Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Hodson Trust, Washington College Award Scholarships to Veterans of Iraq, Afghanistan Conflicts

Chestertown, MD, July 31, 2007 — In an effort to honor Maryland military personnel who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Hodson Trust and Washington College have established the Hodson Trust Star Scholarships. The first three recipients, two from the Iraq conflict and the other from the Afghanistan campaign, will begin classes at Washington College this fall semester.

The undergraduate and graduate scholarships will meet 100 percent of Washington College's annual tuition, room, board, books and mandatory student fees not otherwise met by federal, state and outside assistance.

Washington College's student body this fall will include three young men who, rather than arriving on campus with fresh fond memories of high-school senior year, come to this haven of learning from the tough, grim front lines of a protracted conflict in far-flung parts of the world. Lance Corporal James H. Schelberg, of the 4th U.S. Marine Division's 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, recently returned from service in Haditha, in Iraq's Anbar Province—seat of the insurgent resistance and center of some of the fiercest hostility faced by coalition forces. Arriving from the same theater of operations is Corporal Charles P. Grigg, likewise of the 4th Marine Division. Rounding out the initial three is Wilhelm Gundlach, a Psychological Operations Specialist with Detachment 900 of the U.S. Army's Airborne Rangers, who performed dangerous missions in Afghanistan.

"This is a huge opportunity that the Hodson Trust and Washington College have given me and the other veterans," said Corporal Schelberg, a Baltimore Countian. "I look forward to throwing myself back into the academic community after a few years of being in its absence."

Corporal Grigg, who hails from the Annapolis area, said, "I just want to express my gratitude to the Hodson Trust for providing such a great scholarship. I look forward to attending Washington College to finish my bachelor's degree. I'm especially looking forward to experiencing all the college has to offer, and hope that the experiences I have will help me better serve and influence those around me."

"I'm extremely enthusiastic and excited to be able to study at Washington College," said Specialist Gundlach, a Chestertown resident, "and I'm equally extremely grateful to the Hodson Trust for making this opportunity possible."

Three other Maryland schools—the Johns Hopkins University, Hood College and St. John's College—also are participating in the Hodson Trust Star Scholarship. In addition to Washington College, veteran-recipients currently are slated for Hood College and Johns Hopkins University.

"We are delighted to be able to support these American stars, who have served our country in harm's way and now will contribute even more as they continue their education," said Finn Caspersen, Chairman of the Hodson Trust. "The Hodson Trust is proud of these first scholarship recipients and pleased to assist in repaying our country's debt to these fine servicemen."

"Washington College is honored that these three distinguished young men will join the student body this fall, and grateful to the Hodson Trust for making this wonderful scholarship possible," said Washington College President Baird Tipson.

Washington College is a private, independent liberal arts and sciences college 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.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Washington College Establishes Scholarship in Honor of Sheryl V. Kerr

Chestertown, MD, July 12, 2007 — Washington College is pleased to announce the establishment of a new scholarship in honor of longtime College supporter and former Board member Sheryl "Shery" Kerr.

An emerita member of the College's Board of Visitors and Governors, Kerr served as a member of the Board of Visitors and Governors from 1997 until 2003, and is an honorary degree recipient.

The Sheryl V. Kerr H'04 Scholarship will provide financial aid to non-traditional students, that is, students who attend college at a later point in life than the typical high-school-to-college track. The scholarship will give support to its first recipient in the 2007-2008 academic year.

"It is a real pleasure to create this scholarship in honor of Shery Kerr," said Washington College President Baird Tipson. "Her leadership has played an important role in shaping the direction of the College, and we are especially pleased that she has inspired us to make opportunities for study available to non-traditional students. Many of them would not be able to return to college while balancing the demands of work and raising a family without this kind of support."

Kerr received an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree from the College in 2004. In awarding her the degree, then-Washington College President John Toll praised her as "a woman of purpose whose philanthropic aim is to elevate the human spirit and to shape a world in which that spirit can flourish. Shery Kerr understands what makes our nation great. With the extraordinary commitment that she and her husband Breene have made to this institution, she has helped us to recognize how great we might become. Her faith in the power of education, her affection for our students, and her business acumen have brought us to this moment."

Monday, July 9, 2007

Washington College President Tipson Joins Nationwide Effort, Signs Climate Commitment Pledge

Chestertown, MD, July 9, 2007 — As part of a nationwide incentive to further the cause of environmental sustainability, Washington College President Baird Tipson has joined with leaders of more than 300 institutions of higher learning in signing the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment.

Building on the growing momentum for leadership and action on climate change, the Presidents Climate Commitment provides a framework and support for America's colleges and universities to go "climate neutral." With 319 signatories to date, it is a high-visibility effort to address global warming by garnering institutional commitments to neutralize greenhouse-gas emissions, and to accelerate the research and educational efforts of higher education to equip society to re-stabilize the earth's climate.

Launched in December 2006, the Commitment recognizes the unique responsibility that colleges and universities have as role models for their communities and in training the people who will develop the social, economic and technological solutions to reverse global warming.

Washington College's signing of the Commitment reflects the increasing momentum of its environmental initiatives, spearheaded by the Center for Environment & Society. Located in the historic Custom House along the Chester River, the Center supports interdisciplinary research and education, exemplary stewardship of natural and cultural resources, and the integration of ecological and social values. Ecologically minded students are active in the Student Environmental Alliance, and the College is gaining renown both regionally and nationally for its "George Goes Green" environmental-sustainability campaign.

In addition to Washington College, other Maryland schools that have signed on to the Commitment are Frostburg State University, Goucher College, Howard Community College, McDaniel College, Mount St. Mary's University and the University of Maryland, College Park.

"When Washington College was approached about participating in this Climate Commitment, we were eager to take part," Tipson said. "With campaigns such as 'George Goes Green,' the students and staff at our Center for Environment & Society had kept the campus community focused on environmentally friendly initiatives, and the Buildings and Grounds Committee of the Board of Visitors and Governors had already decided that future campus buildings would meet strict environmental standards. By banding together with colleges and universities across the country, the College becomes part of an initiative that can help direct everyone's attention to the importance of addressing the challenge of global warming."

By signing the Commitment, Tipson has pledged that Washington College will eliminate its greenhouse-gas emissions over time. This major undertaking is fivefold: 1) completing an emissions inventory; 2) within two years, setting a target date and interim milestones for becoming climate neutral; 3) taking immediate steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by choosing from a list of short-term actions; 4) integrating sustainability into the curriculum and making it part of the educational experience; and 5) making the action plan, inventory and progress reports publicly available.

"We, the undersigned presidents and chancellors of colleges and universities, are deeply concerned about the unprecedented scale and speed of global warming and its potential for large-scale, adverse health, social, economic and ecological effects," the Commitment reads. "While we understand that there might be short-term challenges associated with this effort, we believe that there will be great short-, medium- and long-term economic, health, social and environmental benefits, including achieving energy independence for the U.S. as quickly as possible."