John T. Hoggard (1899-1965)President
Dr. John T. Hoggard was instrumental in the founding of Wilmington College in 1947. He directed operations of the college as chairman of the New Hanover County Board of Education from 1947-52.
He delivered the first commencement address at Wilmington College on May 24, 1949.
On Aug. 4, 1949, he assumed the presidency of the college and the chairmanship of the board of trustees in 1952. In 1958, Hoggard retired as president but retained his position as chairman of the board of trustees until his death in 1965.
Under his leadership, Wilmington College grew from a small local junior college to a four-year state institution of higher education. Hoggard was active in acquiring the 610-acre tract of land on Highway 132 that became the permanent site of the college. One of the college’s three original buildings was named in his honor and dedicated on Nov. 19, 1961.
In 1952 he established the Hoggard Award Medal, recognizing the academic and social performance of the graduating student who, in the opinion of the faculty, had shown the most improvement during his or her years at the college.
When the state authorized Wilmington College to grant baccalaureate degrees in 1963, Hoggard actively recruited new faculty and also helped with the curriculum.
Aside from education, Hoggard’s interests and careers included business, medicine and politics. He was as a physician and surgeon, serving his country in the Spanish-American War and in World War I. He practiced medicine in Aulander, Atkinson and Wilmington until he retired from the profession in 1949.
Hoggard’s major business interest was banking. He helped organize the Morris Plan Bank of Wilmington, which later became the Bank of Wilmington. He served as vice president of the bank for many years and was also local chairman of the board of directors of the North Carolina National Bank. Other business interests included founder and president of the New Hanover Housing Corporation; founder of Toms Drug Company, a Wilmington drugstore; partner in Hoggard Brothers of Aulander; and director of Cooperative Savings and Loan Association in Wilmington.
Hoggard was active in the Wilmington Board of Finance, Brigade Boys’ Club of Wilmington, Kiwanis Club, Free and Accepted Masons, Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, Cape Fear Club, Cape Fear Country Club, Woodmen of the World, American Legion, Chamber of Commerce, Wilmington Historical Society, Phi Chi, Phi Kappa Alpha, BPOE, Carolina Yacht Club, Surf Club and the Democratic Party.