Thomas D. Bogardus, O.S.A.

Bogardus Thomas 1-17.jpeg

1932 – 1996 (November 1)

Thomas Douglas Bogardus, was born on November 18, 1932, to William Bogardus and Rose Houle in Hoosick Falls, New York. He was baptized there on December 11, 1932, in the church of the Immaculate Conception, and received his primary and secondary education at Saint Mary Academy. In 1956, he graduated from State University of New York, in Albany, with a B.A. degree in history. After teaching for two years at Colonie Central School in Colonie, N.Y., he entered the novitiate at New Hamburg, N.Y. in 1958, professed first vows on September 10, 1959, and made his solemn profession three years later. He pursued theological studies at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C., and was ordained to the priesthood on February 1, 1964, in Saint Nicholas of Tolentine Church, Bronx, N.Y. In 1962, he earned a M.A. degree in modern European history from Villanova University, and, in 1978, he was granted a doctorate in education from Teachers College of Columbia University, N.Y.

Father Bogardus’ first assignment was to teach biology at Austin Preparatory School, Reading, Massachusetts, from 1964 to 1968, and was also chaplain and counselor at Phillips Academy, Andover. In 1970, after a year at Monsignor Bonner High School, Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, he began doctoral studies at Columbia University, N.Y. while a member of the Mount Augustine Retreat House community, Staten Island, N.Y. During that time he was adjunct professor of theology and sociology at Saint John’s University in Jamaica, N.Y. From 1975 to 1987, he served as principal of Archbishop Carroll High School, Washington, D.C. As principal he greatly enhanced the school’s programs and facilities, promoted scholarships, an alumni association, and inculcated in the student body sensitivity to the poor and needy by implementing programs of outreach to the wider community.

In 1987, he accepted the position of principal at Saint Mary Academy, Glen Falls, N.Y., and in 1989 joined the Augustinian community at Merrimack College, North Andover, Mass., where he served as treasurer, and, in 1994, was named assistant professor of education, a position he held until his death.

Father Bogardus, was a sensitive teacher and innovative administrator. Gifted with a wry sense of humor, he was a friend to many, particularly to the poor. He was an educator in the true tradition of Saint Augustine. In October 1984, he wrote, “So we go about the teaching of young men here at the school as if their life depended on it. But the school has never been satisfied with only the business of learning. It wants to change and affect young people that they might be optimistic thinkers caring for themselves and others, knowing deep in their hearts that a personal God has sent a messenger of hope, Jesus Christ. If you ask, ‘What can we do?’ we’re first going to ask if you share this vision.”

Father Bogardus died at Merrimack College on November 1, 1996, the age of 62. The Funeral Liturgy was celebrated on Saturday, November 9, 1996, at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Hoosick Falls, N.Y., with interment at St. Mary Cemetery in Hoosick Falls.