Hodson Trust Awards WC 3.6 Million


The Hodson Trust grants $3.6 million to Washington College for student scholarships and matching funds to secure a new endowed director’s position in GIS.


The Hodson Trust, whose generosity has supported hundreds of Washington College students over 82 years, this year is donating a cash grant of $2,592,484, plus shares in an energy investment, to endow student scholarships and the directorship of a strategic College program. Representatives of the Trust, which has been the largest single benefactor to the College, presented the gift to College President Kurt Landgraf on December 6.

“Everywhere you turn on our campus, you will find the influence of The Hodson Trust and its generosity to our students, our campus, and our programs,” Landgraf says. “A great example is the $1 million that the Trust is providing this year to match a state grant to endow a directorship for the GIS program, one of our most vibrant and hands-on for students. It’s safe to say that we would not be the place that we are, or be able to provide students the outstanding liberal arts education that we do, without the Trust’s consistent support and vision, and we are grateful once again to Chairman Gerald Holm and the Hodson trustees.”

This year’s donation provides $1 million to match a Maryland E-Nnovation Initiative Fund award to endow the College’s Director of Geographic Information Services position, $767,484 to the Hodson Trust Merit Scholarship endowment, and $825,000 to the Hodson Trust/George’s Brigade scholarship endowment (now called Washington’s Scholars). The Trust is also transferring shares in an energy investment, with an estimated value of $1,032,516, to be allocated to the Hodson Trust Merit Scholarship Endowment. This brings the total gift to $3,625,000.

Already this academic year, as a result of previous Hodson gifts, 155 students are receiving an average merit scholarship in the amount of $21,645, for a total of $3.35 million from Hodson Trust-funded scholarship endowments.

“We’re particularly grateful for the scholarship support, which enables so many terrific young people to be a part of Washington College who might not otherwise be able to take advantage of that opportunity,” Landgraf says. “The impact that they have here, as students, leaders, and athletes, is felt across every level of our campus community.”

The Hodson Trust is the school’s largest single benefactor. Starting with a grant of $18,191.12 in 1935, the Trust has given Washington College over $80 million. The Trust that was established in 1920 by the family of Colonel Clarence Hodson benefits four Maryland educational institutions: Washington College, Hood College, St. John’s College of Annapolis, and The Johns Hopkins University. Colonel Hodson, who received the honorary degree, Doctor of Laws, from Washington College in 1922, served on the College’s Board of Visitors and Governors from 1920 until his death in 1928.  

Colonel Hodson, who grew up in Somerset County, Maryland, founded the Beneficial Loan Society to make small loans available to working-class Americans at affordable interest rates.  This groundbreaking business grew into the Beneficial Corporation, one of the largest consumer finance companies in the United States. An initial investment of $100 grew over the ensuing decades into a trust that has awarded more than $250 million to the four beneficiary institutions. For more information, visit www.hodsontrust.org.