Save, save, save; give, give, give

Published 10:08 am Monday, July 9, 2018

Ed Hogenson’s generosity was felt this week at Lamar University, where he donated $500,000 to the geology department for a specialized drone program.

The gift was made in honor of his son, Bill Hogenson of Houston, a Lamar geology graduate and vice president of Zone Oil and Gas LLC.

That’s the elder Hogenson’s second half-million-dollar gift this year; the first was made to Lamar State College Port Arthur in February in honor of his daughter, Debbie Spittler, who graduated there before eventually ending up a financial adviser for Edward Jones.

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In both cases, the father’s gift was made with reference to the good education that the two colleges gave his children, enabling them to pursue worthy careers.

Lamar University spokesman Brian Sattler said the process for the two gifts began around the same time. The latter gift was announced later because choosing the use for the second gift was more involved.

The result was much the same, Sattler suggested: “He wanted to make a gift in honor of both his son and daughter. He expressed he was grateful that the schools, respectively, were able to give his kids a great start on their careers. He gave back to his community and honored his son and daughter at the same time.”

Sattler said it was not unusual for donors to make gifts unsolicited, although the size of the donations was on the high end. Sometimes, he said, donors give money for scholarships; sometimes, they give gifts that support faculty or programs. All donations are treasured.

Jim Jordan, geology department chair, said the latter donation will help his department develop a remote-sensing program using drone technology, which he said would be “transforming” for the program the younger Hogenson graduated.

“Developments in drone technology have increased the opportunity for remote sensing and are becoming a significant part of future exploration,” Jordan said.

Sattler said departments such as Jordan’s oftentimes must compete with other universities for grants to launch such programs.

To have a gift come to you, that’s a game changer,” he said. “Even when you compete well for a grant, you don’t know. None of them are a sure thing.”

Here’s a sure thing: Hogenson, from Mid County, has honored his children and thanked their schools in ways that will affect the campuses and the people they teach for many years. He has also set a good example for others.

“He said he has been blessed in his life to earn money, he was frugal, he saved money through the years and was able to do this,” Sattler said of Hogenson, who had a prosperous career with Texaco as an engineer.

“Save, save, save,” was what Hogenson’s own parents taught him.

Give, give, give, he has taught the rest of us.