The Johns Hopkins Gazette: July 19, 1999
July 19, 1999
VOL. 28, NO. 40


Hodson Trust Funds New Facility

Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

The Hodson Trust, which has given tens of millions of dollars over 79 years to four Maryland colleges, has committed $13 million to The Johns Hopkins University for a new multiuse building on the Homewood campus.

The four-story, 50,000-square-foot building will contain state-of-the-art classrooms, a board of trustees meeting room and a conference room, and will also house the archives of The Hodson Trust.

Col. Clarence Hodson, founder of Beneficial Corp., provided the assets for The Hodson Trust. When Beneficial merged last year into Household International, it was the largest consumer credit company in the United States.

At a ceremony at the university on July 7, Finn M.W. Caspersen, chairman of the board of The Hodson Trust, recalled the history of the trust, created by Maryland lawyer and state senator Thomas Hodson.

Hodson's son, Clarence, a lawyer and banker who was commissioned a colonel in the Maryland Militia, founded the Beneficial Loan Society in 1914 to make small loans available to working-class Americans. The society became Beneficial Corp.

The colonel also became involved with Washington College in Maryland as a benefactor and member of the board of visitors and governors. After he died in 1928, his family and The Hodson Trust expanded its support of education in Maryland by including Hood College, Johns Hopkins and St. John's College.

Caspersen was chairman and CEO of Beneficial Corp. from 1976 until its merger in 1998. During his tenure, assets grew from $480 million to $8.8 billion. Over the same period, the endowment of The Hodson Trust grew similarly. Since 1920, The Hodson Trust has given more than $84 million to the four Maryland schools for merit scholarships, research grants, technology improvements, building construction, library expansion, athletic programs and endowments.

Caspersen is now chairman and CEO of Knickerbocker LLC, a private management firm that invests in both public and private equity situations.

"The Hodson Trust continues to replicate itself," Caspersen said. "In the tradition of Clarence Hodson, who generated hundreds of thousands of dollars from a $100 beginning, the trust continues to multiply, with a multibillion-dollar goal in sight early in the next millennium."

William R. Brody, president of Johns Hopkins, said that the university was grateful for the gift and honored to be the repository of The Hodson Trust archives.

"In this way," he remarked, "we will help preserve the heritage of The Hodson Trust, its association with Finn Caspersen and the Beneficial Corp., and their innovative and dedicated leadership in American education and business."

The name, location and construction schedule of the new building are under consideration by trustees of both The Hodson Trust and the university, and will be an element of the new master plan now under development for the Homewood campus.

The Hodson Trust's gift counts toward the Johns Hopkins Initiative, which has total commitments of $1.258 billion as of June 30. The campaign, which recently exceeded its increased goal of $1.2 billion, is scheduled to conclude in June 2000 and will continue to focus on ongoing needs, particularly student aid, the libraries and facilities.

More on The Hodson Trust can be found on the Web at .

JHU programs supported by The Hodson Trust

Hodson Scholars program. Merit scholarships (currently worth $17,000 per year for four years) awarded annually to 15-20 incoming freshmen.

Hodson Achievement Scholarships. Need-based scholarships for 15 mid-Atlantic students each year. Grant funds to meet full need (no loans) and no work study for first two years.

Provost's Undergraduate Research Awards. Grants supporting research by approximately 65 freshmen, sophomores and juniors.

The Edgar T. Higgins Senior Investigator in Oncology.

Hodson Young Investigator in Oncology. Start-up research funding for innovative projects.

Support for new Cancer Research Building.

Hodson Fellowships in the Humanities for Ph.D. candidates in their first and fourth years.

The Interdisciplinary Program for the Exceptionalities in the Education Division of SPSBE.

The Gilbert and Aileen Schiffman Fellowships for Ed.D. candidates in Special Education.

The Humanities collections at MSEL.

Graduate assistantships in information technology at MSEL.

Shells and equipment for the crew team.