Athens, Ga. – One of Marguerite Hodgson’s earliest memories is at the age of two 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 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 support will further enhance studies of diseases and conditions that affect horses, including colic and laminitis while providing an exceptional 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 underway that we hope will open new avenues for the treatment of horses,” explained 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 October 6, 1924, in Athens, Ga., Hodgson was the only child of Ralph and Isabella Hodgson. She attended Lucy Cobb 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.”
The University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, founded in 1946, is dedicated to training future veterinarians, providing services to animal owners and veterinarians, and conducting investigations to improve the health of animals as well as people. The College benefits pets and their owners, food-producing animals, and wildlife by offering the highest quality hospital and diagnostic laboratory services. Equipped with the most technologically advanced facilities located on a university campus, the College is dedicated to safeguarding public health by studying emerging infectious diseases that affect both animal and human health. The College enrolls 96 students each fall out of more than 500 who apply. It has more than 130 faculty members. Please visit www.vet.uga.edu for more information.