trust, established 78 years ago to support higher education in Maryland, today awarded $6.7 million to four private colleges for student scholarships and large capital improvements.

Since 1920, The Hodson Trust has given more than $84 million to fund academic merit scholarships as well as research grants, technology improvements, building construction, library expansion, athletic programs, professor salaries and endowment funds at Johns Hopkins University, Hood, Washington and St. John's Colleges. A total of 670 students have received Hodson Trust awards over the past four years, a growing percentage of whom are minorities.

"I could not have attended Washington College had it not been for this scholarship," says Joseph McKenzie whose National Honor Society standing in high school earned him the academic prominence to become a Hodson Scholar, thus enabling him to pursue a liberal arts education and "explore lots of things." Entering school as a pre-med student, he has since discovered a love for teaching and plans to become a science teacher. Most notably, he has involved fellow students in tutoring at a local middle school and inspires them to collaborate with faculty on diversifying the teaching curriculum.

"The Hodson Trust continues to replicate itself," observes Finn Caspersen, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Hodson Trust, whose financial acumen is responsible for the Trust's 18-fold increase in the past 22 years. "In the tradition of Clarence Hodson who generated hundreds of thousands of dollars from a $100 beginning, the Trust continues to multiply with a multi-billion dollar goal in sight early in the next millennium," predicts Mr. Caspersen. "We have a special appreciation for Mr. Caspersen's leadership…. The [Trust] has flourished under his direction," says John S. Toll, President of Washington College which is using this year's entire $1,939,387 to fund student scholarships.

The Trust's human contribution replicates itself also, as demonstrated by Dr. Allen Chen, a pediatric oncologist at Johns Hopkins Hospital whose exploratory bone marrow transplant work has prolonged the lives of children with grim malignancy prognoses. "The Hodson Trust has helped me to obtain preliminary results that are very promising in obtaining additional support to advance this program."

"Once again, Finn Caspersen and the Hodson trustees have demonstrated their commitment to excellence at Johns Hopkins," says William R. Brody, President of Johns Hopkins University which is devoting this year's $1,939,387 gift toward furthering science education, constructing a new oncology research facility and funding oncology research and student scholarships. "This year's grant demonstrates the Trust's commitment to helping our young scientists pursue their most promising ideas."

Sandra Maria Quezada, a pre-med Hodson Scholar at Hood College who assists genetic research in a laboratory looks forward to a career in medicine. "It is very exciting to be in that environment, surrounded by bright people, absorbing what the research world is like," says Ms. Quezada who lends support to a local prison population and has driven campus fundraising to send relief to Hurricane Mitch victims in Latin America.

Hood College's $1,939,387 gift will be devoted entirely to a new state-of-the-art Science and Technology Center, "ensuring Hood's future as a place where the scientists of the 21st century are created," says President Shirley D. Peterson. "What is interesting about our grant this year is that it directly impacts student quality of life," remarks Christopher B. Nelson, President of St. John's College which is using its $881,839 to complete a $1 million technology endowment, enhance the athletic program and establish a challenge grant to help raise faculty salaries.

"It bears repeating many times that every university president should have the good fortune of a Hodson Trust," applauds President Brody of Johns Hopkins. "It stands out for its philanthropic response to higher education's greatest needs, and I commend Finn and the other trustees for their foresight."

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