A Special Day at Blair: John C. Bogle ’47 Visits Campus

Posted: May 19, 2017

The Blair community warmly welcomed Chairman Emeritus of the Blair Board of Trustees John C. Bogle ’47 on May 18, when he returned to his alma mater for a much-anticipated visit. Mr. Bogle, founder of The Vanguard Group, Inc., the world’s largest mutual fund organization, shared words of wisdom with students and faculty at Chapel; commemorated his dear friend and mentor, the late Blair Chairman Emeritus Dr. J. Brooks Hoffman ’36, at a tree-planting ceremony; and enjoyed his annual luncheon with students who are part of The Bogle Brothers Scholars Program, which he founded in 1968 in honor of his late twin, David ’47, and his older brother, William ’45.

Head of School Chris Fortunato introduced Mr. Bogle at Chapel, noting that the former Vanguard Chairman and Chief Executive and current President of the Bogle Financial Markets Research Center had received numerous recent accolades in honor of his lifetime of service to investors. Mr. Bogle graciously answered questions posed by Mr. Fortunato about his devotion to Blair and his idealistic outlook on life, and he shared solid advice for success with students and teachers.

“There’s no magic bullet that will make a person successful,” Mr. Bogle said. “The conventional wisdom applies: Work a little harder, work a little smarter, and you’ll succeed.” He added that it helps greatly to be a self-starter—wisdom gleaned from the words of Alexander Hamilton—and encouraged students to be “always be ready for a break,” prepared to take advantage of opportunities as they present themselves.

Chapel concluded with a special serenade, as the Blair Academy Singers joined Mr. Bogle onstage to sing the School’s alma mater, the Blair Love Song. Before the assembly adjourned, Mr. Fortunato recognized the members of Dr. Hoffman’s family who had come to campus for the tree-planting and dedication; he invited the community to join him, Mr. Bogle and the Hoffman family on the front hill for the ceremony.

Dr. Hoffman, who died at the age of 96 in 2015, served as a Blair Trustee for 57 years and was Board Chairman from 1962 to 1979, during one of the School’s most difficult financial periods. In his remarks at the dedication, Mr. Fortunato noted that Dr. Hoffman’s Blair legacy was one of extraordinary leadership and service as he had worked tirelessly to strengthen the School for future generations. Mr. Bogle joined the Board during Dr. Hoffman’s tenure in 1972, eventually succeeding him as Board Chair in 1986.

Mr. Bogle devoted the rest of his visit to his 11 current Bogle Scholars, sharing lunch with them at Sharpe House and catching up on all that is happening in their lives. More than 150 students have benefited from the Bogle Scholars Program over the years, including Trustee Singleton Cox ’90, who joined the group at lunch.

Last Updated: May 22, 2017