Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hodson Trust Gift Will Boost Faculty Research, Economics Professorship and Scholarships

CHESTERTOWN, MD—The Hodson Trust earlier this month awarded $1.7 million to Washington College to fund three strategic priorities. Washington College president Mitchell Reiss says the gift will fund scholarships and faculty research and help the College build the endowment for an existing professorship in economics.

“This generous gift, the latest in a long tradition of support from The Hodson Trust, will enable us to meet a number of important goals identified in the College’s strategic plan,” Reiss adds.

The majority of the gift will add $1.2 million to the $16.6 million Hodson Trust (Merit) Scholarship Endowment, which provides four-year awards to full-time students who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, character and citizenship. At present, 49 students are receiving a combined $780,000 in annual scholarship support from the endowment; this year’s gift will ultimately generate an additional $60,000 in annual scholarship funds. “Increasing endowment for student scholarships remains one of the College’s most pressing needs, and The Hodson Trust has been a long and steadfast supporter in this regard,” said Reiss

This year’s gift also provides $250,000 to establish The Hodson Trust Faculty Development Fund, which will more than double the resources now available to faculty for ongoing research, scholarship and professional development. The fund will provide competitive grants for scholarly work on campus, around the nation and across the globe. The Faculty’s Service and Scholarship Committee will administer the fund and make awards based on a peer review of submitted applications. “The personal interactions and mentoring relationships between our professors and students remain a key aspect of our graduates’ success. By helping our professors stay current, vital and actively involved in their areas of expertise, The Hodson Trust funding will nurture the very heart of our mission as a top-tier liberal arts college,” observed Reiss.

Finally, The Hodson Trust has provided a $200,000 addition to the endowment that supports the Hodson Trust Professor of Economics, established in 1977 and recently valued at close to $367,500.

These gifts from The Hodson Trust add a new chapter to the story of a generous partnership that spans more than nine decades.

The Trust, established in 1920 by the family of Colonel Clarence Hodson, benefits four Maryland educational institutions: Washington College, Hood College, St. John’s College and The Johns Hopkins University. Colonel Hodson grew up in Somerset County, Maryland, and went on to found the Beneficial Loan Society, a groundbreaking home mortgage business that grew into a major financial services corporation. An initial investment of $100 grew over the ensuing decades into a trust that has awarded almost $225 million to the four beneficiary institutions. For more information, visit www.hodsontrust.org.

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. To learn more, please visit www.washcoll.edu.

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