CCBC Interpreter Preparation program, classroom renamed to honor benefactors
The Community College of Baltimore County dedicated and renamed its Interpreter Preparation program and classroom laboratory in honor of the late A. Eugene and Bernice Hoeper, who contributed more than $1 million in endowment funding to CCBC through the A. Eugene Hoeper Foundation. The endowment supports scholarships for CCBC’s American Sign Language (ASL) and Interpreter Preparation students. The Interpreter Prep Learning Lab at CCBC Catonsville was renamed as the A. Eugene and Bernice Hoeper American Sign Language Interpreting Laborator y.
“We are grateful for the Hoeper Foundation’s extraordinary gift to our students and our program,” said Professor Rebecca F. Minor, Ph.D., CCBC Interpreter Preparation Program coordinator. “Their generosity will support many students, along with program initiatives, and gives us flexibility to make program enhancements and, ultimately, better prepare students for successful careers as ASL interpreters.”
Created in 1988 by Bernice Hoeper in honor of her husband, A. Eugene Hoeper, the A. Eugene Hoeper Foundation was founded as a nonprofit dedicated to providing support for programs designed to help alleviate loneliness and isolation experienced by chronically ill and homebound deaf individuals. The Hoeper Foundation also supported respite for caretakers and provided specialized equipment for the deaf. The organization used volunteers to provide personal visits, monthly cheer cards, quarterly newsletters and more for the deaf community. Bernice Hoeper worked with CCBC Interpreter Prep students, who also were offered opportunities to volunteer with the foundation. The Hoeper Foundation began providing scholarships to CCBC Interpreter Prep students in 2006.
Established in 1983, CCBC’s Interpreter Preparation program has been providing ASL interpreter degrees and certificates for 35 years. Beginning in fall 2018, the program will offer new degree options, which include an Associate of Arts degree in ASL and Deaf Culture and a revised curriculum for the Associate of Applied Science and Certificate in Interpreter Preparation.
Eugene Hoeper was born deaf and Bernice Hoeper lost her hearing at age 18 due to spinal meningitis. The couple dedicated their life to causes related to the deaf community. Bernice Hoeper completed her undergraduate degree at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., and, in 1975, she became the first deaf woman to receive a master’s degree from the University of Maryland School of Social Work in Baltimore. The Hoeper Foundation was closed in 2015 upon the death of Bernice Hoeper.