Hodson Trust Grants $3.5 Million to WC for Student Scholarship Endowment

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The Hodson Trust, whose generosity has supported hundreds of Washington College students over 81 years, this year is donating $3.5 million to endow student scholarships. Representatives of the Trust, which has been the largest single benefactor to the College, presented the gift to College President Kurt Landgraf on December 7.

“It is hard to overstate how critical this funding is for our students and programs, and how much we appreciate the loyal support that The Hodson Trust continues to show Washington College,” Landgraf says. “We believe that the education and opportunities we offer to undergraduates are unparalleled, and we are grateful to Chairman Gerald Holm and the Hodson trustees for seeing that value and consistently supporting it with this endowment funding.”

This year’s donation provides$2.75 million to the Hodson Merit Scholarship endowment, and $750,000 to the George’s Brigade scholarship endowment. Already this academic year, as a result of previous Hodson gifts, 105 students are receiving an average merit scholarship in the amount of $21,000, for a total of $2.2 million from Hodson Trust-funded scholarship endowments.

“The need is great,” Landgraf says. “Gifts such as this generous scholarship funding from The Hodson Trust are invaluable for our students in their ambition to attain the strong foundation that a college education in the liberal arts and sciences provides.”

The Hodson Trust is the school’s largest single benefactor. Starting with a grant of $18,191.12 in 1935, the Trust has given Washington College nearly $80 million. The Trust that was established in 1920 by the family of Colonel Clarence Hodson benefits four Maryland educational institutions: Washington College, Hood College, St. John’s College of Annapolis, and The Johns Hopkins University. Colonel Hodson, who received the honorary degree, Doctor of Laws,from Washington College in 1922, served on the College’s Board of Visitors and Governors from 1920 until his death in 1928.

Colonel Hodson, who grew up in Somerset County, Maryland, founded the Beneficial Loan Society to make small loans available to working-class Americans at affordable interest rates.  This groundbreaking business grew into the Beneficial Corporation, one of the largest consumer finance companies in the United States.  An initial investment of $100 grew over the ensuing decades into a trust that has awarded more than $240 million to the four beneficiary institutions. For more information, visit www.hodsontrust.org.

About Washington College

Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. It enrolls approximately 1,450 undergraduates from more than 35 states and a dozen nations. With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at washcoll.edu.

Kent County Public Library Out and About – Dec 16

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Kent County Public Library provides regular service at its three locations in Chestertown, Rock Hall, and the North County Branch in Galena, but we also like to offer library experiences outside of our buildings! KCPL will be participating in these upcoming community events:

Millington Winter Fest & Cookie Walk

Saturday, December 16th  |  9am-1pm

Pick up FREE children’s books and learn about library programs and services during the Millington Winter Fest at the Millington Volunteer Fire Company.

Gather ‘Round at the Garfield

Saturday, December 16th  |  3:30 pm

Join us at the Garfield Center for the Arts at the Prince Theatre for a special storytime full of seasonal stories for children of all ages.

For more information, visit the library’s website  or call 410.778.3636.

 

Children & Books — They Go
Together — Kent County Public Library

WRUS Masquerade Gala Honors its First “Great Blue Heron” Award Recipients

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Wye River Upper School (WRUS) presented its newly minted Great Blue Heron Award and WRUS Alumni Achievement Award to two individuals at the School’s “Masquerade Gala: Unmasking Achievers with Learning Differences,” hosted at its Centreville location and attended by 150 guests.

The School, which is celebrating its 15th year of educating bright high school students with learning differences, hosted the gala to highlight the accomplishments of Alumna Chloe Tong, of Easton, Maryland and Parker Seip, of Raleigh, North Carolina. The Great Blue Heron Award is designed to honor individuals who have used their strengths and passions to achieve personal and professional goals, and provide leadership and service to their communities.

Students at Wye River present the Great Blue Heron awards to Chloe Tong and Parker Seip.

The School’s Great Hall was festively decorated in a black and gold masquerade theme with an impressive art-installation of a mask (created by WRUS students) suspended from the ceiling. The Gala brought together parents, WRUS alumni, Board members, Town Council, donors, and faculty and staff. Guests enjoyed live music, a silent auction and other fundraisers, cocktails and heavy hors-d’oeuvres donated and served by local restaurants and caterers, including Magnolia Caterers, The Narrows Restaurant, Smokehouse Grill, Doc’s Riverside Grille, Fisherman’s Inn & Crab Deck, Krave Courtyard, Austin and Guy Spurry, and the Chesapeake Culinary Center.

