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Alumna from Hagerstown leaves $1M gift to Hood College

April 12, 2011

FREDERICK, Md. — A Hood College alumna from Hagerstown has left the college a $1 million gift to fund international programming at the school, the college announced in a news release. The gift from Shirley Conner Hardinge, a 1944 graduate of Hood, will establish an endowment for a center for global studies. the release said. Hardinge, who was a French major, was a longtime supporter of Hood, according to the release. Her long professional career was spent at Fairchild Aircraft and later as senior vice president at Sharrett Inc. She died in May 2010 at age 87. The center, to be called the Shirley Conner Hardinge Center for Global Studies, will support faculty research in international areas, provide funding for Hood students to study abroad and scholarships for new students studying in international areas and fund a lecture series to bring international scholars to Hood, the release said. “This is a tremendous gift from an alumna who had a keen interest in world politics, economics and business,” Hood College President Ronald J. Volpe said in the release. ¿She loved Hood and the great education she received here,¿ Volpe said of Hardinge, who also served on the college’s alumni board and as a member of its board of associates. ¿She knew the value of a liberal arts education and how it provides students with the tools to live and work in an increasingly interconnected global environment. It is so very fitting that this gift would be used to enhance the study of international education.¿ Hardinge was originally from Waynesboro, Pa. She graduated from Waynesboro Senior High School in 1940. She served on the board of directors of the YMCA and Brook Lane Health Services, and served for 20 years on the board of associates of Hood College, the release said. She was voted Business Woman of the Year and was active in the local chapter of the International Management Council, where she was also elected as the first woman president in 1977. She also held various positions in Zonta International.

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