Chestertown, MD — The Hodson Trust, established 79 years ago to support higher education in Maryland, recently awarded Washington College $2.6 million. The grant brings the total awarded to the College by the Trust to $29.5 million since 1936.
Since 1920, The Hodson Trust has given more than $93 million to fund academic merit scholarships as well as research grants, technology improvements, building construction, library expansion, athletic programs, faculty salaries and endowment funds at Johns Hopkins University, and Hood, St. John's and Washington colleges.
With the approval of the trust, Washington College has designed a challenge program that will include matching funds for donors wishing to endow professorships and chairs as well as scholarships. The total amount available for this challenge is $10 million over the next four years. The Hodson Trust Challenge will match gifts to endowments of $100,000 or more, doubling the value of other contributions.
Seventy students received Hodson Trust awards at Washington College during the 1999-2000 academic year--six Hodson Minority Foundation Scholarships and 64 Hodson Merit Scholarships. Scholarship awardee Donald H. Holdren Jr.'s strong academic record and involvement in scholastic activities in high school earned him the academic prominence to become a Hodson Scholar. A junior drama and music major, Holdren said, "I was sold on Washington College, except for one very important detail--tuition. Without primary help from The Hodson Trust, obstacles to my attending school would have been insurmountable." President of a student-run drama group based at Washington College that involves members of the Chestertown community, he also serves as a chorister and substitute conductor of the choir at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, both in Chestertown. He plans to sing professionally in opera, get his Ph.D. in music and "teach in a small school not unlike Washington College."
Finn Caspersen, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Hodson Trust, whose financial acumen is responsible for the 34 percent increase in the amounts awarded over last year said, "We hope to continue the trend and foster continued success among the institutions and their students. The Trust should show some real growth in two years as our long-term venture capital investments mature."
"Washington College and the many students who have flourished as a result of The Hodson Trust are grateful for our special partnership. The Hodson Challenge will help us continue to strengthen our faculty and support our students," said John S. Toll, President of Washington College.