More than just a dorm: Frederic A. Ogg

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[caption id="attachment_5876" align="alignleft" width="139" caption="Political Science Professor and Department Chair, Frederic Austin Ogg."][/caption]

News via our partners at UW-Madison Archives

In fall 1965, a nondescript looking residence hall opened at 716 West Johnson Street.

Part of the southeast dormitory complex, Frederic A. Ogg Hall has been home to thousands of coeds over the past 45 years.

But who among them can recall the man behind the marble (or concrete and glass, as the case may be)?  Who exactly was this “Ogg” and why should we remember him?

Frederic Austin Ogg (1878-1951) was a beloved and esteemed member of the faculty for 34 years. Ogg joined the political science department in 1914 and served as department chair from 1925 to 1939.

As a distinguished scholar of political science, Ogg authored over 20 volumes, many of which were core curriculum in this field of study. He also served as editor of the American Political Science Review from 1926 to 1949 and in 1941, was named President of the American Political Science Association.

[caption id="attachment_5878" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Political Science Professor and Department Chair, Frederic Austin Ogg celebrates with his graduate students, late 1940s."][/caption]

In addition to his prolific contributions to scholarship, he was well known for being a “rounded, generous and out-giving person.”

Department colleagues prized his justice and wisdom, and commended his rare understanding of human nature and its application to conflict resolution, a characteristic highly valued during heated department debates on current events.

Graduate students remembered Thanksgiving dinners, exciting meetings of the Political Science Club and rousing debates in Ogg’s book lined study on Kendall Ave.

For students and colleagues alike, a social occasion at the Oggs was an “experience to be treasured.”

In a memorial resolution, cohorts recalled his “morning-to-midnight routine of incredible labor,” great acts of kindness, tireless devotion to improving his students’ work, and grace, tact and wisdom beyond his field of study.

In a final act of generosity and affectionate, upon his death in 1951, Ogg bequeathed a large portion of his considerable estate to longtime house manager and devoted surrogate daughter, Eugenia Wick, her husband and young daughter, whom he considered “family.”

[caption id="attachment_5877" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Ogg Hall and Southeast Dorms, ca. 1960s."][/caption]

On his time at the University of Wisconsin, Ogg reflected it was "filled with challenges, rich in associations and replete with satisfaction,” a sentiment mostly likely shared by many within our campus community including those who have ever called Ogg Hall, “home.”

In 2007, a new and improved Ogg Hall opened at 835 W. Dayton Street.

While this contemporary Ogg abounds with modern conveniences, there is a prevailing sense of camaraderie and community that serves as a fitting tribute to its namesake, Frederic Austin Ogg.