Tell us about Hood College’s history.
Hood College’s roots reach back to 1893, when the Potomac Synod of the Reformed Church of the United States—now the United Church of Christ—established the Woman’s College of Frederick, which moved from the Potomac Synod’s Mercersburg College in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania. In 1897, the college was officially chartered with the purpose of creating a college for the promotion and advancement of women and the cultivation and diffusion of literature, science and art. Located in Winchester Hall on East Church Street in Downtown Frederick, the college opened its first semester with a student body of 83 and a faculty of eight. That same year, the college acquired land on the northwestern edge of Frederick through a gift from Margaret Scholl Hood, for whom the college was renamed. Today, more than 30 academic, residential and administrative buildings are on Hood’s 50-acre campus. In 2003, the college made the transformation to a fully coeducational institution, although males had been enrolled as commuters or in the graduate programs since 1970.
You’re celebrating your 125th anniversary this year. What do you have planned?
Hood is celebrating its 125th anniversary in the 2017-18 academic year, with a series of events and celebrations, most notably the President’s Medal. Established this year, the medal will be awarded to an individual or organization who exemplifies one of the college’s core values: hope, opportunity, obligation, democracy. The President’s Medal for Obligation was awarded in September to Crystal Griner ’06 for her heroic role in the Congressional softball shooting in June.
How many students are enrolled? How have those numbers changed over the years?
We have about 2,100 students total; about 1,150 undergraduate and just under 1,000 graduate students.
How many graduate/undergraduate programs to do you offer? Any new additions?
We offer 32 bachelor’s degrees, 17 master’s programs, 12 post-doc certifications and two doctoral degrees. Most recently, our cyber security program was approved for a master’s degree.
What sets Hood College apart?
We are proud of the education we give students. Grounded in the humanities and sciences, a Hood education gives our students a more well-rounded understanding of how the world works. We help students develop critical thinking and communication skills, and develop them into independent and engaged life-long learners. Hood’s high-caliber faculty do more than teach. They develop mentor/mentee relationships that continue after graduation.
But it’s our location that really sets Hood apart—our access to learning opportunities that are hard to find anywhere else. Hood is uniquely central to Fort Detrick and Downtown Frederick; to the I-270 Biotech Corridor; and to Washington, D.C., and Baltimore. Students have countless internship and research opportunities to take their classroom learning and apply it in real-world settings.
What is the Hood Hello?
The “Hood Hello” is the custom of greeting everyone you meet on campus whether you know each other or not. This treasured tradition of warm hellos and genuine smiles helps foster the friendly atmosphere that Hood students and alumni cherish. Throughout the history of the institution, Hood community members have sought to make the campus an open, accepting, and welcoming environment for all.