“Almost as soon as we had established the award concept and criteria we knew we had two very strong candidates, Chloe Tong and Parker Seip,” says Chrissy Aull, Executive Director of WRUS, who conducted the award presentations. “With support and opportunities to pursue their goals, both Chloe and Parker learned to use tools and strategies to get around their learning differences. They are both shining examples that students facing challenges do not need to miss out on pursuing their passions.”

Chloe graduated from WRUS in 2010 and went on to attend Randolph College in Lynchburg, Virginia, where she graduated in 2014 with a degree in dance. After a few months of traveling in Europe, she moved to Australia to work as a nanny while pursuing her love of dance and rowing. Now employed by the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, Chloe is an integral member of the CBMM staff. She has worked in a variety of roles and more recently has become certified as a backhoe operator, training others in this operation. Chloe has also worked to found the Eastern Shore Community Rowers, a nonprofit organization. She continues to dance and choreograph productions for area dance companies. Together with fellow dancers Tong has created another 501c3, Continuum, a dance company for which she serves as artistic director, choreographer, and dancer

Chloe has one more major undertaking in progress: She is taking lessons to become a licensed as a helicopter pilot. A love of flying is something Chloe shares with fellow Great Blue Heron Award recipient, Parker Seip.

Guests enjoy the Masquerade Gala in the School’s School Great Hall.

Parker, the son of Easton residents and longtime friends of WRUS – Tom and Alexa Seip, attended the Winston School in Del Mar, California, a school like WRUS which is designed to support the strengths and needs of students with learning differences. As his parents are quick to note, “All Parker ever wanted to do was fly airplanes.” Upon graduation from Winston, Parker earned a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Flight Operations from Daniel Webster College. He later became an instructor for the college, and he earned his Designated Pilot Examiner (DPE) status from the Federal Aviation Administration. Now with years of commercial flight experience, Parker is employed by a major commercial airline as First Officer on the Airbus 320 and 321, a craft which accommodates 220 passengers. He and his wife Amy and their two young children reside in North Carolina.

The School’s financial aid program will benefit from the Gala proceeds which include generous sponsorships by Alan and Penny Griffith, CS/2 LLC, Don and Debbie Pusey, Miles & Stockbridge, Richard K. White, Jr., 1880 Bank, Harry and Virginia Duffey, Tom and Alexa Seip, Town of Centreville, and Shore United/Wye Financial & Trust.

Wye River Upper School enrolls bright high school students with learning challenges including ADHD, dyslexia, and anxiety. For more information, contact Katie Theeke at 410-758-2922, katietheeke@wyeriverupperschool.org.

Beekeeping 101 Classes Set

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Starting in January 2018, Michael Embrey will be offering beginning beekeeping classes in both Chestertown and Easton. Beekeeping 101 consists of a total of 7 classes. The first five classes will be held every other week until the end of April. The last two classes, focusing on winterizing your hives and keeping your bees healthy, will take place in September. Attendants will learn about the lives of bees, how to take care of hives, pest and diseases, swarm management, honey extraction and much more. Mr. Embrey is a retired apiculturalist with the University of Maryland Extension and has been teaching beekeeping classes for decades.The recommended textbook Is, “The Beekeeper’s Handbook, Fourth Edition” by Diana Sammataro. Registration fee for the entire series is $125.

Classes in Chestertown will start on Thursday, January 25, 2018 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m in the Sophie Kerr Room, Miller Library at Washington College. To register for this class, please contact Mike Wham, .MLWham@gmail.com or 302-354-3150.

Classes in Easton will start on Saturday, January 20, 2018 from 9 a.m. until noon at the Talbot County Extension Office, Marvel Court (off of Glebe Road). To register for this class, please contact Mike Embrey, mecharjew@yahoo.com410-924-0028.

In addition to the classes, anyone interested in bees or beekeeping is invited to attend the monthly lectures and meetings of the following Beekeepers Associations:

  • Upper Eastern Shore Beekeepers Association, 2nd Wednesday of the month in the yellow building at the Kent County Public Library in Chestertown.
  • Lower Eastern Shore Beekeepers Association, 2nd Wednesday of the month at the Wicomico Extension Office on Nanticoke Road in Salisbury.
  • Wye River Beekeepers Association, 3rd Wednesday of the month at the Adult Education Center at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills.

