Picture of Colonel Clarence Hodson

Under the stewarship of Finn Caspersen, the Trust's donations to four colleges has grown from $12.6 million to $110 million over the past 24 years.


December 1, 1999

BALTIMORE, Maryland - December 1, 1999 - The Hodson Trust today presented four Maryland colleges with grants for student scholarships and large capital improvements totaling $9 million. The four schools receiving the grants are The Johns Hopkins University, Hood, Washington and St. John's colleges.

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 $93.1 million over the past 23 years.

"This donation, which represents a 34% increase over last year's, is the largest grant ever given by The Hodson Trust to these four educational institutions. We hope to continue that trend and foster continued success amongst the institutions and their students," said Finn Caspersen, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Hodson Trust and Chairman of Knickerbocker LLC, a private management firm overseeing the accounting and investments of various trusts, foundations and individuals.

One of the many students to benefit from the scholarship program is Ricky Grisson, a pre-med Hodson Scholar at Johns Hopkins University. Ricky, who grew up in an impoverished community in Georgia, "understood how poverty bred poverty, which, in turn bred more poverty." He knew that a dramatic transition would need to take place to change the course for his family. "That something was my acceptance into Johns Hopkins and the offer of a Hodson Trust scholarship" said Ricky. "Once outside my childhood environment, I was able to complete the turn that I had initiated earlier in my life. I will be forever grateful to the Hodson Trust and Johns Hopkins. You have changed my life forever."

Carole Neal, a Hodson scholar in Hood's class of 1989, currently works for MCI WorldCom as a Senior Manager in Global Accounts Marketing. "The financial contributions made by the Hodson Trust enrich the lives of so many people," said Neal. "The GPA requirements of the scholarship motivated me to always do my best and take my studies seriously. As a Hodson scholar, I felt a sense of pride and responsibility right from the start."

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, library expansions and information and technology initiatives.

This year, Hood's gift of $2,605,147 will be devoted entirely to the new state-of-the-art Science and Technology Center, "It's almost impossible to turn the corner on the Hood campus and not see the Hodson nameā€¦the Beneficial Hodson Library, the Hodson Pool and the beautiful Hodson Amphitheater," said Shirley D. Peterson, president, Hood College. "Hodson has become an integral part of the Hood experience, and Hood is eternally grateful for the generosity of the Hodson Trust over the past 63 years."

St. John's College will be applying the grant of $1,184,559 towards the endowment of its Hodson Trust Internship Program in which it hopes to award approximately 25 internships in the first year. "This gift is for the students," said Christopher Nelson, president, St. John's College. "It will have as deep and lasting an impact on student life at the college and beyond its walls as any gift I can recall. It's simply transforming! We are all extremely grateful."

"The Hodson Trust is more than a generous supporter of Johns Hopkins," President William R. Brody said. "It's a partner in many of the most important things we do. This year's gift of $2,605,147 demonstrates that partnership yet again. The Trust is taking a leadership role in supporting the Eisenhower Library and our new cancer research and clinical buildings. And its continued support for the Hodson Scholars and undergraduate research programs reinforces our joint commitment to make the special, research-intensive educational opportunities at Hopkins available to the best students in the country."

"The Hodson Trust has been key to the development of excellence at Washington College," said John Toll, president, Washington College, who will dedicate the grant of $2,605,147 to endowments for undergraduate scholarships as well as for faculty chairs and professorships under the terms of the Hodson Challenge Campaign. "We are grateful for the leadership of Finn Caspersen who has magnified the power of the Hodson Trust by his exemplary management."

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