Dudley has always been the most unconventional member of Harvard’s undergraduate House system. It had its origins in 1936 as the College’s non-residential undergraduate student center, before becoming a House in 1958 and incorporating all GSAS students in 1991. During their tenure, Faculty Deans Jim and Doreen Hogle strengthened Dudley’s identity as a place for all students—from different backgrounds, following different paths, and with a wide variety of interests, both academic and personal—to come together and build well-rounded lives at Harvard. As the Hogles step down from their post, they will be remembered for their impact on students—graduate students and undergraduates—and for their unfailing enthusiasm for the importance of spending time away from academics.
Jim and Doreen Hogle have made history at Dudley House. Through 17 years of distinguished service, they have become, by a significant margin, Dudley’s longest-serving faculty deans; in fact, they are among the longest-serving across Harvard’s entire House system. But their legacy cannot be measured merely in years. In everything they have done, the Hogles have embodied warmth, openness, integrity, boundless energy, and true interest in and care for those around them. They have touched the lives of thousands of students, staff, and alumni.
When the Hogles became co-masters of Dudley House in 2002, they succeeded Everett Mendelsohn and Mary Anderson, who describe the Hogles’ leadership as exemplary. “Jim and Doreen came into the mastership of Dudley House with smiles on their faces and with genuine enthusiasm for what they knew would be an adventure,” Everett and Mary recall. “Over the years, as we checked in on activities and events at Dudley House, we saw that Jim and Doreen both maintained this enthusiasm and beautifully expanded the roles they filled. Their time at Dudley House represented the best of the original concept of the House.”
They understand how important it was to make the Graduate School a supportive and generous environment." — Allan Brandt, Amalie Moses Kass Professor of the History of Medicine
When Allan Brandt thinks back on his GSAS deanship, from 2008 to 2012, he puts the Hogles at the top of his list of people who did things of real significance for students. “They understood how important it was to make the Graduate School a supportive and generous environment,” Brandt says. “The history of graduate education was for students to be isolated in their departments, without the socio-intellectual opportunities made possible by such an incredibly talented and committed student body. The Hogles made sure that students had a chance to utilize their many strengths and interests, and they were totally accessible in every way.”
Margot Gill, who served for more than 20 years as administrative dean of GSAS, sees the Hogles’ openness and accessibility as defining features of their leadership. “I think of Jim Hogle on stage at Sanders Theatre at Orientation, every single year, welcoming graduate students to Dudley House,” Gill says. “He would say it with such energy and warmth and enthusiasm; it was just genuine. He’d put on his Dudley hat and his Dudley T-shirt, and he just embodied the open invitation to every single graduate student. What could be better than that?”
The Hogles made every year at Dudley House one to remember. At Discover Dudley, the annual start-of-year theme party, they have donned unforgettable costumes—Jim’s turn as the Lorax is legend—and encouraged incoming students to explore the House and its many resources. The Hogles have been enthusiastic participants in student-faculty dinners, Senior Common Room gatherings, and a wealth of activities planned by the Dudley Fellows, a dedicated team of 26 graduate students who organize everything from film nights and music performances to outings and athletic events—all helping to connect students who share common interests, regardless of academic department. At year-end dinners at the historic Commander’s Mansion in Watertown, Jim has paid tribute to the unique contributions of each and every Dudley Fellow.
The Hogles have been superb advocates for graduate students, in part because they have firsthand knowledge of what graduate school is like: Doreen is an accomplished lawyer, and Jim is Edward S. Harkness Professor of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Harvard Medical School.
Students have found it deeply meaningful to have a senior member of the faculty so committed to encouraging them to have fun and live full lives at Harvard. As Zeba Wunderlich, PhD ’08, reflects, “Graduate school is inevitably a stressful time for most, and the atmosphere at Dudley House was always a breath of fresh air, due to Jim and Doreen’s dedication to bringing some balance to graduate school life. I know I am a much better person for having had the opportunity to serve as a Dudley Fellow.”
In recognition of the Hogles’ lasting contributions to student leadership development at GSAS, the position of head Dudley Fellow has been named in their honor. Lindsey Brown, a PhD candidate in applied mathematics, will serve as the first Hogle Coordinating Fellow next year. “I have been fortunate to work with Jim and Doreen and experience firsthand their leadership of the Fellows team,” Brown says. “It is such an honor to carry their name forward into the leadership of the GSAS Student Center, and I am grateful that, no matter where their retirement travels may take them, a piece of them will always be here leading the Fellows team.”
In addition to their unflagging support of graduate students, the Hogles have been deeply invested in the three branches of Dudley’s undergraduate population: residents of the Dudley Co-op, others who live off-campus, and visiting undergraduates. Doreen has presided over undergraduate Commencement exercises, and she and Jim have enjoyed many meals at the Co-op and have opened their home and their hearts to undergraduates in need of support. Karen Flood, who served for seven years as Allston Burr Resident Dean, notes that the Hogles have always had a special fondness for undergraduates who take an unusual path through college. “Jim and Doreen respected the additional responsibility that Dudley Co-op and off-campus students took on,” Flood says, “and they respected our students’ activism in university, local, and national politics. They also had a lot of empathy for students who were experiencing distress of any kind. The idea of the whole student is something that they lived and breathed.”
The Hogles’ Harvard family extends beyond the graduate and undergraduate students of Dudley House. For the past seven years they have been faculty directors of Harvard’s Graduate Commons Program and residents of Peabody Terrace, where they have hosted monthly open houses and worked to create a full sense of family and home within the Harvard University Housing community. They have also been a constant inspiration to alumni and staff who share their mission.
Susan Zawalich, who served Dudley’s graduate student community for 26 years as House Administrator, is among those who have worked most closely with the Hogles, particularly with Jim and the Dudley Fellows. “The Hogles are wonderful, warm, and precious people, devoted to supporting students as whole human beings,” Zawalich says. “They’re beloved by the people that they work with, and they’re enormously positive role models for students. Anyone who has been a student while they’ve been here has been lucky.”