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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University December 3, 2007 | Vol. 37 No. 13
Hodson Trust Awards $14 Million to Four Maryland Colleges

JHU grant will create Nephrology Fellowship, continue research support

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 and Afghanistan.

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 successful corporations.

"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 investment."

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 States."

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.


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