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Thank you, Hodson Trust!
CHESTERTOWN, MD—The Hodson Trust, Washington College’s single largest benefactor, has awarded more than $2 million in 2012 to boost faculty development, fund merit scholarships and, new this year, offer financial support to WC students who take on valuable but low- or no-pay internships. These gifts continue a tradition of support that began more than nine decades ago.
In announcing receipt of Hodson’s annual gift, College President Mitchell B. Reiss explained that more than $1 million is earmarked for the Hodson Trust Merit Scholarship Fund, which provides four-year awards to full-time students who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, character and citizenship. “As the economy struggles to fully recover, students and their families struggle to invest in a top-tier liberal arts education,” says Reiss. “We are deeply grateful for The Hodson Trusts’ steadfast support in these areas.”
The new endowment for student internships, in the amount of $561,250, will remove the economic barrier that prevents many financially strapped students from accepting unpaid internships, despite their long-term career benefits. In a letter to The Hodson Trust, President Reiss wrote that “there is no substitute for putting into action the theories and practices learned in the classroom,” but that paid internships are increasingly difficult to secure. Unpaid internships with their lack of wages, stipends, and/or travel expenses can restrict the pool of applicants. “Some families and students opt for short-term income over the long-term advantages of completing a successful internship. We want to remove such barriers to experiential learning through Hodson Trust Internship Grants.”
The 2012 gift also boosts by another $200,000 the endowment for the Hodson Trust Chair in Economics, currently held by associate professor Lisa Daniels. The College’s Hodson Trust Faculty Development Fund—which supports competitive grants for faculty research, scholarship, seminars and other advancement opportunities—received an additional $337,500 in funding, bringing the total endowment to more than $1 million dollars. An additional $26,250 was provided for current-year awards.
The Hodson 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.