Hood College in Frederick received an early Christmas present. The Beneficial Hodson Trust gave the school a $2.5-million grant. "It's a good gift for the entire Frederick community because most of those dollars will be spent right here in Frederick County in some capacity," says Hood President Ron Volpe.
The Hood College gift is one of four given to colleges around Maryland by the Beneficial Hodson Trust. Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, St. John's College in Annapolis and Washington College in Chestertown each received grants of $2.5-million.
Volpe says nearly $1-million dollars will be used for a Hodson Trust Academic Excellence Scholarship Endowment. "That will benefit many students as they pursue their degree here at Hood," he says.
Part of the money will to Hood's nursing program. "Hodson is very interested and supportive of Hood's work toward continuing to develop a four-year nursing program. And so they made a significant contribution to helping us develop new laboratories in our science center that will be used to deliver the nursing program. And they also provided more funding to develop our Hodson professorship in nursing," he says.
Part of the Hodson gift will be used to construct and renovate the Tatem Arts Center and the Hodson Science Center.
Hood College has had a relationship with the Beneficial Hodson Trust which goes back many years. "They've been supportive of the library. They've been supportive of our arts program," says Volpe. "They've been very supportive of our facilities on campus. We have various classrooms with the Hodson name on them. Our soccer field was made possible because a gift from the Hodson Trust. And certainly faculty research and faculty development."
The Hodson Trust, based in Wilmington, Delaware, was established in 1920 by the family of Clarence Hodson. He was a banker in Crisfield, Maryland, who found the Beneficial Loan Society to make affordable, small loans to working class Americans.
"This is not 34th Street down here. But this miracle occurred at 401 Rosemont, so we're very excited about this gift," says Volpe.