Chestertown, MD, December 15, 2005 — Washington College is pleased to announce that Chestertown resident and friend of the College, John Underwood, on behalf of his late wife, Nancy L. Underwood, has given $1 million to establish the Nancy L. Underwood Chair in Art and Art History. The gift will be matched by The Hodson Trust to create a $2 million endowment for the Chair.
"Nancy took a life-long pleasure in the study of art and art history," said Mr. Underwood. "A descendant of the Chappell family, she built her own collection and preserved treasures passed down in her family through generations. She took comfort that she had found in Washington College a venue to foster in others her passion for art and to preserve favorite pieces from her collection. Nancy could not find a better match for her interests than Washington College."
In addition to establishing the new Underwood Chair to support the study of art and art history, the Underwoods are donating to Washington College several heirlooms from the Chappell family, including a 17th century chest-on-chest, a sterling silver tea service, two 19th century Paris vases, and three early portraits.
Mrs. Underwood was born in Wilmington, Del., and graduated with honors in 1950 from the University of Cincinnati. A retired engineer, Mr. Underwood is a graduate of Miami University in Ohio and holds a Master of Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. The Underwoods were married at Old St. Paul's Kent in 1960 and after frequently vacationing in Chestertown during the past several decades returned to the area permanently to retire.
"The generosity of the Underwoods will enrich art education for generations of Washington College students to come," said Baird Tipson, President of the College. "We are truly grateful for their gift and for their belief in the College's mission to transform and inspire young lives through the liberal arts."
Washington College is a private, independent college of liberal arts and sciences located in historic Chestertown on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Founded in 1782 under the patronage of George Washington, it was the first college chartered in the new nation.