Picture of Colonel Clarence Hodson

Education is a necesity that benefits not only the individual, but the community as a whole. The demonstrated success of Hodson Trust colleges and students reinforces the Trust's commitment to support excellence.


December 5, 1995

BALTIMORE, Maryland -- The Hodson Trust, celebrating 75 years of supporting higher education in the state of Maryland, today announced grants of nearly $4.8 million to four colleges.

"Education is a necessity that benefits not only the individual, but the community as a whole. The demonstrated success of Hodson Trust colleges and students reinforces our commitment to support excellence," said Finn M.W. Caspersen, chairman of The Hodson Trust and chairman and chief executive officer of Beneficial Corporation.

The Hodson Trust, established in 1920 by the family of Beneficial founder Colonel Clarence Hodson, benefits Hood College, St. John's College, Washington College, and The Johns Hopkins University. The private trust holds Beneficial Corporation stock as its only asset, and uses the earnings from the stock to fund the educational programs. This year's awards brings to more than $61 million the amount of support The Hodson Trust has given to the four schools.

"I am very pleased that The Trust will ensure expanded educational opportunities for students who are committed to learning," said Caspersen. "Education is the key to a stronger individual and a stronger nation. The Hodson Trust is dedicated to providing the best education possible for all students."

Grants for 1995 are: $1.4 million each to Washington and Hood colleges, and to The Johns Hopkins University; and more than $667,000 to St. John's College. Each total is divided into four categories: unrestricted money to be used for ongoing endowments and programs; money restricted to funding merit scholarships; money restricted to funding minority scholarships; and, money to be used for minority scholarships while the endowment is built to the $5 million level.

Shirley D. Peterson, president of Hood College, said, "Hood College is deeply indebted to The Hodson Trust for its generous support. We are extremely pleased that the 1995 grant will provide $250,000 for our technology initiative and will significantly augment the endowment for the Minority Scholarship Program and the Merit Scholarship Program.

"With these gifts, the Hodson Trust continues to promote academic excellence at Hood College, helping us attract distinguished undergraduates from around the country, encourage the aspirations of under-represented minorities, and support important scholarly work by members of the Hood faculty," she said.

Daniel Nathans, president of The Johns Hopkins University, said: "I commend the Hodson Trustees and Finn Caspersen for their continuing commitment to our students, the Hodson Young Investigator Research Award at the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center and the Center for Technology in Education.

"These awards will give many students an opportunity to engage in independent research with faculty from across the University," he said. "A second new initiative is to develop a curriculum for a program in medical informatics for health care providers, in order to use technology for more efficient health care delivery.

Christopher B. Nelson, president of St. John's College, called the 1995 award "a generous grant that will benefit all of our students for years to come.

"Our library is about to have a new incarnation, with major assistance from the grant," he said. "Ours is the first free public library in America and it will soon move to a newly renovated, state-of-the-art facility in the old Maryland Hall of Records. The new computer system, nicknamed Clarence, honors Clarence Hodson, the chief benefactor of the trust.

"Support for financial aid is the backbone of our ability to sustain an admissions policy open to all students. All three Hodson programs are vital components of this policy."

John S. Toll, president of Washington College, said, "The Hodson Trust enables deserving students to reap the benefits of an excellent liberal arts education.

"Dozens of Hodson Scholars -- Washington College students receiving merit or minority scholarships funded by The Trust -- are the real winners, as are the faculty privileged enough to teach these bright students. By helping to underwrite the costs of educating some of our nation's best and brightest young men and women, The Trust provides what we at Washington College call the "margin of excellence" that enables us to continue our drive to lay claim to a reputation not only as the first college chartered in the nation, but also the first in academic quality," Toll said.

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