St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer (Photo: Dave Bangert/Journal & Courier)
St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer (Photo: Dave Bangert/Journal & Courier)
RENSSELAER – Why Bill Hogan, the Saint Joseph’s College grad and former athletic director, is leaving his role as chief fundraiser and, in many ways, the outward face in the revival hopes for the shuttered liberal arts college in Rensselaer, he’s not saying.

Monday is the last day for Hogan, who was lured back to campus as vice president for advancement after St. Joe’s closed at the end of the 2016-17 academic year.

“I can’t really go into that right now,” Hogan said Wednesday, when asked about his departure, announced last week on Facebook by the Rev. Larry Hemmelgarn, chairman of the Saint Joseph’s College board of trustees.

“I might do something next week,” Hogan said.

Hemmelgarn, in his Facebook post, praised Hogan “for his tireless efforts on behalf of Pumas,” including raising more than $2.3 million, including pledges and intentions to give from hopeful alumni, to St. Joe’s 128 Core Partners Campaign. That campaign was meant to keep the Rensselaer campus running and setting it up to reopen later.

Since then, alumni and former faculty members – already frustrated over what the call a lack of information over how the four-year college wound up $27 million in debt and had to suspend operations in 2017 – have been stewing about Hogan’s departure and what’s next. Hemmelgarn’s only comment has come in that Facebook post.

Agitation only grew on alumni social media sites when Ned Tonner, a Rensselaer attorney and former adjunct professor in in St. Joe’s MBA program, stepped down as a trustee, a role he’d had since late 2017. Last week, Michael Kohlman, chief information officer at St. Joe’s and a member of the college’s initial rebuilding effort branded the “Phoenix Team,” also announced on Facebook that he’d leave, after Hogan’s resignation.
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