The Hodson Trust last week awarded grants totaling $14
million to four Maryland colleges, with
$3.5 million each going to The Johns Hopkins University and
Hood, Washington and St. John's colleges.
This brings the total awarded to the four institutions by
the Hodson Trust to more than $198 million.
In addition to the annual grants, the trust, in cooperation
with the colleges, this year established the
Hodson Trust Star Scholarship program for men and women who
have served in the military in Iraq
The Hodson Trust was settled in 1920 by the family of
Col. Clarence Hodson, who grew up in
Maryland. Hodson believed that credit should be available
to the average American, a revolutionary
idea in 1914 when he founded the Beneficial Loan Society,
which became one of the nation's most
"The Hodson Trust is a bit of Americana," said its
chairman, Finn M.W. Caspersen. "It was
founded by a man who had great dreams and very little
means. With an initial gift of a hundred dollars,
the trust has now grown exponentially. I don't think
Clarence Hodson, in his wildest dreams, could have
imagined that his small investment would have produced such
an accumulation of capital. It shows the
power of good investments."
Caspersen has been chairman of the Hodson Trust for
more than three decades and headed the
Beneficial Corp. from 1976 to 1998, a period of dramatic
growth for the company.
Investing in talented students is a top priority of
the Hodson Trust. More than half the $14
million awarded this year will support endowments for
Hodson Scholarships, which are given by each
school to its most academically outstanding students. "We
know these students will make the most of
their educations and go on to make the world a better
place," Caspersen said. "It's a terrific
At Johns Hopkins, the most recent grant will create
the Hodson Trust Nephrology Fellowship
and will provide continued support for independent research
by undergraduates, Hodson Scholarships,
cancer research, a book on the prose of T.S. Eliot and the
Hodson Curator of the university archives.
"There are few philanthropic organizations whose
influence at this university is as wide-ranging
as that of the Hodson Trust," said President William R.
Brody. "We are tremendously grateful for the
Hodson Trust's generosity, vision and partnership."
In addition, Washington College, Hood College and
Johns Hopkins this year awarded Hodson
Trust Star Scholarships to a total of six students
returning from military duty in Iraq and
Afghanistan. The awards fully fund tuition, room and board,
books and other mandatory fees that are
not otherwise met by federal, state or other private
sources. "We are pleased to recognize and
reward these men and women who have served America so
well," Caspersen said. "We hope the Hodson
Trust Star Scholarship program will encourage others to
offer similar programs to our brave
servicemen and women as they find their way to make further
contributions once back in the United
On Nov. 29, Johns Hopkins' current Hodson Scholars and
Hodson-Gilliam Success Scholars were
honored by the university and the Hodson Trust at a
luncheon in the Glass Pavilion at Homewood.