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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University December 8, 2003 | Vol. 33 No. 14
Hodson Trust Awards $7 Million to Md. Colleges

At a luncheon on Dec. 3, the Hodson Trust presented grants totaling $7 million to four Maryland colleges. Johns Hopkins University, Hood College, Washington College and St. John's College each received $1,750,000.

"We consider these grants to be an excellent investment in talented scholars and important educational initiatives," said Finn M.W. Caspersen, chairman of the Hodson board of trustees since 1976.

The Hodson Trust was settled in 1920 by the family of Col. Clarence Hodson, Beneficial Corp. founder, to support excellence in education. It has honored Hodson's interest in higher education by giving millions of dollars to endow academic merit scholarships at all four schools. In addition, grants from the trust have supported research, academic programs, new facilities, professorships and other initiatives to advance the missions of the four Maryland colleges.

"The Hodson Trust is a real success story," Caspersen said. "It started in the 1920s with just a few hundred dollars. The trust's resources have grown tremendously over the years, allowing us to provide substantial support to four outstanding institutions of higher learning in Maryland."

With this year's grants, the Hodson Trust has given a total of $149 million to the Maryland colleges.

Johns Hopkins President William R. Brody said this year's grant will increase the endowments for Hodson Scholarships and the Hodson Directorship of the Digital Knowledge Center at the Milton S. Eisenhower Library. It also will support the Provost's Undergraduate Research Awards and the Hodson Trust Young Investigator in Oncology Award at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center.

According to Brody, the partnership between the Hodson Trust and Johns Hopkins goes far beyond the usual relationship between a university and a supporting foundation.

"Finn Caspersen has taken an active personal interest in Johns Hopkins and its students," Brody said. "He and the other members of the Hodson Trust board are dedicated to moving this university forward in ways that would not have been possible without the trust's support."

At Hood College, this year's Hodson Trust funding will support student scholarships, a new Hodson Science and Technology Center and other infrastructure needs. "Most importantly," said Hood President Ronald J. Volpe, "it will lead the way in funding Hood College's transition to coeducation at this critical time."

St. John's will use its gift "to close in on the final funding for the renovation of Mellon Hall," its largest classroom building, according to college President Chris Nelson. "It also gives us the shot in the arm necessary to move forward aggressively with the construction of our newest dormitory, Gilliam Hall." The building is named in honor of James H. Gilliam Jr., a trustee of the Hodson Trust who died last summer.

Washington College President John S. Toll said that his institution's Hodson Trust gift will help to support the construction of a science center.


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