Beverly Wade Hogan Biography
Encouraged to Better Society as a Child, Turned Talents to Politics
When Mississippi's Tougaloo College was looking for a president in 2002, it did not have to look far. Lifelong Mississippian and Tougaloo alumna Beverly Wade Hogan had served six years on the school's board of trustees and five in its administrative ranks. She also had 25 years of leadership in government and non-profit agencies. However, Hogan's most important credential may well have been one not quantifiable in a résumé. "I've always felt very strongly about civic engagement and social responsibility," Hogan told The Planet Weekly. "It has a lot to do with my upbringing and my college years. I was involved in voter registration, with protests against things I felt were unjust or unfair. I was encouraged by my family to speak out against those kinds of things." After taking over the top spot at Tougaloo, Hogan not only sought higher academic standards, but she also impressed her belief in civic responsibility on the student body. Considering that her life has been defined by the work she has done to better society—she has founded programs to help the mentally impaired, battered women, welfare recipients, and the homeless—students needed look no farther than the president's office to find a role model for both academic and civic inspiration.
Better Society as a
Beverly Wade was born on July 5, 1951, in Crystal Springs, Mississippi, and raised in nearby Mount Wade. "[It] was a real community," Hogan told The Planet Weekly. "I was surrounded by relatives and close friends." Her father, Willie Dell Wade, was a farmer, and her mother, Mae Ether Easley Wade, stayed at home taking care of Hogan and her four older siblings. "I grew up watching my parents and friends work in the community, work in the church, and share with each other," she told The Planet Weekly. "I was encouraged along those lines. So, as I grew up, I naturally took on the role of wanting to make a difference in my community." She was also encouraged to do something outside of her community. "We were always encouraged as children to be somebody and it was always a spoken expectation," she told Contemporary Black Biography (CBB). "'The Wade children are smart, they are going to be something one day, just watch.' We heard this all the time."
Hogan excelled in school. "I was very active in the student government association, class president, homecoming queen, and high honor roll student," she told CBB. Yet, even as she focused on her studies, the world was erupting around her. "I grew up in the age of integration, the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, all of those profound social-change events in American and Mississippi history," she told The Planet Weekly.
Upon graduation, Hogan headed to Tougaloo University, a historically black college located near Jackson, Mississippi. Tougaloo was founded in 1869 with the intent of providing African Americans with the same standard of education found in universities whose doors were closed to African Americans. As such it was a school with a long history of social awareness and activism—a good match for Hogan. "I felt the responsibility to go to school, get an education, and use that education to try to serve humanity," she told The Planet Weekly. "Whatever I did, I wanted to be involved with something I really cared about, that I had a passion for doing, and that I really felt was worthwhile and would make a difference in the lives of others."
Turned Talents to Politics
Hogan began a life of public service even before she finished college. As an undergraduate she worked as health services coordinator at the non-profit Friends of Children of Mississippi. There she met Marvin Hogan, the executive director of the organization. They married in 1971 and had two sons, Maurice and Marcellus. Meanwhile Hogan graduated with a bachelor's degree in psychology in 1973. She worked briefly as a mental health therapist before becoming executive director of the Mental Health Association in Hinds County, a post she held for eight years. During that time Hogan helped open Jackson's first rape crisis center and battered women's shelter and established Mississippi's first psychiatric halfway house. In 1983 she moved up to executive director for Mississippi's Mental Health Association. Hogan also pursued causes outside of her job. She organized the Mississippi Advocates for Minority Adoption and the Mississippi Professional Voluntary Leadership Association. Her commitment was recognized by President Jimmy Carter when he made Hogan a delegate to the 1980 White House Conference on Families.
Hogan left mental health to work on the 1983 Mississippi governor's campaign for democrat Bill Allain. After Allain won the election he appointed Hogan CEO of the Governor's Office of Federal State Programs. Hogan oversaw the administration of all federally funded programs. She commanded a staff of 250 and a budget of more than 150 million dollars. Highlights of her tenure included the Rental Rehabilitation Program and Low Income Tax Credit Program of 1986, designed to increase housing for low-income Mississippians, and the Self Employment Demonstration Project of 1987, aimed at reducing welfare dependency. In 1987 Hogan left the governor's office to become a commissioner with Mississippi's Workers' Compensation Commission, a position she held for nearly a decade.
