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Hodson Trust Grants $2.75 Million to WC
CHESTERTOWN, MD—A $2.75 million gift from Washington College’s most generous long-term donor, The Hodson Trust, will boost the funds available for merit scholarships and internships and establish a new fund to support undergraduate research. It also will increase the endowment of a faculty chair.
The largest grant, of $1.25 million, will add to the Hodson Trust Merit Scholarship Endowment, which provides four-year awards to students who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, character and citizenship.
A grant of $900,000 will launch the Hodson Trust Undergraduate Research Scholars Fund. The Fund will support collaborative faculty-student research in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Particular emphasis will be placed on research opportunities that connect student learning to the social, historical, cultural, and ecological context of Chestertown, the Eastern Shore, and the Chesapeake region.
In addition, $400,000 will augment the Hodson Trust Internship Endowment, established in 2012 to remove the economic barrier that prevents financially strapped students from accepting unpaid or low-paying internships, despite their long-term career benefits. Hodson Trust Internship Grants help cover costs such as transportation, housing and food. “We don’t want any Washington College student to have to turn down a good internship opportunity because of finances,” said interim president Jay Griswold. “The Trust internship grants can level the playing field.”
The final part of the 2014 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. Starting with a grant of $29,884 bestowed in 1936, the Trust has given Washington College nearly $70 million. “This has been a remarkable relationship spanning nearly eight decades,” said Griswold, interim president of the College. “We are so grateful that Chairman Gerald Holm and the other trustees of The Hodson Trust continue to support our students and show confidence in our educational mission.”
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 served on the Board of Washington College from 1920 until his death in 1928. He received the honorary degree, Doctor of Laws, from Washington College in 1922.
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, who served on its first Board of Visitors and Governors. It was the first college chartered in the new nation. To learn more, please visit www.washcoll.edu.
PHOTO, top: A bust of Col. Clarence Hodson is displayed in the Hodson Hall Commons student center on campus.