Who was Bernice Hoeper ?A. Eugene Hoeper was born Deaf; Mrs. Bernice Hoeper lost her hearing at the age of 18 after suffering from spinal meningitis. Mrs. Hoeper completed her B.A. in Sociology in 1972 at Gallaudet College in Washington, D.C., and in 1975 went on to become the first Deaf woman ever to receive a master’s degree from the University of Maryland School of Social Work.
The A. Eugene Hoeper Foundation was founded in 1988 to provide support to help alleviate loneliness and isolation experienced by chronically ill and home-bound Deaf individuals. This was accomplished through personal visits, monthly cheer cards and quarterly newsletters. Mrs. Hoeper worked with students from the CCBC Interpreter Preparation program, who were offered opportunities to volunteer with the foundation. The Hoeper Foundation began giving scholarships to students in that program in 2006.
In 2015, the foundation was closed due to Mrs. Hoeper’s failing health, but her legacy lives on. Mrs. Hoeper and the Hoeper Foundation have given CCBC more than $1 million in endowment funding to support scholarships for the college’s ASL and Interpreter Preparation students. ASL and Interpreting majors who are in ASL 4 or higher and have an overall GPA of 2.5 or higher are eligible for scholarship.
To honor and recognize the late Bernice Hoeper and her husband, Eugene, in 2018 the CCBC Interpreter Preparation program was dedicated in their names, and the program’s Learning Lab was renamed in honor of their foundation.
CCBC is honored to be affiliated with this very generous foundation, which has done so much to support CCBC students and the local Deaf community.