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Founders Day Honorees

Forever Blue: Founders Day
2023 Honorees

Dr. Ernestine Dearing Hogan, C'68, 2023 Founders Spirit Award Recipient

Dr Ernestine Dearing HoganSpelman alumna and Atlanta native, Dr. Ernestine Dearing Hogan is a "giver" in every sense of the word.   She believes that "giving is a gift that has always been a primary source of all of my blessings."  She says that she is "blessed to be a blessing to others."

As an honor student in high school at Henry McNeal Turner High School, Ernestine watched longingly as her older sister, Myrtle Putman Bolden, C’66, matriculated through Spelman College.  She admired the beauty of the campus as her sister would invite her to attend theater productions and Glee Club performances.  She fell in love with Spelman and hoped to attend.  She dreamed of joining the Glee Club and serving the Student Government Association.   Her plan was to attend college and gain all the knowledge she could to help others.  One thing she knew was that she wanted to share what she learned with others and decided to become a teacher. In 1964, upon graduating from high school, her dream came true when she was awarded a full tuition scholarship to attend Spelman College.  Although she received several other scholarship opportunities, she followed my heart and enrolled into Spelman.

Dr. Hogan earned her degree from Spelman College in 1968.  One of her fondest memories include serving in the Glee Club for four years.  Additionally, she served as a member of the Student Government Association during her junior year.  Dr. Hogan furthered her education by earning a master’s degree from Georgia State University in 1974 and a Doctorate from Clark Atlanta University 2003.

As a high school mathematics teacher for 31 years in the Atlanta Public Schools (APS) system, Dr. Hogan taught several math courses.   In addition to classroom responsibilities, she served as chairperson of the mathematics department for 3 years, and 7 years as an administrator. This afforded her the opportunity to push thousands of students to greatness.  Dr. Hogan sponsored several students in mathematics research projects each school year.  Many of her students’ research projects won gold at the city and state level. One of her most rewarding experiences was sponsoring a totally visually impaired student.  This student presented his research at the University of Georgia state competition and won a 1st place gold award in addition to several special awards from the military.

Though her time in the classroom was very rewarding, a highlight of her career occurred when she earned the opportunity to serve as the administrator of SMSEA (Science and Mathematics Enrichment Academy).   SMSEA was a student academic initiative between APS and Spelman College, which was funded by a 25-million-dollar grant to APS.  Dr. Hogan said, “Serving as the administrator for SMSEA afforded me the opportunity to work with some of the brightest and best students and teachers.  It was one of the great joys of my career.” 

Dr. Hogan earned much success during her career, and she has been the recipient of numerous awards and recognition: SECME National Teacher of the Year and Atlanta Public Schools Area Teacher of the Year in 1978 and 1991, to name a few. However, being selected to appear in David Marquis’ book, I Am a Teacher, was a most rewarding experience.  To chronicle her life work, she went on to publish a written work to pass her experiences and insights on to others.  She co-authored a book with her husband, Dr. Marshall Hogan, entitled Insights for Life published by Vantage Press in 2008.

Dr. Hogan serves Spelman in several capacities.  She is a leader for the class of 1968 and offers her time and efforts during Reunion, Founders Day, Homecoming and other campus-wide activities.  She also serves as the co-chair of the Guardian Society Advisory Board and is instrumental in planning annual Guardian Society events.  She is recognized as a Major Giving Champion as she gives liberally of her finances to support Spelman, her mission and her students.   Dr. Hogan's giving vehicles include a well-established planned gift and generous financial contributions at every opportunity to support her beloved Spelman College.

She is married to Marshall Hogan, Ed. D., who also is a retired high school teacher and administrator and is a member of the First Deliverance Church of Atlanta.