KOKOMO, IN – “He blazed the path for those of us who have followed, and we are forever grateful for his legacy.”
Chancellor Michael Harris reflects on the impact of Dr. Victor Bogle at Indiana University Kokomo – the campus’ first chancellor who died October 16.
A memorial service will take place on Sunday, November 20, 2 p.m., at the Elliott House in Kokomo to honor the life of Dr. Bogle. The service is a public remembrance and open to all who wish to share in honoring and remembering his many contributions and remarkable life. Chancellor Harris will give brief remarks.
“Our campus would not be where it is today without the leadership and guidance he provided to Indiana University Kokomo during his more than 20 years of service,” Harris added.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations are made to the Chancellor and Mrs. Victor M. Bogle Scholarship, which funds a student of history or political science at IU Kokomo; the Indiana Historical Society, or the Alzheimer’s Association.
Following is Dr. Bogle’s full obituary:
Dr. Victor M. Bogle, Chancellor Emeritus of Indiana University Kokomo and professor of history, died Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011, in Atlanta, Ga., at the age of 90. He was born in New Albany on Sept. 24, 1921, the son of Elroy B. and Anna Mae (Black) Bogle.
In 1942, when he was 19, Bogle joined the United States Army Air Corps and was sent to fight in the South Pacific Theater during World War II. He stayed in the Air Corps until 1945 and afterward studied at Indiana Central College (now University of Indianapolis), graduating in 1947 with a B.A. in history. He then enrolled in Boston University, where he received his M.A. in American history in 1948 and his Ph.D. in American civilization in 1951.
In 1952, Bogle worked for the U.S. Air Force in intelligence as a research analyst for two years and then returned to academia as a professor. He taught American, European and English history at Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, Miss., a Historically Black College, until 1957. He became the academic advisor at Kokomo’s IU Extension Center in 1957 and the chief administrative officer in 1959.
Dr. Bogle was chief executive officer of the IU operations in Kokomo from 1959 to 1979. During that period, he led the conversion of the IU Extension Center program, which offered selected undergraduate courses, into a commuter campus granting associate and baccalaureate degrees to both IU and Purdue University students in a seven-county area. He oversaw the construction of the original campus buildings in the 1960s, and he helped bestow the first degrees in 1970.
In 2000, Indiana Gov. Frank O’Bannon awarded Dr. Bogle the Sagamore of the Wabash Award, Indiana’s highest service citation, for his dedication to higher education.
Dr. Bogle successfully guided the transition of Indiana University’s presence in Kokomo from a smattering of courses in a historic mansion on the west side of the city to its current site and regional mission. After leading the fundraising and overseeing the design and construction of the original campus buildings, Dr. Bogle worked with faculty and IU system officers to develop curricular offerings serving the higher education needs of students and employers in seven counties of north central Indiana.
He wrote the campus’ first long-range academic and physical facilities master plans and championed numerous educational innovations, particularly the development of the baccalaureate degree in liberal studies, and the implementation of Project Outreach, whereby IU Kokomo offered classes in Logansport, Tipton, Peru and other communities throughout the region. This effort mitigated enrollment declines by offering both undergraduate and graduate degree programs during the mid-1970s economic slowdown. In 1972, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education floated a proposal that would have eliminated four-year undergraduate degree programs at the local campus. Dr. Bogle orchestrated extensive community protest, and by the next year the proposal was dropped.
Throughout his administration, Dr. Bogle never lost touch with students. He taught at least one history class or seminar each year. He thoroughly enjoyed intellectual interchange, both in and out of the classroom. Faculty and students alike would frequently find themselves in impromptu discussions of events and issues with Chancellor Bogle over coffee.
Dr. Bogle taught history at the campus, wrote numerous articles about history and pursued his scholarly research on Indiana’s early railroads until his retirement in 1992. He donated his research findings and manuscripts to the Indiana Historical Society. His final major work was a comprehensive study, The History of Indiana Railroads (forthcoming).
Called a great humanitarian by many, Dr. Bogle was driven in life by his sense of fairness. It was the guiding force that led him to fight for higher education opportunities for all people, regardless of their financial means, and to protect civil rights for all people, regardless of their race or mental condition. He worked tirelessly in this regard, informally with other like-minded civic leaders, and formally as a board president or board member of several organizations, including the Mental Health Association and the Kokomo Chamber of Commerce.
Dr. Bogle is survived by the love of his life and wife of 58 years, Fern J. (Schenk) Bogle, Atlanta, Ga.; his two daughters, Heather Lea Bogle and April Lea Bogle, both of Atlanta, Ga.; two grandchildren, Kenneth Miles Wilkerson and Anna Taylor Booth, both of Atlanta, Ga.; his brother, James Bogle, Hemet, Calif.; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his brother, Nelson Bogle, Houston, Texas; and his sister, Doris Cullen, Jeffersonville.
Dr. Bogle courageously battled Alzheimer’s disease for more than a decade. During the last three and a half years of his life, he was a resident at the Fountainview Center for Alzheimer’s Disease in Atlanta. The Bogle family is grateful for the loving care and gentle kindness shown to him by the Fountainview Center staff.
Memorial services are 3 p.m. Nov. 2 at the Fountainview Center in Atlanta, Ga., and 2 p.m. Nov. 20 at the Elliott House of the Howard County Historical Society in Kokomo.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Chancellor and Mrs. Victor M. Bogle Scholarship, which funds a student of history or political science at IUK; the Indiana Historical Society; or the Alzheimer’s Association. A.S. Turner and Sons Funeral Home, Decatur, Ga., assisted the family with arrangements.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.