Links in a Chain


Peggy Howard Hodgkins ’61 values lifelong friendships that began at Mary Washington. Pictured here are Peggy (left), Lloyd Tilton Backstrom ’61, and Arthur Backstrom, Jr.

Since graduating in 1961, Peggy Howard Hodgkins of Wilton, Maine, proudly has supported her alma mater. This support has come in many forms, including volunteer service as a class agent and through regular gifts to the Fund for Mary Washington.

Peggy credits her enduring love and respect for Mary Washington to the teaching and practice of the traditional Honor Code. “The Honor Code was the base of my experience,” she says. “It was wonderful to live with and be surrounded by people you absolutely trust, and I think it is empowering to be able to carry that honor out into the world as a harbinger of success in business, marriage and one’s personal life.”

Peggy came to Mary Washington after attending high school in New York. She majored in home economics/nutrition and enjoyed social activities with her classmates. “It was four idyllic years of education and living with trust and values on a beautiful campus with gorgeous architecture and trees,” she says. “I could have studied more, but my interest in music and art from those early ‘appreciation classes’ continues to bring joy to my life on a daily basis. I also cherish the honor system and many precious, lifelong friendships.”

After receiving her degree, Peggy moved to Maine and married. Through the years, she put her education and leadership skills to work in managing various family-owned businesses and properties. An avid promoter of women’s issues, she was involved with the American Association of University Women and served on boards of directors in the fields of business, religion, medicine, television, and education. She and her husband had three children, and today she is a proud grandmother of six and a great-grandmother to one.

In response to recognition as one of UMW’s decades-long consecutive donors, Peggy points out the size of her gifts. “I’m definitely not a top donor, but I guess you could say my annual gifts to the Fund for Mary Washington are like small links in a chain,” she says. “I want to keep that chain going, so I plan to keep giving. It feels good, and I know each gift is important.”

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