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$2.5 Million! Thank you, Hodson Trust

  • Photo by Keanan Barbour-March
    Photo by Keanan Barbour-March
December 12, 2013
The latest gift from the College’s most generous donor boosts endowments for scholarships, internships, a faculty chair and environmental programs.

CHESTERTOWN, MD—The Hodson Trust has awarded four grants totaling $2.5 million to Washington College. The grants will support four areas that have been identified as endowment priorities in the College’s Strategic Plan: scholarships, internships, faculty positions, and programs focused on the environment.

A grant of $1 million will augment the Hodson Trust Merit Scholarship Fund, which provides four-year awards to students who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, character and citizenship. “With so many families struggling to invest in the top-tier liberal arts education they want for their children, this kind of scholarship support is vital,” College president Mitchell B. Reiss said in announcing the gifts to the campus community. “We are especially grateful to the Trust for investing in our students’ futures in this way.”

The Trust made a second $1 million gift as a matching challenge grant for the Center for Environment and Society Endowment Campaign. That campaign has already raised nearly $2.5 million toward its $6 million goal. For every dollar contributed to the endowment campaign up to a total of $1 million, the Trust will contribute a dollar to the Hodson Trust-CES Research Endowment to fund the operating costs of research vessels, a Visiting Scientist Program that will engage undergraduates with mentors in summer research, and the purchase of scientific equipment.

Washington College Vice-President for Advancement Gary Grant said the Trust’s match will go a long way toward reaching CES’s endowment goals: “Meeting the terms of this challenge will take us to at least the $4.5 million mark. This is a strong endorsement of the work the CES does to boost environmental education, not just for our students but also for the greater public throughout the region.”

A $300,000 grant goes to bolster the Hodson Trust Internship Endowment, which was established in 2012. Funds from the growing endowment will remove the economic barrier that prevents financially strapped students from accepting unpaid internships, despite their long-term career benefits. “Paid internships are increasingly difficult to secure, but unpaid internships with their lack of wages, stipends, and/or travel expenses can restrict the pool of applicants,” said President Reiss. “Some families and students opt for short-term income over the long-term advantages of completing a successful internship. We can remove such barriers through Hodson Trust Internship Grants.”

The final part of the 2013 gift from the Trust is a $200,000 contribution to further endow the Hodson Trust Chair in Economics, currently held by associate professor Lisa Daniels.

The Hodson Trust is the school’s largest single benefactor to date. This year’s $2.5 million gift brings the Trust’s total giving to Washington College to more than $67 million since the first grant of $29,884 was awarded in 1936.  “We are very pleased that Chairman Gerald Holm and the other trustees of The Hodson Trust continue to show their confidence in the College’s academic mission,” said Reiss. “It’s a remarkable partnership that has flourished for nearly eight decades, and one we deeply appreciate.”

The Trust was established in 1920 by the family of Colonel Clarence Hodson to benefit four private educational institutions in Maryland: Washington College, Hood College, St. John’s College and The Johns Hopkins University.

Colonel Hodson, who grew up in Somerset County, founded the Beneficial Loan Society, a groundbreaking home mortgage business that grew into a major financial services corporation. An initial investment of $100 grew over the ensuing decades into a trust that has awarded more than $240 million to the four beneficiary institutions. For more information, visit www.hodsontrust.org.

Washington College is a private, independent college of liberal arts and sciences founded in Chestertown in 1782 under the patronage of George Washington. It was the first college chartered in the new nation. To learn more, please visit www.washcoll.edu.

Last modified on Dec. 12th, 2013 at 4:09pm by .