More information is available online or on Facebook Upper Eastern Shore Beekeeping Association

Build a Gingerbread House at the Library! Dec. 13 & 14

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To register, visit kentcountylibrary.org or call 410.778.3636.

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KCHS Seasonal Sensations Dinner and Concert Dec. 13

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Members of the KCHS Jazz Band in concert

Kent County High School Music presents the 10th annual Seasonal Sensations Dinner, Jazz Concert and Silent Auction,  6 p.m Dec. 13 at Kent County High School Cafeteria

Enjoy a meal prepared by skilled Kent County High School Culinary Arts students while seasonal music selections are performed by our talented Kent County High School Jazz Band and Chorus students. Purchase your tickets early, seating is limited!

Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for children under the age of 12.  Tickets can be picked up at the door the evening of the event. Please R.S.V.P. to Marlayn at marlayn@atlanticbb.net to reserve your tickets.

 

Washington College Business Student Takes Second Place in Global Trading Challenge

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Whitney Schweizer

As a financial analyst in Washington College’s Brown Advisory Student-Managed Investment Fund Program, senior Whitney Schweizer is already an experienced investor. Under the guidance of industry expert and executive-in-residence Richard Bookbinder, Schweizer and his classmates are actively investing in a fund that has grown since its inception in June 2008 from $500,000 to $871,000 in real dollars as of October 31.

But, when the business management major from Baltimore participated in a back-to-school trading challenge in derivatives and futures trading, Schweizer finished nearly $33,000 richer—in Monopoly money—and took second place among 1,660 undergraduates around the world. Two other Washington College seniors, Tanner Barbieri and Austin Hepburn, finished among the top 70 competitors. The challenge was held by the CME Institute, an arm of the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace.

“On the first day of class [on financial derivatives], Professor [Hui-Ju] Tsai told us about this challenge, but I wasn’t totally sure about derivatives and futures trading,” Schweizer says. “I had only done stocks trading. After the first couple of weeks of class, I set up the account, took the online course, and then started the trading challenge using scenarios real in every way except the money. It’s a great way of letting students learn. It’s real life, without the consequences.”

Schweizer invested heavily in the energy sector. “It was right after Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, and I suspected fuel prices would go up,” he says. “I just didn’t think they would go up as much as they did. Refineries were shut down, and prices were affected pretty quickly. Then I diversified with wheat. I started with $100,000, and ended the week with $132,607.30.”

Even though the risks and rewards were great, Schweizer’s approach to the investment challenge didn’t stray far from the approach he’s learned to follow as a student in the investment fund program, previously known as the Alex. Brown Program. Administered by the College’s Department of Business Management and led by Richard Bookbinder, who brings his industry expertise to the weekly classes, it offers students of all majors an immersive experiential opportunity to learn about investments. The focus, as Bookbinder has taught them, is always on what’s happening in the world.

“As a group, at every meeting, we start out with current events,” Schweizer says. “We read the Wall Street Journal. We re-evaluate our portfolio. We bounce some ideas off Mr. Bookbinder. Then we start looking for the bigger picture. If it’s a consumer product, who supplies it? And we look at competitors. You want the big picture, as far out as you can get. Those are the risk-and-reward pieces.”

Schweizer seems well-suited to the world of finance. “The Alex. Brown program was the big thing that drew me here,” says Schweizer, who grew up in Baltimore and whose grandfather works for the renowned Brown Advisory firm there. “I knew I wanted to go into finance, and Washington College seemed like a good fit.”

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“The “Greening” of the Past – “The French Wars of Religion and the Environment” on December 9 at Washington College

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Illustration of the French Religious Wars between Catholics and Huguenots by a contemporaneous artist Frans Hogenberg (1535 – 1590)

CHESTERTOWN, MD—The human casualties of four decades of intermittent civil “Dominion and Domain: The French Wars of Religion and the Environment” will discuss this question and the development of a history of modern eco-consciousness–the “greening” of the past. Jeff Persels, associate professor in the University of South Carolina’s Department of Language, Literatures, and Cultures, will lead this conversation of 16th-century France’s potential contributions to that history.

The French Wars of Religion, also known as the Huguenot Wars, lasted from 1562-1598 — 36 years and one month — although there was not constant fighting. It began in the era of Catherine de Medici, the queen-mother of France, and was the second deadliest European religious war. (The deadliest was the Thirty Years’ War, 1618 -1648, which took over eight million lives in what is now Germany.) But there was more than religion at stake.

