Hamline News

Hamline Treasure

treasure article

The 1940 edition of the Liner, the Hamline yearbook, was dedicated to “the couples that have gone out from Hamline, ever mindful of the deep heritage and happiness they have been endowed with, by their Alma Mater.”

Accompanying that dedication was a photo of a couple walking arm-in-arm. It was Shirley Brown and Bob Bogue, who were juniors that year.

Sixty-six years later, Shirley, who is now Shirley Bogue, sat in her living room surveying the Hamline memorabilia that lines the walls and shelves of her home, and reflected on what Hamline means to her. She pointed out her folks’ faded 1906 copies of the Hamline student newspaper, the Oracle. She smiled while unfolding an old burgundy blanket emblazoned with “Hamline” in silver. It also belonged to her parents.

“Everywhere you look in our home there’s a little bit of Hamline,” she said.

The daughter of parents who met at Hamline in the early 1900s, Shirley said there was never any question that she, too, would someday attend Hamline and find her future. Perhaps that’s why she kept so many of her parents’ school day treasures. Perhaps that’s why she began collecting her own, with her husband, Bob.

“We were just pals our freshman year. We met at a mixer. We’d rent a tandem bike and ride around Como Lake or hike a mile up to Montgomery Wards. The next year we worked on the Oracle together, and we started dating,” Shirley said.

The two had strong feelings about their alma mater—and each other—from the start. At one point during freshman year they bought matching tan jackets and had them signed by every member of their class, as well as their professors. Shirley later embroidered the signatures with various colors of thread so she could wash the coats. She still wears the jacket today.

“I brought it back with me for the Hamline 150th celebration and I showed their signatures to some of my former classmates and one of my professors. They were just amazed.”

In addition to writing and editing the Oracle, Shirley sang in the choir, was an honorary member of Torch and Cycle, and a member and president of Philo Browning sorority, or “society” as they called it then. Bob was an Oracle editor for two years and a Beta Kappa. As sophomores, they bought a Model-T, painted it in Hamline burgundy and silver, and drove around in it at fifteen cents a gallon. Shirley taught school for a year while Bob worked for a daily paper. He enlisted in the Navy, where he wrote for a military paper and taught cadets. They married in 1942, had two children, and settled in Nebraska, where they eventually became the publishers of four newspapers, one, the Oakland Independent, for thirty-one years. Shirley wrote columns for the paper, which she later compiled into a book.

Over the years the Bogues held tight to their college memories, displaying the pennants, photos, goblets, and cups proudly throughout their home. Shirley even has her parents’ Commencement program from 1913 held on her fridge with a magnet. She also has a receipt from one of Bob’s semesters at school.

“It says ‘$16.50, Hamline University, May 28, 1937. That was his tuition, minus work study,” Shirley said.

Why hang on to something like that?

“It says ‘Keep this receipt’ on it,” she said with a laugh.

Her niece recently found a stack of letters that Shirley had written to her mother while she was in college. She’s getting a kick out of the many memories.

“Hamline really did determine the course of my life. My choices there led me to what I was going to do in life and who I was going to become.”

Shirley and Bob officially retired from the publishing business in 1983, twelve years after settling into their dream home near Yankton. They remained active and involved in their community and attended three of Hamline’s Elderhostels.

In 1992 Bob and Shirley’s family established the Bob & Shirley Bogue Endowed Scholarship Fund. The scholarship honors their involvement in the Oracle and their careers in journalism by assisting students who have an interest in journalism, with preference given to students who intend to pursue a career in the field of journalism or have worked on the Oracle or other campus publications.

Bob died four years ago. He was posthumously inducted into the Nebraska Journalism Hall of Fame by the governor of Nebraska. Shirley remains as active today as she was when she was a student—she line dances three times a week, plays bridge, jams in guitar sessions, rides her four-wheeler, and spends time boating, gardening, and enjoying her friends and her family, including her six great-grandchildren.

And she still finds time for Hamline. When she’s driving to town she passes the time by listening to a tape and singing along to songs from her past, including this little ditty:

Sing a song of colleges,

Tell me where to go.

To Carleton for the pretty girls,

St. Thomas where they row.

Gustavus for debaters,

The U for track and ball,

And then come out to Hamline,

Where you find they have it all.

A copy of the 1940 Liner photo of the Bogues walking arm-in- arm still hangs in Shirley’s home. Bob signed it over sixty years ago, with a sentiment that sums up how he felt then, and how they have spent their years since.

It reads: “Well Butch [his nickname for Shirley], life will be swell if this gait and this manner of looking not along the path is adhered to ever. Life’s fun if you can live with those who allow enjoyment. Love, Bob.”


By: JacQui Getty