Betsy McCain McAlpine ’51 Awarded Honorary Degree

Betsy McCain McAlpine ’51 received the first honorary degree of the day at our May 20 Commencement. As the granddaughter of Hood’s founder, Joseph Henry Apple, McAlpine has been involved with the College since her birth. Over the course of her lifetime, McAlpine’s support of and dedication to Hood College has been immeasurable.

“I have to give a shout out to her husband Harry, who has been as equally dedicated to Hood College as she has,” President Chapdelaine said. “We visited with them a few months ago at their home in Virginia, and Harry sent me a lovely letter about Betsy, where he jokingly referred to himself as her ‘press secretary.’ Harry, joke if you must, but your letter served as the inspiration for the citation I’m about to read.”

Honorary degrees are conferred honoris causa, a Latin term meaning “for the sake of honor.” These degrees are the most prestigious recognition in higher education and are reserved for individuals who have made significant contributions in their field or to their institution. Following is McAlpine’s citation:

Betsy McCain McAlpine, as the granddaughter of our founder, Joseph Henry Apple, your association with Hood College began at your birth and has remained steadfast ever since.

You started your education on this campus with nursery school and went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1951. While a student, you participated in varsity athletics and were the recipient of the White Blazer Award.

Your married life has taken you on journeys around the world. Whether you were involved with a swimming team in Taipei, China; volunteering in the American embassy community in Canberra, Australia; or teaching at a preschool in McLean, Virginia, you always maintained your commitment to education.

Your support of and dedication to Hood College over your lifetime is immeasurable and goes beyond the official roles in which you have served: as the Alumnae Association Officer, Reunion Class Chair and Class Reporter; as Chair of the Centennial Celebration, and as the original docent for the Hood History Museum.

You were honored in 1997 with the Excellence in Service to Hood College Award; and again, in 2008 you were inducted into Phi Kappa Phi and the Hood College Athletic Hall of Fame.

You served on the Board of Trustees from 1999 through 2010, and were honored with the title Trustee Emerita.

Therefore, be it resolved, for all these reasons and many, many more, that the Trustees, President and Faculty of Hood College hereby confer upon Betsy McCain McAlpine the Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, with all the rights, honors and privileges appertaining thereto. Given under the seal of Hood College in Frederick, Maryland, on this, the twentieth day of May, two thousand seventeen.


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