Record Gift Seeks to Nurture Premier Leaders, Scholars

The $4 million gift by James Hogan, the largest gift by an individual donor in Alma College history, will fund the Hogan Scholars Program for exceptional students.

<em>James Hogan</em> James HoganA $4 million gift to Alma College — the largest gift by an individual in the college’s history— will provide new opportunities for academically exceptional students to enhance their educational experience and leadership development.

The gift by James Hogan, which includes a combination of cash and estate commitments, will fund the Hogan Scholars Program, a signature initiative designed to “enhance the academic stature and reputation of Alma College by attracting elite students and nurturing them to change the world.”

“We are deeply grateful to Jim Hogan for this extraordinary gift,” says Alma College President Jeff Abernathy. “The opportunities this gift provides our students will enhance their campus experience and also prepare them to become premier leaders, scholars and citizens ready to meet local, national and global challenges.”

Students designated as Hogan Scholars will receive a four-year renewable scholarship and participate in enrichment activities that include leadership training and access to community engagement, alumni networking and experiential learning opportunities, says Matt vandenBerg, vice president for advancement.

“The Hogan family has a rich and deep history in the state of Michigan, and this gift ensures that their legacy will remain a vital part of the Alma educational experience for generations to come,” says vandenBerg.

<em>The Hogan Center</em> The Hogan CenterThe gift also establishes an endowed fund to support the ongoing renovation, equipment and programming needs of the Hogan Center, the college’s signature athletic facility. Built in 1969 and renovated in 2010, the Hogan Center is named in honor of R.G. and Helen Kempf Hogan, the parents of James Hogan. The Hogan Center also serves as the college’s primary venue for commencement, convocations and major events.

James Hogan’s parents met as students at Alma College in the 1920s. R.G. Hogan, from Elk Rapids, had distinguished careers in the automotive industry and the Army, while the family of Helen Kempf, from Fremont, was involved in the timber and banking industries. R.G. graduated from Alma in 1928, while Helen received her diploma from the University of Michigan.

“On many occasions, Jim Hogan has said he supports Alma College because of the impact the college had on his parents,” says vandenBerg. “In our conversations, he has expressed the desire to elevate Alma College’s national reputation and appeal. His very generous gift, the largest the college has ever received by an individual, will certainly accomplish that.”

A Birmingham, Mich., native, James Hogan retired as a senior vice president for a New York City-based advertising firm that was, at the time, the largest in the world. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in leadership science and arts and a master of business administration degree, both from the University of Michigan. He continues to serve as a garden and landscape design consultant for a range of organizations and lives in Richmond, Va., and Crystal Lake, Mich.

The start of the Hogan Scholars Program is to be determined. A campus committee will oversee the selection of the Hogan Scholars and administration of the program.

Story published on October 31, 2016