Hood College

401 Rosemont Ave 
Frederick MD 21701 

(301) 663-3131

Hood College

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Hood College
Hood College Shield.png
Logo of Hood College
Motto Corde et Mente et Manu
Motto in English With Heart and Mind and Hand
Established 1893
Type Private
Religious affiliation United Church of Christ
Endowment US $70 million
President Ronald J. Volpe
Academic staff 120
Students 2,422
Undergraduates 1,434
Location Frederick, Maryland, U.S.
Campus Urban
50 acres (20 ha)
Newspaper The Blue and Grey
Colors Blue and Grey          
Athletics 20 Varsity Teams
Middle Atlantic Conferences
NCAA Division III
Nickname Blazers
Official Logo of Hood College

Hood College is a co-educational liberal arts college serving 2,422 students, 1,434 of whom are undergraduates.[1] Located in Frederick, Maryland, the school lies 50 miles west of Baltimore and northwest of Washington, DC.

Established in 1893 by the Potomac Synod of the Reformed Church of the United States as the Woman's College of Frederick, the school was officially chartered in 1897 "with the purpose and object of creating and maintaining a college for the promotion and advancement of women, and the cultivation and diffusion of Literature, Science and Art." The college's founding was the result of the Potomac Synod's decision to transition the coeducational Mercersburg College into the all-male Mercersburg Academy and establish a women's college south of the Mason-Dixon line.[2] In 1913, the institution was renamed Hood College by its Board of Trustees to honor the it's largest benefactor, Margaret Scholl Hood, whose land donation allowed the school to move from rented facilities in downtown Frederick to its own campus in the northwest region of the City.

An all-female institution until 1971, male students were initially granted only commuter status. This continued until 2003, when male students were extended the option of residential status. The influx of new students has led to major changes at the school, including extensive dormitory renovations and the construction of a new athletic building and a new tennis and aquatic center.[3]


Hood College Historic District
Hood College campus
Hood College is located in Maryland
Location: 401 Rosemont Ave., Frederick, Maryland Population 66,382 [5]
Coordinates: 39°25'21?N 77°25'7?W? / ?39.42250°N 77.41861°W? / 39.42250; -77.41861Coordinates: 39°25'21?N 77°25'7?W? / ?39.42250°N 77.41861°W? / 39.42250; -77.41861
Area: 50 acres (20 ha)
Built: 1868
Architect: Culler, Lloyd Clayton; et al.
Architectural style: Colonial Revival, Italianate
Governing body: Private
NRHP Reference#: 02001581[4]
Added to NRHP: December 30, 2002

Early History (1893-1944)

The college was founded in 1893 as the Woman's College of Frederick by the Potomac Synod of the Reformed Church of the United States. Dr. Joseph Henry Apple, an educator from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, only 28 years of age at the time of his appointment, was named the college's first president.[6] In this first year, eighty-three women enrolled, and were taught by eight faculty members in Winchester Hall located on East Church Street in Frederick. Classes were offered in the liberal arts and music, as well as secretarial trades. In 1898, the first class graduated, with fourteen women earning Bachelor of Arts degrees. Over the next several years, courses in biology, economics, sociology, political science, and domestic science were added.[7]

In 1897, the college received a 28-acre (110,000 m2) tract of land for its campus from Margaret Scholl Hood.[8] In 1913, the Trustees of the Woman’s College announced that the name of the Woman’s College would be changed to Hood College, in honor of Margaret Scholl Hood, who gave $25,000 to establish an endowment for the college, and who firmly believed in higher education for women. On January 18, 1913, Margaret Hood's will was filed for probate. In the will, she bequeathed an additional $30,000 to the Woman's College of Frederick provided that the college had changed its name to "Hood College".[9] Part of this bequest was used to fund the 1914 construction of Alumnae Hall. Today, except for Brodbeck Hall, which was built in the 1860s and stood on the campus at its founding, Alumnae Hall remains the oldest building on the college's campus and serves as the central location for the college's administration, and houses the social work department. In 1915, the College began its move from its former location in Frederick City to its current campus.[7]

