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History

A History of Hood College

For more than 120 years Hood College has prepared students for successful careers and the responsibilities of citizenship. Hood traces its history 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, Pa.

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. The first baccalaureate degrees were awarded to 14 women in 1898.

Also in 1897, the College acquired a 28-acre tract of farm land on the northwestern edge of the city, made possible by a gift from Margaret Scholl Hood. In recognition of Mrs. Hood’s generosity the board of trustees voted in 1912 to change the name of the College. In 1914 construction began on Alumnae Hall, which continues to house many of the principal administrative offices of the College. Today more than 30 academic, residential and administrative buildings are quartered on Hood’s 50-acre campus.

Though commuting male students have been a part of Hood’s undergraduate and graduate populations since 1971, in October 2002 the board of trustees voted to allow men to reside on campus, making the College fully coeducational in fall 2003.

The College is widely recognized for its degree programs and opportunities for high-caliber research in the natural sciences. It offers 33 undergraduate majors, master’s degrees in 17 professional areas, 12 post-baccalaureate certificates and certification programs in education. Nearly 1,200 undergraduates and nearly 1,000 graduate students. Hood has 120 regular faculty members, 93% of whom hold a doctorate or the terminal degree in their field. In all that it does, Hood recognizes that a strong foundation in the liberal arts provides the best possible preparation for personal and professional success.

The Hood Fact Sheet can be found here.

Hood College prepares its students to excel in meeting the personal, professional and global challenges of the future. It is committed to the thoughtful integration of the liberal arts and technology, to the exploration of values and the cultivation of community and to equipping students for lives of responsibility and leadership. In all that it does, Hood recognizes that a strong foundation in the liberal arts provides the best possible preparation for personal and professional success.

Working with their hearts and minds and hands, as the motto of the College enjoins them to do, Hood's more than 19,000 alumnae and alumni have served their communities as scientists, teachers, lawyers, physicians and citizens. The College is proud of its accomplishments and welcomes the pride that they continue to take in Hood.