Welcome to the Richard A. Henson Foundation

Richard A. Henson had a single goal in his life: To excel in every endeavor, large and small. The Henson Foundation is one of his legacies.

  • As a young man, Mr. Henson pulled himself up by his bootstraps and achieved success. A pioneer in commuter aviation, he is credited with originating the concept of using commuter aircraft to connect passengers in smaller cities to larger aircraft in larger cities - a core element of the business model of today’s hub-and-spoke airlines.

    The Richard A. Henson Foundation was established to continue the philanthropic spirit, objectives and ideals of Richard A. Henson, and to support charitable projects which seek to enrich the quality of life in the Maryland communities which we serve.

  • In 2008, the Richard A. Henson Foundation made a $1.5 million challenge gift to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Foundation to establish the Henson Entrepreneurs and Scholars Endowment Program. It focuses on producing entrepreneurial-minded graduates in business, science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines.
  • Henson Hall, dedicated in September of 1999, contains offices, classrooms and laboratories for the mathematics and science department, as well as the allied health and workforce development division.  A gift from the Foundation in 2006 helped expand the Nursing & Technology programs and develop an endowment for the Jordan Child Development Center.  More recently, the Foundation announced a $1,000,000 challenge grant to the “Providing for Today, Ensuring Tomorrow Endowment Campaign.”
  • The Richard A. Henson Medical Simulation Center at Salisbury University opened in December 2011 representing an expansion of the Richard A. Henson School of Science and Technology.  The facility replicates a medical office, waiting room and nursing station.   It includes labs for Labor, Delivery, Recovery and Postpartum, neonatal, pediatric, adult and mental health wing.  The SIM Center offers computerized mannequins replicating clinical situations for students to diagnose and treat.  As the program grows, regional health care providers will be able to utilize the SIM Center for training, recertification and continuing education programs.
  • HensonSchoolSalisU

    The Richard A. Henson School of Science and Technology was dedicated in 2003 offering courses in biological sciences, chemistry, geography and geosciences, health sciences, mathematics, computer science, nursing, and physics.  An endowment fund established by Mr. Henson provides scholarship funds to gifted science and math students. To date it has awarded than 170 scholarships.

  • Richard Henson Center opened in 1993.  It is home to the Hotel and Restaurant Management and Human Ecology departments, the university’s Maryland Cooperative Extension Department, the Rural Development Center, a 21-room hotel and several conference and meeting rooms. Cumulative gifts by Mr. Henson and the Foundation to UMES total $4.5 million and include three endowed scholarship funds, Henson Scholars, Leaders and Entrepreneurs and Scholars.
  • The Richard Henson Wellness Center at MAC, the designated area agency on aging, offers a wide variety of programs & services targeted towards addressing the health concerns and needs of older persons.  MAC serves Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester county seniors.
  •   The Richard A. Henson Cancer Institute takes patient care to the next level, providing an emphasis on advanced medicine, comprehensive services and compassionate care. From initial diagnosis to ongoing care, the specialists at the Henson Cancer Institute demonstrate a commitment to the highest level of quality care.
  • Donna Altvater, Executive Director of the Henson Foundation, and Jon Sherwell, member of the Board of Trustees, posed with a wallaby mascot of the Salisbury Zoo after contributing to the capital campaign to "Renew the Zoo." The improvements  at the Salisbury Zoological Park will include a new animal health clinic, a new environmental center, and a new exhibit of Australian animals.  The foundation is sponsoring the new Wallaby exhibit.  
  • To create an incentive for donations to YMCA capital campaigns, during three separate capital campaigns, Richard Henson and later the Richard A. Henson Foundation pledged dollar-for-dollar matches resulting in millions being raised for renovations, program expansions and endowment building for facilities in Salisbury, Hagerstown and Pocomoke, Maryland.
  • The Henson Scout Reservation in Sharptown, Md., provides a facility for scouting activities. The Henson Foundation created an endowment to support the maintenance and ongoing improvements at the reservation, including a fishing pier and meeting area.


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