In 1934, Joseph Henry Apple retired as the College’s president, serving for 41 years. At his retirement, he was the oldest college president in continuous active service at a single institution in the United States.[7]

The Hood College Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.[4] The campus is within close walking distance of downtown Frederick. In 2010, Forbes named downtown Frederick one of America's best neighborhoods, and in 2013, Forbes published the results of a Farmers Insurance Group study naming the Bethesda–Gaithersburg–Frederick, MD area one of the most secure metro areas to live in the United States.[10][11]

Transition to Co-education (1970-2003)

In the early 1970s, Hood College began to consider becoming a co-educational institution.[12] In October of that year the Hood College Board of Trustees voted to begin enrollment of men as commuter students.[12] That same year, Hood also decided to begin a graduate school program for both men and women. These changes were implemented in January 1971.[12]

There were mixed feelings on campus as Hood students worried about the type of male student Hood could potentially attract. Students feared that a residential women's college would attract only the "provincial townies" unable to go anywhere else, and the "lusty lovers" attracted by the high number of females.[12] This led to public debate in The Blue and Grey, the Hood College campus newspaper, and letters to the student body from then-president Randle Elliot.[13]

Beginning in January 1971, the College became open to men as commuters. The first male student, Aldan T. Weinberg, transferred to Hood after having spent one year at American University and three years in the army.[14] Weinberg now teaches journalism at Hood and serves as the director of the Communications Program.

In the fall of 2001, the Hood executive committee was charged by the board of trustees with the task of studying the possible impact of male resident students.[14] This study considered the projected financial, cultural, residential, academic and enrollment impacts on the College.[15] Based on this report, the Board of Trustee's ultimate decision was to admit men as residential students.

This decision was made based upon the reality that demand for single-sex education for women was on the decline.[16] Only three percent of college-bound female students preferred a single-gender institution.[16] This, and other factors, led to an overall decline in undergraduate enrollment over the years. Hood needed at least 300 new, enrolled students each year in order to have a balanced budget.[16] All in all, Hood's expenses were exceeding revenue.[16]

This led to the creation of a co-education task force composed of students, alumni, faculty and staff members. This taskforce ultimately decided where men were to be housed.[17]

View of Hood College's Brodbeck Hall.


Hood College students participate in a number of long-standing traditions, some of which date back nearly 100 years, such as the "Hood Hello."

Class Banners

Each class decorates a banner to be displayed in the dining hall. The banners correspond to each class' assigned color. Those colors are red, green, blue and yellow. Every year, a new representative symbol is designed and painted on the banners. Following a class' graduation, the banners are hung in the atrium of the Whitaker Campus Center.[18]

Columns So Fair

Alumnae Hall's four Ionic columns are named Hope, Opportunity, Obligation and Democracy (HOOD). The columns were dedicated by the classes of 1915, 1916, 1917 and 1918. Many buildings on campus that were constructed after Alumnae Hall also have four columns,[7] but the inspiration for the columns themselves probably came from the six columns on each of the twin buildings that comprise Winchester Hall.


Dinks (or colored beanie hats) have been a Hood College tradition since at least the 1950s.[7] According to some sources, the tradition may have started very early in the 20th century with colored armbands rather than beanies although the wearing of beanies is officially documented as beginning in the 1950s.[19] There is reason to believe this is true, as ceremonial colored beanies were also used by women’s colleges such as Wellesley during the early 1900s.[20] The members of each incoming class are given dinks with its class color, either blue, green, yellow or red, upon arriving at Hood. The four colors rotate so that the color of the previous year’s seniors is goes to the incoming freshmen. In the past, dinks were worn at special events such as Campus Day, and freshmen were previously required to wear their dinks continuously during their first few weeks on campus. Now, they are primarily worn during opening convocation, Policies for Dollars, and baccalaureate.[19]

Handel's "Messiah"

For more than 60 years, the Hood College Choir has performed Handel's "Messiah" during the Christmas season. For most of that time, the performances were with the U.S. Naval Academy Glee Club. In recent years Hood has performed in conjunction with choirs from Mount St. Mary's University, Montgomery College and Goucher College, as well as with the Choral Arts Society of Frederick. Individual musical selections, soloists, the orchestra and choral forces may change from year to year.[21]

