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.

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