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October 20, 2011

Former IU chancellor, New Albany native dies

Victor M. Bogle was chief executive of Kokomo campus from 1959-1979

NEW ALBANY — The New Albany native responsible for developing the Indiana University campus in Kokomo, died Oct. 16 in Atlanta. He was 90 year old.

Victor M. Bogle was chancellor of Indiana University 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.  

Bogle 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 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.

He taught American, European and English history at Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, Miss., an 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.

He successfully guided the transition of Indiana University’s presence in Kokomo from a smattering of courses in an 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,  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-1970’s economic slowdown. Throughout his administration, 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.

He 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” which is forthcoming.

Bogle is survived by his wife of 58 years, Fern J. (Schenk) Bogle of Atlanta, two daughters, Heather Lea Bogle and April Lea Bogle, both of Atlanta, two grandchildren and a brother.

Memorial services will take place in Atlanta at 3 p.m. on Nov. 2 at the Fountainview Center, and in Kokomo at 2 p.m. on Nov. 20 in the Elliott House of the Howard County Historical Society.

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.

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