Midnight & Strawberry Breakfasts

Begun in the 1980s, Midnight Breakfast is held each semester the night before final exams begin and is served by College faculty and staff.[7]

Originally held on the morning of May Day, Strawberry Breakfast now takes places on the morning of Commencement.[7]

The Pergola

Located in the center of Hood's residential quad since 1915, the Pergola is a wooden dome-like structure covered with wisteria.[7] Before 1915 a Pergola was located at the East Church Street campus and was the inspiration for the current structure. Several traditions are associated with the Pergola. Students are not to speak any harsh words under the Pergola or "split poles" with friends, as this might lead to a failed friendship after graduation.[18]

The Hood Ring Dinner and Dance

The Hood ring, which students begin wearing as juniors, symbolizes a bond between Hood alumni and students who will graduate in years to come. They're great conversation starters when students spot folks wearing Hood rings out in the world—which they often do, miles from campus. Juniors first don their Hood rings at a formal dinner in the spring, and they celebrate the ring tradition at a dance held in their honor.[22]

Policies for Dollars

Policies for Dollars is a competition in which the freshmen of each residence hall compete to raise money for their respective halls. The winning dorm also receives the "pink spoon," a giant wooden trophy. Typical activities in the competition include Hood trivia, dorm cheers and skits.[7]


Hood College offers thirty undergraduate majors, fifteen master's degree programs and eight certification programs, including certification programs in education. Hood College's ranking in the U.S. News & World Report 2013 edition of Best Colleges is Regional Universities (North), 26.[23]

Academic Honor Code and Pledge

Academic life at Hood is guided by an honor system, shared between faculty, administration and students. The basic aims of the honor system are to encourage and promote a trustful relationship among all members of the College community, to offer students the opportunity to exercise responsibilities and democratic rule on campus, and to make students more aware of their personal principles of honor. Students submit all academic work with the following statement: “I pledge that I have neither given nor received any unauthorized aid on this assignment.”[24]

Departmental Honors

Each spring students selected by the academic departments make presentations of the year-long research projects that they have completed. The students who complete this year-long project are known as Tischer Scholars, in honor of Christine P. Tischer, alumnae and former member of the Hood College Board of Trustees. In the spring of 2013, twenty-two seniors gave presentations on topics that varied from "First Generation College Students: Challenges and Solutions" to "Effects of Stream Nutrients on Salamander Species Diversity and Abundance."

Honors Program

The Hood College Honors Program is a highly selective program of study, admitting only a limited number of outstanding students each year. Students in the Honors Program take an interdisciplinary seminar each semester, as well as participate in community service, study abroad or internships, and Senior Seminar which is the high point of the program, allowing students to choose a topic of broad interest and selecting a faculty member to teach the course.[25] The Honors Program encourages a more rigorous learning experience, exposing students to a more diverse learning environment, and preparing them for a career after Hood.

Study Abroad

Hood College offers a study abroad program that can be utilized by any student with any major. Some majors require students to spend a semester abroad, including foreign language and literature students. However, all Hood students are encouraged to study abroad regardless of their perspective majors to give students a greater understanding of their academic field and the world around them. Recent approved programs and counties in which Hood students have participated include Australia, Costa Rica, England, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa and the Semester at Sea program.[26]

Graduate School

The Hood College Graduate School is the oldest graduate school in the region. The Graduate School opened in the summer of 1971 after approval of the program by the college faculty in the fall of 1970 and approval by the State of Maryland in December 1970. The first graduate program was a Master of Arts in Human Sciences. Concentrations were available in Contemporary Government, Counseling & Guidance, Early Childhood Education, Elementary Science and Mathematics, Environmental Science, Public Affairs, Reading, and Special Education. Over the ensuing forty years, that single program has evolved into fourteen master's degree programs and eight graduate certificates.


