Editorial: Hoags, with steady giving, make a big difference for Albion

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 April 2022 at 9:22 am

Photos by Tom Rivers: A plaque inside the Hoag Library in Albion recognizes the gifts from Maurice “Mo” Hoag and his wife Courtenay.

ALBION – Last month the Hoag Library in Albion paid off its mortgage – 10 years ahead of schedule.

The fast-paced payoff is thanks to Maurice “Mo” Hoag and his wife Courtenay. They gave another $200,000 to close out the mortgage. That will result in a 10 percent cut in the library taxes.

The Hoags have been steady donors to the library. Initially they gave $25,000 towards the capitol campaign for the new library about a decade ago. But they increased that by $225,000 to $250,000 and secured the naming rights for the building.

In July 2015, they sent another $100,000 check and then another $100,000 arrived on April 14, 2017. In 2018, they sent a check for $250,000, then gave another $100,000 and the latest at $200,000. That makes for a cool one million in total.

Mr. Hoag said the donations were never about getting his name on the library. He just wanted to help his hometown and believed the library was a great way to improve access to education and opportunity for everyone.

Hoag grew up in Albion and graduated in 1961 as valedictorian. He lived in big cities throughout the country, as well as Geneva, Switzerland during a successful 30-year career in chemical manufacturing.

The Hoags live in Baltimore and come back to Albion for annual class reunions. Mr. Hoag stays in touch with many of his classmates. He saw the community struggle, with the closing of many businesses including Liptons. He viewed a vibrant and modern library as a way to help counteract those losses.

Hoag Library has become a vital part of the Albion community since opening nearly 10 years ago in July 2012.

When the new library opened, circulation went way up, programs saw bigger crowds and meeting rooms were booked. The library is a gem for the community, a symbol of success for citizens committed to a noble cause.

The Hoags made the daunting task of building a new library easier and they haven’t stopped with their support.

They have never requested a photo opportunity or press release. They send in the checks unannounced with a note from Mr. Hoag to use it to pay down the mortgage.

The Hoags also fund generous scholarships for Albion college students pursuing engineering. Those scholarships are for $12,500. They also donated towards the bronze statue of a Santa in downtown Albion that will celebrate the life of the late Charles Howard, who started a Santa School in Albion.

Mr. and Mrs. Hoag, we thank you for your support of the Albion community.