Chestertown, MD, January 26, 2001 — Alonzo G. Decker, Jr., retired chief executive officer of the Black & Decker Corporation, has committed $1 million to establish the Alonzo G. and Virginia G. Decker Chair in the Natural Sciences at Washington College. The gift is a significant step for the Campaign for Washington's College, a five-year $72 million fundraising effort that has already reached $64 million since its Fall 1998 inception. The gift will be matched by the Hodson Trust.
A Baltimore native and son of the co-founder of the Black & Decker Manufacturing Company, Decker started his career with the power tool company as a young boy in 1922, working his way through most departments, serving in a variety of executive roles and eventually becoming chairman of the board in 1968. During his 10 years as chief executive officer, the company enjoyed its greatest period of growth.
Throughout his career, Decker has been a prominent supporter of educational institutions and other philanthropic causes, serving on the boards of the Johns Hopkins University, the Hopkins School of Continuing Studies, the Maryland Institute, and Washington College. As a Washington College board member in the 1980s, he was instrumental in the success of the College's $44 million Campaign for Excellence. His leadership was recognized by the dedication of the Alonzo G. Decker, Jr. Laboratory Center at Washington College in 1988. Most recently, he was named honorary co-chair of the Campaign for Washington's College.