Molloy College President Drew Bogner will retire in June 2020, he announced on Tuesday morning, capping a 20-year tenure that saw the advent of on-campus housing, an expansion of the student body and the addition of 88 academic programs.
“Drew has provided us with incredible leadership during his time at Molloy,” John P. McEntee, chairman of the college’s board of trustees, said in a news release. “On behalf of everyone at Molloy, we thank him for his visionary leadership and dedication.”
Bogner, 61, a provost at Newman University in Wichita, Kansas, for nine years, assumed the presidency at Molloy in July 2000. Since then, the Catholic college in Rockville Centre has grown from a predominantly baccalaureate undergraduate institution into a comprehensive, graduate-degree-granting school, increasing the number of academic programs from 62 to 150, including an additional 37 graduate programs and three doctoral programs. In that span, its enrollment has grown from 2,200 to about 4,900 students.
“Over the past 20 years, we have accomplished great things as a community,” Bogner wrote in an email. “Our enrollment and reputation have never been stronger, and I am proud of the Molloy we have created together.”
The college’s third residence hall is set to open in August. The board of trustees has decided that it will be named Drew and Karen Bogner Hall, in honor of Bogner and his wife, as well as his many accomplishments.
“Drew’s leadership has propelled Molloy to new heights,” Edward Thompson, its vice president for advancement, said in a statement. “He has gone far beyond the usual metrics of a college’s success — enrollment, graduation rates, fundraising — by re-imagining how a college can have major impact on the wider community.”
Bogner, who lives in Rockville Centre, earned bachelor’s degrees in biology and history from Kansas Newman College, which was later renamed Newman University. He received a master’s in education and a doctorate from the University of Kansas School of Education. In an interview with the Herald last month, he noted that he came to Molloy because of the opportunities he saw for the college to grow.
Last year, The Wall Street Journal ranked Molloy No. 209 in its Higher Education College Rankings, but No. 18 in “added value,” which compared predicted salaries of students, based on various factors, to the actual outcomes for graduates 10 years after enrollment. Money magazine also named Molloy among the top three “Best Value” institutions for two consecutive years.
Upgrades on the Rockville Centre campus over the past 15 years include the opening of the Barbara H. Hagan School of Nursing and the Public Square student center, which houses the Madison Theatre. In addition, the college supports greater Long Island in a variety of ways, including the Center for Autism and Child Development, the Rebecca Center for Music Therapy, the Mental Health and Wellness Center and the Molloy College Speech, Language and Hearing Center.
“That was a very conscious change for us,” Bogner said of the college’s community outreach. “Of course, I didn’t do all that. . . . It takes a lot of people to make those kinds of changes.”
“Dr. Bogner genuinely appreciates the work of the Molloy faculty,” Professor Lisa Newland, faculty council president and chairwoman of the Department of Social Work, said in the news release. “I have often observed him holding hallway conversations with faculty about their expertise and accomplishments, and he truly respects what they bring to our students and the Molloy community as a whole.”
Rockville Centre resident John Cameron Jr. met Bogner years ago through his firm, Cameron Engineering, which has worked with the college since before Bogner arrived. His business rapport with the president, Cameron told the Herald, has turned into a great friendship.
He noted that Bogner has put Molloy on the national map. “The community of Rockville Centre has recognized that Molloy is no longer this local college,” Cameron said. “It really is an important element of society and the community.”
Bogner’s dedication to instilling values in students to become future leaders is apparent, Cameron said, adding that Bogner stays humble, never looking for accolades. “While it’s a loss for Molloy,” he said of Bogner’s retirement, “I think he’s actually put it on a trajectory that the future is still extremely bright.”
In addition to leading Molloy, over the years, Bogner has been involved with the Rockville Centre Education Foundation, the Boy Scouts of America’s Theodore Roosevelt Council — he’s an Eagle Scout — and the Tomorrow’s Hope Foundation. He has been a member of the Long Island Association’s board of directors for years, and is a former chairman of Catholic Charities. In recognition of his service, Bogner was named grand marshal of Rockville Centre’s St. Patrick’s Parade on March 23.
Over the next 15 months, Bogner will continue to work with Molloy faculty and staff “to ensure a smooth transition building upon the many plans that are being brought to life,” he wrote in an email. A search committee to find the college’s next president is being led by Board Chair Emeritus Dan Henry, he added.
“My time at Molloy has been the most satisfying professional experience of my life,” Bogner wrote, “and I cannot say enough about the students, faculty and staff for the support you have all given me.”