Volunteer Led Active Civic
and Academic Life
During 14 years in the government, Hogan honed her skills as a leader. "I learned a lot about leadership, in ways that books couldn't teach me," she told The Planet Weekly. "I learned a lot about process, about compromise, not so much compromising your principles, but working with people and the art of negotiation and how to establish relationships.…" She also became an expert at managing her own time. In addition to her work duties, Hogan volunteered with a slew of civic groups. Locally she was a board member of the United Way and president of the central Mississippi chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women. At the state level she was chairperson for the Campaign for the United Negro College Fund, president of the American Society of Public Administration, and founder of the Martin Luther King Holiday Commission. Nationally, Hogan was the chairperson of the National Child Support Enforcement Implementation Project. She also held positions with the Council of State Governments and the National Governors' Association. With the latter Hogan worked on a task force to develop the National Welfare Reform Policy of 1986.
Despite her full calendar, Hogan earned a master's degree in public policy and administration from Jackson State University in 1990. She also served as chairperson for the school's Business Advisory Council and taught leadership courses to graduate students. After leaving the Workers' Compensation Commission in 1997, Hogan became more involved in higher education. She had served on the board of trustees for Tougaloo College from 1991 to 1997 and, after a brief post at Hinds Community College, she joined the staff of Tougaloo full-time. Her first position with her alma mater was as executive assistant to the president in matters related to daily administration of the school. Concurrently she served as founding director of the school's Owens Health and Wellness Center.
In 2000 Hogan became Tougaloo's vice president of the office of institutional advancement. Her main focus was fundraising. It was a good fit for Hogan, as she explained to CBB, because "[Tougaloo] has always been my charity of choice." For two years she oversaw all activities relating to securing resources for the school, including development, public relations, and alumni relations. True to form, Hogan did not limit her focus, nor her intellect, and while working at Tougaloo she also began to pursue doctoral studies in human and organizational management at the Fielding Graduate Institute. She also became a scholar at the Kettering Foundation where her research on higher education and civic responsibility was published in 2000.
Became First Female President
In May of 2002 Tougaloo's board of trustees appointed Hogan president of the school. She was the first woman to hold that distinction. She told CBB that her goals were "to provide the leadership to move Tougaloo College to the forefront of higher education in the nation with academic excellence, social commitment, and fiscal responsibility as our trademarks." According to a 2004 article in Ebony, she was succeeding. "Under Dr. Hogan's dynamic and visionary leadership, the College boasts a student retention rate of 88 percent, well above the national average, and ranks as one of the top five historically black colleges and universities whose graduates earn their PhDs in the sciences."
Hogan's personal measure of success was Tougaloo's students. "Graduating exceptionally prepared and committed students who will make a difference in society is our profit margin," she told Mississippi Business Journal. Contributing to society has long been one of Hogan's most dearly held beliefs. "With becoming an educated citizen comes responsibility, the responsibility to use one's education in ways that will effect change, to make a difference," she told The Planet Weekly. To achieve that Hogan has directed Tougaloo staff and faculty to offer opportunities for students to make a difference outside the campus, whether through community service, political debate, or social action. Hogan summed up her goals in an interview with The Clarion-Ledger, "If we can introduce [the students] to those concepts so they can begin to think about that before they leave, that's as important a part of education as what they get in the classroom."
Ebony, September, 2004.
Mississippi Business Journal, March 1, 2004.
"Biographical Profile for President Hogan," Tougaloo College, www.tougaloo.edu/matriarch/OnePiecePage.asp?PageID=297&PageName=presbio (December 28, 2004).
"Effecting Change Through Education," The Planet Weekly, www.planetweekly.com/mt/archives/000463.html (December 28, 2004).
"Tougaloo Student Learns True Role of College President," The Clarion-Ledger, www.clarionledger.com/news/0310/15/m09.html (December 28, 2004).
Additional information for this profile was obtained through an interview with Beverly Wade Hogan on January 7, 2005.