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
"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
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
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
"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.