Fund offers a stipend for Hampshire writers to focus on summer projects
As a single mother trying to write for a living, Sandol Stoddard saw that as her “ticket to freedom.” And since 2004, Stoddard has been punching that ticket with Hampshire students, through a fund she created that awards a stipend to gifted student writers for summer projects.
Stoddard, mother of Hampshire alum Gerry Warburg, enjoyed a celebrated career as an author of both fiction and nonfiction. Her body of work totals 26 published books, among them award-winning children’s books such as the best-selling I Like You, historical novels, lyrical adaptations of the Bible and Old English classics, as well as scholarly nonfiction reporting and analysis. Her landmark work, The Hospice Movement, played an important role in bringing hospice best practices to the United States.
“We wanted to encourage Hampshire to provide opportunities to students to keep writing in the summer by offering a modest stipend,” says Warburg 74S. “She wanted to provide cash and help pay the bills for undergraduates in the summer so they could write.
“My mother grew up on the Yale campus but she’s a Hampshire parent who really loves the College,” Warburg says. “She’s believed in the mission since the day it opened.”
Warburg says the gift was established to help exactly the type of person Sandol was at the start of her career. “She understands that a little bit of money can go a long way for a young writer,” he says. “And she’s aware of the extraordinary contribution Hampshire has made to the humanities, it’s something she’s very proud to be associated with. It’s been a happy process for her to know her work will continue in the voices of young Hampshire writers.”
For Stoddard, the fund presents her with the chance to nurture in others a lifelong love of writing. “I have a very distinct memory of my joy and excitement at the age of four when I discovered that I could save the words that were circulating in my brain,” she says. “That’s what writing was about: capturing these insights, these words.”
The most recent fund recipient was 2016 graduate Shaina Jones.
An interview with Stoddard conducted by Warburg can be found here.