Friday, December 1, 2006

Hodson Trust Awards $4.5 Million to Washington College for Scholarships, American History Center

Chestertown, MD, November 30, 2006 — Washington College has been awarded $4.5 million in grants from The Hodson Trust to augment merit scholarship funds and to support the College's C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, officials of the College have announced.

"We know the importance of understanding our history to build our future," Washington College President Baird Tipson said. "The Hodson Trust support will enable us to keep those lessons alive on our campus and in our nation as we educate tomorrow's leaders."

In its current grant to Washington College, The Trust has designated $1 million to augment the Hodson Trust Merit Scholarship Endowment, which provides four-year awards to full-time students who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, character, and citizenship. An additional $3.5 million will endow the Hodson Trust-Griswold Directorship and programming for the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, which opened in 2000. Drawing on the special historical strengths of Washington College and Chestertown, the C.V. Starr Center is dedicated to scholarship and programming that explore the nation's founding era, the early republic, the rise of democracy, and the manifold ways in which the founding era continues to shape American culture.

"The Hodson Trust's generosity will make possible a host of new initiatives to benefit the students and faculty of Washington College, and to advance the Center's programs to a new level of excellence," said Adam Goodheart, the Hodson Trust-Griswold Director of the C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience. "It is exceptionally fitting that this gift also honors Jay Griswold, who has been a valued friend, benefactor, and counselor to the Starr Center since its inception. He can truly be called one of our chief 'Founding Fathers,' and I am honored that the directorship now bears his name and that of the Hodson Trust."

Jack S. "Jay" Griswold is Director and Senior Advisor of Brown Investment Advisory Trust Company, a money management firm. A 1964 graduate of Princeton who earned an MBA from The Wharton School of Finance in 1969, Mr. Griswold is a Director of Alex. Brown Realty and of Chevy Chase Bank, a trustee of Living Classrooms and the Maryland Historical Society and the Chairman of Washington College's Board of Visitors and Governors.

Adam Goodheart, who assumes the title of Hodson-Trust Griswold Director, was appointed director of the C.V. Starr Center in July 2006. A prolific essayist, critic, and historian, he publishes frequent articles in the New York Times, National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, and other publications. A graduate of Harvard University, he was a founding editor of Civilization Magazine and a member of the editorial board of The American Scholar.

One of the Starr Center's new initiatives made possible by the Hodson gift will be a program of faculty enhancement grants for research in American history, culture, politics, and related areas. "The Center's support of research conducted by Washington College faculty is important to its mission of strengthening the intellectual climate of the College and building bridges between the campus and the external community," said Christopher Ames, Provost and Dean of the Faculty. "These funds will supplement existing funds for faculty research and move us closer toward the goal in our strategic plan of doubling the funds available for faculty enhancement and travel." Goodheart added that the Starr Center is also working with faculty and admissions staff to create a special merit-scholarship program for outstanding students of American history and related fields.

The Hodson Trust was established by the family of Colonel Clarence Hodson to support excellence in education. Since 1920, The Hodson Trust has given more than $184 million to fund academic merit scholarships as well as research grants, technology improvements, facilities, library expansion, athletic programs, faculty salaries, and endowment funds at Johns Hopkins University, Hood, St. John's and Washington Colleges.

In addition to its latest Washington College gift, the Trust this week also awarded $4.5 million each to St. John's, Hood, and Johns Hopkins. Hodson Trust Chairman Finn M. W. Caspersen pointed out that these grants are the largest in the Trust's 86-year history. "The impact of the Hodson Trust's support is exponential—reflected not only in the accomplishments of the generations of students the Trust has supported, but also in the ever growing contributions of these students to society."

Colonel Clarence Hodson, who grew up in Maryland, believed that credit should be available to the average American, a revolutionary idea in 1914 when he founded the Beneficial Loan Society. Beneficial, which became one of the nation's most successful corporations, was headed by Caspersen from 1976 to 1998 and is now part of HSBC. During Caspersen's tenure, the market capitalization of Beneficial Corporation grew from $480 million to $8.8 billion, an 18-fold increase.

For information about The Hodson Trust, visit 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.

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