Dr. Ernestine Dearing-Hogan, C'68
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
As an honor student in high school, she watched longingly as her older sister matriculated through Spelman College. She admired the beauty of the campus as her sister would invite her to campus to attend theater productions and Glee Club performances. She fell in love with Spelman and hoped to attend someday as well. She hoped to join the Glee Club and serve the Student Government in some capacity. She wanted to attend college to gain all the knowledge she could in order to help others. “One thing I knew was that I wanted to share what I learned with others, so my career goal was that of becoming a teacher”, Hogan said.
In 1964, upon graduating from high school, her dream came true when she was awarded a full tuition scholarship to attend Spelman College. Her commitment to education and discipline to excel had finally been recognized by her dream school. “Spelman believed in me and they gave me a chance. They recognized my hard work and that was important to me.” Dr. Hogan said. “Although I received several other scholarship opportunities, I followed my heart and it was the best decision I made,” she said. “Spelman blessed me, this is why I give back. I give of my money and my time as a volunteer because I want to help those students who deserve it. I want to give the students a chance like Spelman gave to me! ” Dr. Hogan proclaimed with passion.
She earned her degree from Spelman in 1968. One of her fondest memories of Spelman include having the opportunity to finally serve in the Glee Club for three years. This had been her dream since high school. Mid-afternoon rehearsals were held especially for those students who wanted to join but could not attend evening rehearsals. “They were fair and tried to include everyone. That mattered to me” said Dr. Hogan. She also served as a member of the Student Government during her Junior year. Dr. Hogan went on to further her education by earning a Master's degree from Georgia State University (1976) and a Doctorate from Clark Atlanta University (2003).
As a high school mathematics for 31 years in the Atlanta Public School system Dr. Hogan taught everything from basic mathematics, Algebra 1, and geometry to advanced algebra and trigonometry. 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.
Since she believes that much of a student’s learning happens outside the four walls of a classroom, Dr. Hogan sponsored several student mathematics research projects each school year. Many of her students’ research projects won gold or 1st place not only on the city level but also on the state level competitions. One of her most rewarding experiences with sponsoring mathematical research was sponsoring a totally blind geometry student. This student presented his research at the state competition at the University of Georgia and won a gold/1st place in addition to several special awards from the military.
While producing many successful high school students over the years was very rewarding, a highlight of her work 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 says, “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” exclaimed Dr. Hogan.
Dr. Hogan has earned much success over the years and has been the recipient of numerous awards and recognition: SECME National Teacher of the Year, Atlanta Public Schools Area Teacher of the Year (1978/1991), to name a few. However, being selected to appear in David Marquis’ book, I AM A TEACHER, (as one selected teacher from each state) 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. “Even though working with students and teachers was rewarding, I always wanted to share my beliefs and insights relative to the true meaning of life with the world through the written word and/or lectures. Therefore, after retiring in 2006, my husband and I co-authored a book entitled INSIGHTS FOR LIFE published by Vantage Press, 2008. Writing this book with my husband presented me the opportunity to share some of my thoughts”, Hogan said.
Dr. Ernestine Dearing-Hogan serves Spelman in several capacities. She is a leader of her class (68); she offers her time and efforts during Reunion, Founder’s 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 support at Spelman as she gives liberally of her finances to support Spelman, her mission and her students. She is a TRUE blessing to Spelman.
Dr. Ernestine Dearing-Hogan we salute you for your generosity, dedication, commitment and service to Spelman!