Memories of Sister Pat Hogan, OP
By Jennifer Hamlin Church
Pat Hogan, OP, aka Sister John Mary, began teaching philosophy and history at Siena Heights College in 1966. She went on to chair the philosophy department from 1979 until her un-expected death March 13, 1991, while at home in Chicago on sabbatical.
Pat Hogan’s legendary impact on students was never more evident than at the 2009 Alumni Awards ceremony, when three honorees—Tod Marshall ’90, now a poet and English professor at Gonzaga University; Jacob Chi ’85, now conductor of the Pueblo Symphony Orchestra and professor at Colorado State University; and Gabrielle Davis ’85, a lawyer specializing in women’s rights—all credited her with helping them find the right road to their future.
Tod Marshall remembered goofing off and skipping the reading for his independent study with Sister Pat—until the day he found her in the library “bent over her notes and poring over what we were going to talk about that day.” Startled to realize how much time and effort she was putting in “for me—just for me,” Tod reshaped his attitude. Knowing how committed she was to his education, he said, he “never again dropped the ball” on his studies.
Jacob Chi was a 28-year-old violinist, without funds and or a place to stay, when he arrived from China to attend Siena Heights in the early ‘80s. Sister Pat opened her home, as well as her heart and mind, to the talented musician. “There is no one in my entire academic life as important as Sister Pat,” he said recently, and “no other universities (as important) as Siena Heights.”