Kevin Hodes and Bob & Jane Hodes
Bob’s admirable qualities … were an earnest devotion to scientific research and the arts, as well as his courageous contributions to the causes of world peace and social justice.
Both Kevin Hodes and his grandfather, Robert Hodes, lived brief yet highly contributive lives. Two of Bob’s admirable qualities, in his grandson’s opinion, were an earnest devotion to scientific research and the arts, as well as his courageous contributions to the causes of world peace and social justice.
Robert Hodes was a neurophysiologist trained under the renowned Walter B. Canon at Harvard in the late 1930s. He was persecuted by government and academic authorities during the 1950s for opposing the Korean War and championing the cause of civil rights, and spent the rest of his life fighting for international understanding between East and West and for peace and justice worldwide, as well as delving into the scientific mysteries of human sleep and of certain mental disorders. A rarity among natural scientists of his day in his passion for literature and the arts, three weeks before he died on the day after his 51st birthday he penned a short poem, ending with a line in praise of “that creativity which leads to the promotion of science and art in the service of humanity.”
Bob’s grandson, Kevin Hodes, who lived only to the age of 28 before a heart ailment stopped him in his tracks, greatly admired the legacy of his grandfather, who had died a few years before Kevin’s birth. Kevin was active in theater productions from an early age (in kindergarten in China) and throughout grade school, high school, and college. Before he died so suddenly and unexpectedly, he was pursuing a career in film directing and script-writing, having majored in philosophy at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. After graduating from college, he had directed a 6th grade theater production at his old elementary school, and become passionate about promoting the performing arts among inner-city kids from low-income families.
During their lifetimes, both grandfather and grandson had been involved in the work of a scholarship fund established more than 40 years ago to help young people involved in progressive social movements receive higher education. The Kevin Hodes and Robert Hodes Memorial Scholarship at Soka University of America was established to assist, in his final year of undergraduate studies, a male student who has demonstrated academic prowess in the arts and/or sciences as well as a passion and a promise to develop his talents for “the promotion of science and art in the service of humanity.” That is, in furthering the advancement of world peace, in fostering inter-cultural understanding, and in educating our future generations.
Kevin also appreciated his grandmother, Jane Hodes, for her lifelong commitment to these same causes. Kevin’s mother, who is also the daughter of Bob and Jane, has established this scholarship fund in memory of these three loved ones.