Happy 125th Hood College

By Shania Heerd

This academic year marks Hood College’s 125th year of being a college. Hood is celebrating this milestone with events, projects and opportunities. The celebration kicks off with Hood College President Andrea E. Chapdelaine’s student challenge for this year: commit to 125 minutes per day for studying, 125 minutes per week for exercising, and 125 hours throughout the semester for volunteering. Students are incredibly supportive of the idea and look forward to being a part of the school during such a historically important time. 

With the 125th anniversary, the community looks back on the history of Hood. The liberal arts school once served as a female-only school to provide nearby education for women in accordance with the changing of the nearby coeducational Mercersburg College to the male-only Mercersburg Academy. Now Hood serves to help any and all dedicated learners. This great change impacted many other major decisions made by the institution, including the location and the name Hood College. 

Established in 1893, the college was named the Women’s College of Frederick. The name was later changed to Hood in honor of Margaret Scholl Hood, perhaps the most generous benefactor of the time, who granted the college the land to move to where it is located today. In celebration of Hood’s history, the community of Frederick celebrated the first 125th event at Hood’s original location in Winchester Hall on September 12.  

Many showed up to Winchester Hall to celebrate the event where many important figures applauded the college’s accomplishments, including speakers President Chapdelaine and County Executive Jan H. Gardner, who is also a Hood alumna. During the event, a plaque was unveiled by students Mary Amusa and Caitlyn Jean-Ward memorializing Winchester Hall in the engraved words:  

“1893-1915 

Original Home of the Woman’s College of Frederick Maryland, now known as 

HOOD COLLEGE” 

It was also announced by President Chapdelaine that Hood would be launching the Martha Church Center for Civic Engagement, given the name in honor of Martha Church, who provided funding for the center as a gift. The purpose of the center is to connect students with government and business opportunities, as well as to “better meet the educational and workforce needs of our community, expand internship and research opportunities for our students, and increase our civic and service participation,” as stated by President Chapdelaine. 

Some commentary was provided by speakers County Executive Gardner and President Chapdelaine. Many commented on the history of the building, including an alumna reminiscing that the “parking lot that was an athletic complex, and the women that etched their engagements in the windows.”  

When asked what she sees happening at Hood College in the next few years, Gardner stated: “I think we’ll continue to see a lot of community partnerships and collaborations. I think we’ll have partnerships unlike we’ve ever experienced in the past, because we know jobs will change faster and faster, even globally.”  

“I think Hood College will be around for another 150 years, and it will change a lot.” Chapdelaine said. “I don’t think we planned on being a co-ed school, but here we are, and it’s a wonderful thing. Hood College will always be changing and bettering.”  

While the first event has passed, the college and community plan on celebrating many more to come. New students are welcomed cordially and congratulated on being so lucky as to attend on such an important year. The first semester is off to a great start, and all of Frederick looks forward to the college’s events ahead for the year. May all the students and faculty take pride in their school’s history and celebrate the milestone. 

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