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College receives $2 million gift from the Hodson Trust

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

FREDERICK, Md.—Hood College received more than $2 million from its largest benefactor, The Hodson Trust, that will be used for student scholarships, faculty and student research, continued funding of the new nursing program, campus improvements, and to provide tablet computers for all undergraduate students and faculty.

The largest portion of the gift will go to student scholarships and faculty-student research. The Hodson Scholarship Fund provides financial assistance to students and to the Hodson Trust Star Scholarship program, which was established five years ago for Maryland veterans who have served in the military in Iraq and Afghanistan and pays for 100 percent of students' costs not met by other scholarships or assistance.

The Hodson Summer Research Institute, established three years ago, funds collaborative faculty and student research. During the past three years the trust has provided special funding that supports current faculty research and establishes an endowment fund that supports future research initiatives.

"We are delighted to receive this early holiday gift from our most generous benefactor," said Hood College President Ronald J. Volpe. "This gift will fund those programs that have been identified in our strategic plan and will continue to secure Hood’s bright future."

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Other parts of the gift will support campus improvements, including creating additional laboratories and classroom spaces in the Hodson Science Center and classrooms and office space in the Tatem Arts Center, and continued funding for the Hodson Endowed Chair in Nursing.

The trust will also fund the purchase of Apple iPads for full-time undergraduate students and full- and part-time faculty at the College. The College began a pilot program two years ago when it issued iPads to all incoming first-year students and integrated this technology into various components of its curriculum.

The Hodson Trust, whose investment in talented students is a top priority, has awarded the College nearly $74 million since 1936. Hood has used this money, donated by the trust and the Hodson Scholarship Foundation, to support scholarships, endowed professorships, academic programming, research grants and internships, athletic programs, and to build and upgrade campus facilities.

Throughout the College, the Hodson name is prevalent from scholarships for students and fellowships for faculty to a lecture series and named buildings. Some of the Hodson-named buildings and facilities are the Hodson Fitness Center in the new campus athletic center, Hodson Outdoor Theater, the Hodson Swimming Pool in the Gambrill Gymnasium, the Hodson Gallery in the Tatem Arts Center, the Hodson Science and Technology Center, the Beneficial-Hodson Library and Information Technology Center and the Hodson Auditorium in Rosenstock Hall.

Each year the Hodson grant is distributed among four Maryland institutions: Hood, Washington and St. John’s colleges and The Johns Hopkins University.

The trust was settled in 1920 by the family of Col. Clarence Hodson, who grew up in Maryland. Hodson believed that credit should be available to the average American, a revolutionary idea in 1914 when he founded the Beneficial Loan Society. Beneficial became one of the nation’s most successful corporations.