Hood College athletics began in 1898 with the first basketball team. In the early 1900s, field hockey, tennis, archery and swimming were among the sports added to the athletics program. The College was the second college in the U.S. to have a field hockey team. Competitions then were intramural and teams were constituted based on graduating class or dorms. Gambrill Gymnasium was constructed in 1949 and served as the main athletic facility for the campus until the dedication of the new Athletic Center in November 2011. In 1984, Hood College became a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association and joined the Division III Chesapeake Women's Athletic Conference. When the CWAC disbanded, Hood joined the Atlantic Women's Colleges Conference in 1990.[27] In 2006, Hood joined the Capital Athletic Conference (CAC).

Hood presently offers intercollegiate varsity teams in men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross-country, women's field hockey, men's golf, men's and women's lacrosse, men's and women's soccer, women's softball, men's and women's swimming, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's track and field, and women's volleyball. It was announced on July 9, 2013 that Hood was preparing to field a baseball team in Spring 2015.[28] The College also offers club level equestrian, cheer-leading, and women's golf programs.[29] The men's teams began competition in the Capital Athletic Conference for the 2006-2007 academic year along with women's cross-country and track and field. All other women's sports remained in the AWCC for the 2006-2007 year and moved to the CAC in 2007-2008. Hood joined the 18-member Middle Atlantic Conferences' Commonwealth Conference in July 2012.[29][30]

The nickname for Hood athletics is the Blazers. This dates back to the 1920s when the campus elected a rising senior as the "White Sweater" girl as someone who possessed the most sportsmanship and school spirit. In 1928, the sweater was changed to a blazer.[27] Today, the nickname is represented by a thoroughbred horse with a "blaze" mark on its forehead.

Hood College student-athletes train in the new Fitness Center and Gymnasium which includes the BB&T arena.

Notable alumni, faculty, and administrators


  • Beverly Byron, US congresswoman
  • Marcia Coyle, 1973, journalist and lawyer; Washington Bureau Chief, The National Law Journal, panelist on the PBS NewsHour[31][32]
  • David Gallaher, American author and writer
  • Gale L. Gamble, 1969, physician, renowned cancer specialist, Medical Director -Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago[31]
  • Heather Hamilton, 1995, executive director, Connect US Fund[31]
  • Sue Hecht, American politician, member of the Democratic Party, and the Maryland House of delegates.
  • Sophie Kerr, 1898, journalist, novelist, and playwright
  • Lois Jarman M.A. 2006, children's book author
  • Winifred R. King, 1979, physician, health reporter in major television markets, host of Ask the Doctor for America's Health Network
  • Bruce La Fleur MBA 2011,CEO, publisher, co-founder and executive vice president of TLF Publications, Inc.[33]
  • Claire McCardell,American fashion designer in the arena of ready-to-wear clothing in the 20th century
  • Halo Meadows, an American an actress, writer and burlesque dancer, also known by pseudonym Louise Howard
  • Beryl Pfizeer, 1949, producer, NBC News[31]
  • Laura Lee Miller, 1973 President Vera Wang Licensing[34]
  • Arlene Raven, a feminist art historian, author, critic, educator, and curator.
  • Dee Dee Reilly, chief executive officer of the Lamar Advertising Company, Representative in the Louisiana House of Representatives.
  • James N. Robey,member of the Maryland Senate,
  • Beverley Swain-Stanley, 1977, 1982, Maryland Transportation Secretary[35]
  • Kelly M. Schulz, American politician and member of the Maryland House of Delegates
  • Elena Maria Vidal, historical novelist and noted blogger
  • Tina Wells, 2002, CEO and founder of Buzz Marketing Group[31]
  • Patricia Wright PhD, 1966, Scientist, environmental activist


  • Roser Caminals-Heath, professor,Spanish and English language author
  • Anita Jose, professor, business strategist
  • Janis L. Judson, American legal scholar and author


  • Katherine Conway-Turner PhD, Author, Educator, Scholar[36]
  • Senior Staff, Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs, currently Senior Vice President at the Council of Independent Colleges

Sources: Google Maps, The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Wikipedia, Yahoo! Answers

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