A Farm for Hood's Future

August 22, 1991

Hood College in Frederick has been given a financial boost worthy of note, even though the school can't tap the resource for 20 years. Regardless of restrictions, obtaining a development-ripe farm worth $6.3 million today is a significant gift for any institution.

The arrangement will rank easily as one of largest private donations to a college nationally this year (it would have been the eighth largest overall and largest for a women's college in 1990, according to the latest full-year figures). And it is the largest donation that Hood College, which has a $32 million endowment, has received in its 98-year history.

Hood's benefactors are Floyd and June Bowman, dairy farmers in their 70s, whose 170-acre property adjoins Frederick's airport, across town from the college campus. In a deal worked out through their Realtor, the farm is likely to be sold by the college. Proceeds will go to a trust to support the Bowmans for 20 years, when the assets will become part of the college's endowment.

In the words of Bruce E. Bigelow, Hood's vice president for development: "A gift of this magnitude can boost a college from where it has been to where it can be."

For now, this is money to dream on. But that's not insignificant in a recessionary era when colleges, public and private, are struggling to keep the cost of quality schooling within reach of students. For the future, applying those dreams can help Hood College -- praised last year by the National Endowment for the Humanities as one of the few colleges developing effective new learning methodology -- serve students and Maryland creatively in the next century.

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