“Hope lifts her maiden finger pointing to the eternal Home on whose portals they linger looking back for us to come.”
Though that’s the epitaph on a headstone marking the grave of the late Patsy Moore Bogen’s great-great grandfather, friends and family say the sentiment could easily apply to her.
“Patsy lived that hope throughout her life,” said Mary Sharp Rayner of Oxford, Mississippi, at a recent Ole Miss Women’s Council for Philanthropy (OMWC) ceremony, celebrating the establishment of a scholarship endowment in Bogen’s name.
The Patsy Moore Bogen Ole Miss Women’s Council Scholarship will benefit entering male and female freshmen. Each student receives $10,000 per academic year ($40,000 total for four years of undergraduate study) to defray tuition expenses, making the scholarship one of the university’s top awards for freshmen. Council scholars are expected to participate in leadership, scholarship, mentorship and stewardship programs.
“This endowment has been given with the hope embodied in that epitaph that those who receive the benefits from it will continue to lift up hope for those who follow them,” said Rayner, who was Bogen’s college roommate and lifelong friend.
Bogen, a 1965 University of Mississippi graduate and resident of Oxford, Mississippi, died in May 2019 after a long illness. Her husband, 1966 UM graduate Josh Bogen practices law with the Oxford firm of Tannehill, Carmean & McKenzie.
The couple, longtime supporters of both university academics and athletics, had planned to honor Patsy Bogen’s life with a named scholarship ever since she joined the Women’s Council shortly after its inception in 2000.
“Patsy enjoyed what they were doing. She greatly enjoyed mentoring the students who were assigned to her,” said Bogen who established the endowment with a $125,000 planned gift to the university. “In my mind, it was a long-term plan to create this scholarship in honor of Patsy but subsequently it became in memory of her, I guess you’d say. So that was our plan all along. We were going to do this together.”
Echoing Rayner’s comments, Bogen shared, “I think she would hope … that’s an interesting word: hope. … I think she would want hope itself for the students who benefit from the scholarship and that they pass on to other students hope for the future.”
At Ole Miss, as a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority, Patsy Bogen became friends with Meredith Creekmore. Years later, they would serve on the Women’s Council together.
“I think she enjoyed the interaction with our scholars most of all,” Creekmore said of the friend she misses every day. “We all loved her so much. She was just sweet and kind and just a very good friend. She would be very humbled by this honor.”
Bogen graduated in 1965 with a bachelor’s degree in business and moved to Jackson, Mississippi, where she briefly worked for MP&L before enrolling at Belhaven College to earn a graduate degree in education.
She met the man who would become her husband at an Oxford ice cream shop.
“Early in the fall semester of 1962, I walked into the Kream Kup and noticed her,” Bogen said, recalling that first encounter. “I asked who she was. One thing led to another, and we started dating that fall and continued to date a little bit on and off, but mainly on, until we got engaged the summer after Patsy graduated.”
Prior to their marriage in 1967, Patsy Bogen taught in the Brandon, Mississippi, public school system before moving to Oxford where Josh Bogen was pursuing a degree at the UM School of Law. She taught eighth-grade math to some of Oxford’s brightest future leaders.
After law school, the couple moved in 1969 to Leland, Mississippi, where she continued her teaching career at Solomon Junior High School, was active in her church and community, and was devoted to her children, Josh Bogen III and Hayes Bogen, both now residents of Belmont, North Carolina. The Bogens have four grandchildren: Josh IV, Elizabeth, Knox and Rich.
In 1998, the Bogens purchased a second home in Oxford, which ultimately became their primary residence. In addition to her service to the OMWC, Patsy Bogen was active in her community, working closely with Doors of Hope in Oxford.
“She is smiling now, knowing that her scholarship will educate, support and nurture many students in the future,” Rayner said.
Helmed by an accomplished cadre of female leaders and philanthropists, the OMWC provides scholarships for tuition and books for young men and women, as well as guidance and training in leadership skills, career development, and personal growth throughout the students’ tenure at the university.
Gifts can be made to the Patsy Moore Bogen Ole Miss Women’s Council Scholarship by sending a check to the University of Mississippi Foundation, with the fund’s name noted on the memo line, to 406 University Ave., Oxford, Mississippi 38655 or by giving online at https://give.olemiss.edu.
By Bill Dabney