Dr. Drew Bogner, president of Molloy College for 20 years, who will retire this spring, is the recipient of this year’s Eugene J. Murray Outstanding Service Award.
Mayor Francis X. Murray presented Bogner with the honor, named after Murray’s late father, a former village mayor, at the Jan. 6 village board meeting.
“In the year 2000, Bogner assumed the presidency at the college,” Murray said, “and the rise to excellence in the school was immediately noticeable.”
Murray outlined many of Bogner’s achievements at Molloy, as well as his dedication to improving the village.
During his tenure, Bogner, 62, oversaw Molloy’s growth from a “predominantly undergraduate institution” to a “comprehensive, graduate degree-granting institution,” Murray noted. The number of academic programs increased from 62 to 150, which included the addition of 37 graduate degree programs.
Since 2000, enrollment has more than doubled, from 2,200 to 4,900. In addition, the campus has grown to include three dorms for resident students, including the Drew and Karen Bogner Hall, which opened last fall.
“While the college may be larger, Dr. Bogner has worked hard to keep its core values,” Murray said.
The mayor noted that Bogner has been involved with the village Education Foundation, Tomorrow’s Hope Foundation and the Boy Scouts of America Theodore Roosevelt Council. He has also worked with the village to upgrade athletic fields.
In addition, Molloy provides services to the community through the Rebecca Center for Music Therapy, the Mental Health and Wellness Center and the Speech-Language and Hearing Center.
“Dr. Bogner embodies all that is good about our village — from his unwavering dedication and commitment and willingness to get involved with our community, to his guidance to his students who pass through the hallways of Molloy College, to the thousands of people that he has touched with his philanthropic work,” Murray said. “To say he will be missed is an understatement. While I am sad to see my friend leave, I wish him all the best and thank him for enriching the lives of countless people during his tenure and teachings in our village.”
Bogner accepted the award with a smile, stories and words of gratitude. “My first mayor here was Eugene J. Murray, so to have an award with his name on it means a lot to me,” he said.
In his retirement, Bogner will likely leave Rockville Centre, he said, though he did not disclose any set plans. He reminisced about attending every major event in the village many times, serving as grand marshal at last year’s St. Patrick’s Day parade and befriending village officials. “We’ve come to know many people in the village,” he said. “We’ll be back a lot. It’s been a wonderful place to live, full of so many good people.”
Jeff Greenfield, a former village trustee and Molloy College board member for the past 20 years, also offered Bogner parting words at the meeting. “I watched and witnessed first hand Drew’s amazing contributions to the school and involvement in the village,” he said. “He will be sorely missed in the community.”