Campus News

Alumna’s $1 million gift establishes endowment for equine studies in vet medicine

One of Marguerite Hodgson’s earliest memories is when her parents put her on a horse for the first time. From there her love for horses blossomed and brought her some of the most cherished moments in childhood. Her lifelong affinity for horses is what inspired Hodgson to make a $1 million endowed gift to the College of Veterinary Medicine to establish a chair in equine studies.

The University of Georgia is fortunate to have such a benevolent member of our community who understands the significance of animal health in society,” said UGA President Michael F. Adams. “Through Marguerite Hodgson’s generosity, we are able to increase our knowledge of equine medicine and maintain our position as one of the top research universities in the nation.”

The endowment, the Marguerite Thomas Hodgson Chair of Equine Studies, will provide support for a faculty member to teach students current veterinary practices and to conduct research to improve equine health.

“This chair that Miss Hodgson has established is extremely significant,” said Sheila W. Allen, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. “This is the very first chair in equine medicine at UGA and it enables us to hire a highly qualified faculty member who can provide a concentration in equine studies and to engage residents, lab technicians and support staff to aid in that effort.”

Hodgson’s gift will further enhance studies of diseases and conditions that affect horses, including colic and laminitis, while providing a learning environment for veterinary students, residents and interns.

“The Hodgson Chair provides a stable base over time for clinical research in the department, reinforcing scientific investigations already under way that we hope will open new avenues for the treatment of  horses,” said Andrew Parks, head of UGA’s large animal medicine department. “Until now, we have never had a position of this magnitude within our department. It comes at a very opportune time because it allows us to solidify a successful and expanding research program in the department.”

Born in Athens in 1924, Hodgson was the only child of Ralph and Isabella Hodgson. She attended Lucy Cobb Institute and graduated from UGA in 1946 with a degree in English. She owned her own horse, Twinkle, at age 16, and later had two Tennessee Walkers named Major and Lady Bird.

“I have thought for years about ways I could donate to a charity benefiting horses,” said Hodgson, “but I wasn’t sure how to go about it until I learned of the College of Veterinary Medicine’s need for support for equine medicine. I am so pleased that I can help in this way.”