Washington College announced the largest gift in the College’s 240-year history: a $54.7 million gift from The Hodson Trust to provide financial support for students. The Hodson gift will grow the College’s scholarship endowment to approximately $170 million and its overall endowment to $325 million, strengthening the College’s ability to make a college education more affordable to students from all backgrounds.
“This generous gift from The Hodson Trust is truly transformative for Washington College,” said President Mike Sosulski. “Access to an outstanding educational experience is a pressing issue for many families today. The Trust’s support of our students’ financial needs expands our ability to ensure access to a wide range of potential students, particularly those who are first-generation or come from underserved communities.”
As a result of the Hodson gift, Washington College will guarantee a minimum scholarship of $30,000 per year ($120,000 over 4 years) to any incoming student with at least a 3.3 grade point average who applies by December 1. Students may qualify for more aid based on their academic performance. The Hodson Trust Washington Scholars endowment, which provides full tuition, fees and the cost of room and board for students with significant financial need, will also benefit from this gift.
“We are excited to be able to offer this scholarship opportunity to deserving students,” said Vice President for Enrollment Johnnie Johnson. “It will allow us to continue to grow the diversity of our campus community and enhance the intellectual environment of the College. These scholarship funds will help us recruit more of the best and brightest students to Washington College from Maryland, the mid-Atlantic region, and beyond.”
Support for financial aid opens new opportunities for students and their families who think an education at a private college is out of reach. Because private colleges like Washington provide significant student financial aid when compared to public universities, the cost of a private education becomes more affordable. For the current academic year, Washington College provided $40.6 million in total financial aid with the average student aid totaling $45,745, compared to the University of Maryland, whose published average student aid is $9,074.
The gift is part of the dissolution of The Hodson Trust. Established in 1920 by Colonel Clarence Hodson, the Trust has been a longtime supporter of Washington College and its largest benefactor, having now donated more than $150 million to the College since 1935.
For almost 90 years, The Hodson Trust has contributed to Washington College in a number of ways, including establishing or contributing to endowments that support student scholarships; undergraduate research and internship stipends; faculty chairs, salary enhancement, and professional development funds; and the College’s signature academic centers. In addition, The Hodson Trust contributed to the construction of Hodson Hall, Hodson Boathouse, the John Toll Science Center, and the Lelia Hynson Boating Park.
The Hodson family has a long and illustrious legacy at Washington College. Colonel Hodson, his daughter, Lelia Hodson Hynson, and granddaughter, Sally Hynson Hopkins, served on the Washington College Board of Visitors and Governors.