Emily Carolyn Hood
August 8, 1931 – March 15, 2020
“We drink a toast to fellowship.”
Emily Carolyn Hood, a former trustee of Wheaton College and the Museum of Science who devoted her life to supporting the education of young people and building an ever-widening fellowship of friends, died peacefully in her Boston home on March 15, 2020 at the age of 88.
Born at the Boston-Lying-In Hospital on August 8, 1931, to Margaret Allan Hood and Gilbert H. Hood, Jr. Emily grew up in West Medford and Winchester. She attended Brimmer and May School before enrolling in Wheaton College in Norton, class of 1953. After Catherine Gibbs School (1954), Emily launched a six-decade, trail-blazing journey as a single career woman, civic and educational volunteer, philanthropist, and successor to her father on the boards of Wheaton and the Science Museum.
Wheaton’s eighth president, Dennis H. Hanno, said: “Emily’s contributions to Wheaton began with her enrollment as a student in 1949 and lasted throughout her lifetime. She served as a trustee until 2003 and was elected a trustee emerita after that. She was ever-present at Wheaton events both on and off-campus.’’
Ms. Hood began her professional career in 1954 as an administrative assistant and later front-office manager of the New England Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, now known as NEASC. She later held positions at Massachusetts General Hospital, as a faculty secretary and dean’s assistant at Harvard Business School, and with the Executive Service Corps and Grants Management Associates.
Paralleling her professional career, Emily traveled widely and volunteered countless hours sharing her love of learning and interest in other cultures with young girls and boys and students at Wheaton College and the Museum of Science.
In 2000, Ms. Hood's passion for supporting young people prompted her to become a founding donor of the Trinity Education for Excellence Program (TEEP), a program of her beloved Trinity Church in Boston. TEEP began as a values-based summer enrichment program for middle-school students and has grown into a year-round college-track preparation program for more than 100 students in grades 7-12. Ms. Hood continued to support the program for many years and loved getting to know TEEP students. She hosted several celebration dinners for graduating seniors and their parents and helped a graduate of the very first class of TEEP matriculate at her alma mater, Wheaton College. Nothing delighted Emily more than making connections between her favorite institutions, so in addition to urging TEEP students to consider Wheaton, she also made sure that TEEP students visited the Museum of Science every summer. In August 2019, TEEP, now a part of Trinity Boston Connects, celebrated its 20th Anniversary and recognized Ms. Hood's impact. With her support, more than 700 students have flourished at TEEP.
Ms. Hood will be remembered for the many connections she made and nurtured over a lifetime. Whether it was with the Harvard Travel Club, her Boston Symphony circle of friends, the Trinity Connections Dinner Group she hosted for a dozen years at the Commonwealth Avenue Harvard Club, or the hundreds of Museum of Science memberships she gifted to new friends every Christmas across several decades, the connections Emily fostered and all the people she helped inspire and educate will be Emily’s living legacy.
Already, friends of Ms. Hood are planning a gathering to “drink a toast to fellowship”—the words of her college yearbook quote that epitomize the spirit of her life--when the city she loved returns to a new normal. In the meantime, she would exhort us to reach out and connect with our neighbors and with everyone we may encounter each day, especially those who may be overlooked.
Emily is survived by her sister, Elizabeth Hood McAfoose (Wilson) of Culpeper, VA; her nephew, David H. Wilson, (Frances Datillo), and his sons Carlos and Pablo of Arlington, VA; her nieces, Riva W. Carroll (Glenn Carroll) of Rockport, MA and Carolyn W. Miller (James Miller) and their sons Andrew, Matthew, Benjamin, and Christopher, all of Orange, VA; and step-nieces Heather L. Tarducci of Warwick, RI; Stephanie A. Morrison of Warwick, RI; and Megan E. Smith of Acton, MA.
Emily’s family and friends invite you to celebrate her life with a gift to The Emily C. Hood Fund, Museum of Science, 1 Science Park, Boston, 02114; to TEEP, Trinity Boston Connects, 206 Clarendon Street, Boston, 02116; the Emily C. Hood Fund for the Arts & Sciences, Advancement Department, Wheaton College, 26 East Main Street, Norton, MA, 02766; or to an organization that is in need of support in your neighborhood.
Services are pending at this time.