A Western English graduate who went on to turn out to be a preeminent determine in inside design has left $10 million to assist college students within the College of Arts and Humanities.
William (Invoice) Hodgins, BA’54, died in 2019, bestowing the college with its largest reward thus far. His donation will fund greater than 16 scholarships every year, in perpetuity.
The bequest extends the legacy of Hodgins’ contributions to his alma mater, honouring his mom Neen, who was unable to pursue her dream of learning English at Western as a result of she couldn’t afford to take action. She labored arduous to make sure it was a viable choice for her son.
The primary in his household to attend college, Hodgins embraced his Western expertise as an English main, a cheerleader and member of the Purple Spur Spirit Membership. As a donor, he needed to provide to others who in any other case couldn’t afford the identical alternative.
By way of his first reward greater than 15 years in the past, Hodgins touched the lives of greater than 90 college students learning English at Western. Now his generosity will prolong to college students throughout all arts and humanities applications by way of extra benefit and needs-based scholarships.
Hodgins’ bequest will generate $560,000 yearly to assist scholarships throughout the spectrum, serving to high-achieving, first-generation, Indigenous and worldwide college students with monetary want by way of entrance, persevering with and graduate awards.
“Assist for the humanities and humanities has by no means been extra very important,” stated Western president Alan Shepard. “In these unsure and quickly altering instances, humanities graduates carry empathy, creativeness, perspective, important pondering, and problem-solving abilities to the desk. Invoice’s generosity will open doorways for college students with various pursuits and backgrounds to pursue their ardour and create constructive change on this planet. We’re extremely grateful to him for entrusting Western with this transformative reward.”
Hodgins discovered his English diploma supplied a robust footing for his profession in residential design. He earned a repute for creating considerate, snug and stylish interiors by working carefully together with his shoppers to grasp their tastes and wishes.
He shared his design strategy with Stephen M. Salny, writer of William Hodgins Interiors, noting, “My shoppers are very concerned within the work we do, so their homes replicate their preferences. I do it for them, not for me.”
Hodgins is consultant of what Michael Milde, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities sees in lots of alumni, who go on to careers in an unlimited number of fields.
“We prepare the thoughts to face the world, with important and artistic pondering tied to communication abilities that span the vary of human expression,” Milde stated. “This provides our college students the flexibility to work and relate properly with others, to place themselves imaginatively into one other’s sneakers and work towards options.”
Drawn to design
After graduating from Western, Hodgins went to England, the place he labored for a British ambassador. He frolicked in France earlier than returning to Canada to work for the Hudson Bay Firm in a administration coaching program, after which in Montreal, designing brochures for Avon cosmetics.
At 30, he pursued his lifelong dream and utilized to the Parsons College of Design in New York.
After graduating with honours in 1963, he labored as an assistant to design legends Sister Parish and Albert Hadley. He then moved to Boston, the place, by his late 30s, he grew to become president and proprietor of William Hodgins Inc., an inside design agency centered solely on residential design.
Lengthy earlier than the existence of the web and on-line purchasing, Hodgins travelled the world looking for the fitting items to swimsuit the houses owned by a loyal listing of shoppers, together with American ambassadors and a Saudi prince.
Acknowledged as one of many “deans of American inside ornament,” and “the final of the good old-guard decorators,” Hodgins was inducted into Inside Design’s Corridor of Fame in 1987 and was acknowledged as a designer of distinction by the American Society of Inside Designers for “his excellent contributions towards reaching design excellence and advancing the occupation of inside design.”
His residential commissions have been celebrated within the pages of Architectural Digest, Home & Backyard and Home Lovely, highlighting his signature pallets of whites, lotions and jewel-toned lush furnishings. It’s an aesthetic that stands the take a look at of time, together with his work showing on numerous Pinterest websites immediately.
Upon his passing, trade insiders lamented the lack of a design big, however his colleagues commented most on the care Hodgins took together with his shoppers, and the way he anticipated these he mentored to take the identical strategy.
Along with studying “the significance of vintage furnishings arising for public sale, or quirky items that will be ‘good’ for ‘Madame X,’” one wrote, “I discovered (from him), importantly, of listening fastidiously to a consumer, what they have been speaking and the way they stay, hope and dream.”
One other colleague noticed how the six-foot-four Hodgins “gave generously to what he thought was proper, together with his time, consideration and monetary sources. He anticipated the perfect from you for his shoppers. He was an enormous man in stature, with a coronary heart to match.”
Jeff O’Hagan, vice-president (college development) agrees.
“What I keep in mind most is Invoice’s need to assist and make a distinction. He was a captivating, fantastic individual and really engaged with Western. We’re lucky to depend him amongst our most beneficiant, considerate alumni and grateful for the continued impression he can have on the lives of our college students.”
Western will mark this donation with a celebration of the humanities and humanities. The college can even identify an outside examine area in entrance of College Faculty as a long-lasting memorial to Hodgins’ beneficiant reward.
Scholarships funded by the property of William Hodgins
Neen Hodgins Worldwide President’s Entrance Scholarship: 1 at $80,000 ($20,000 per 12 months for 4 recipients)
Neen Hodgins Entrance Scholarship: 1 at $80,000 ($20,000 per 12 months for 4 recipients)
Neen Hodgins Persevering with Admission Scholarship: 6 at $ 5,000, persevering with for 4 years
Neen Hodgins Indigenous Persevering with Admissions Scholarship: 1 at $10,000 persevering with for 4 years
Neen Hodgins Graduating Scholarship: 1 at $2,000
Funds can even assist the Neen Hodgins Award and the Neen Hodgins Bursary (Quantity and worth as funds allow)
For extra data on the eligibility necessities and standards for these awards, please contact the Workplace of the Registrar