The talk, sponsored by the William James Forum and the Center for Environment & Society, is set for December 9 at 11:15 a.m. in Hynson Lounge and is free and open to the public.

Persels’ research interests focus on early modern French prose and verse polemic. He teaches courses in early modern French literature and culture, French theater, contemporary French culture and society and European Studies. He also stages student and amateur French-language plays, most recently an original co-authored creation at the Columbia Museum of Art, Tableaux vivants, tableaux parlants (March 2013). He and his wife Brigitte write, produce, and perform puppet shows in French based on classic children’s tales. His publications include FLS 39. The Environment in/and French and Francophone Literature and Film (editor and introduction, Rodopi 2012), and he is currently working on a manuscript called Man Bites God: The Ludic Quality of Early Modern French Religious Polemic, as well as an adaptation for the English-language stage of Montaigne’s Essais.

About Washington College

Founded in 1782, Washington College is the tenth oldest college in the nation and the first chartered under the new Republic. It enrolls approximately 1,450 undergraduates from more than 35 states and a dozen nations. With an emphasis on hands-on, experiential learning in the arts and sciences, and more than 40 multidisciplinary areas of study, the College is home to nationally recognized academic centers in the environment, history, and writing. Learn more at washcoll.edu.

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Wye River Upper School Explores the Benefits of Mindfulness in Education

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The work and mission of Wye River Upper School will be strengthened as the school partners with the WRUS Parent’s Association to provide training for faculty and staff in the Neurobiology of Stress Management, Mindfulness and Meditation Tools for Resilience.

Monica Jordan of Annapolis, is leading the on-site training.  Jordan holds a Master of Education (M.Ed.), and a Master’s Certificate in Mind, Brain and Teaching (MCMBT) from Johns Hopkins University.  Jordan’s research focuses on the consequences of stress overload on the nervous system, mood, learning, behavior, executive function, and overall wellbeing. Her research also encompasses the effectiveness of Mindfulness as an intervention to ameliorate, and as a way to transform our reaction to stressors.

Jordan is providing every member of the staff and faculty with fifteen hours of intensive training as well as guidance and instruction for independent work to be done between training sessions.  After the course is complete, teachers and staff will share what they have learned with the Wye River students.

The WRUS faculty and staff gather in front of the school before one of their Mindfulness Trainings.

“Like most teenagers, our students must manage much more than we of the Baby Boomer or Millennial generation,” notes WRUS Head of School Chrissy Aull.  “Social media being the biggest add-on to an existing list of stressors that include academics, friends, college, and job readiness.  Often students and adults simply miss the joy of the moment or, worse, their stress can be an obstacle to learning.  We think Monica’s research-based approach is an ideal fit for our students and the adults who guide them. The entire staff will better support our students, athletes, and artists by showing them how mindfulness techniques and strategies can be used in their daily lives.”

Research supports the positive impact that Mindfulness has on academics and happiness.  In 2015, researchers at the University of British Columbia found that fourth and fifth grade students that participated in a 12-week mindfulness program had higher levels of attention, better retention, and 15 percent higher math grades than their peers. This was on top of psychological benefits such as lower levels of depression and increased feelings of optimism. (Terada, Y. 2017, Feb. Edutopia.org).

The WRUS faculty expresses enthusiasm at this opportunity.  Veteran teacher Kimberleigh Nichols adds, “Teaching is inherently a demanding job, and when you add stressors from home, it can feel overwhelming sometimes.  This training will give me the tools to manage stress more effectively and allow us to model those strategies for our students and families, paving the way for more creativity and learning.”

Rounding out the partnership amongst WRUS stakeholders, Parent’s Association Kathy Stisted offers, “The WRUS Parents Association is pleased to provide support for the Mindfulness program.  The generous donations of the WRUS parent community during the 2016-17 school year, allowed this seminar to be brought in-house.  We look forward to seeing the results of the training as the lessons learned are put into practice at our school.”

A free Mindfulness Workshop will be offered to the public on December 13, from 7:00pm-8:15 pm at the WRUS campus: 316 S. Commerce Street, Centreville, MD. Visit www.wyeriverupperschool.org for more details. WRUS enrolls bright high school students with learning differences, including ADHD, dyslexia, and anxiety.  For more information, contact Katie Theeke at 410-758-2922.