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Texas woman leaves gift to alma mater

April 29, 2011
Contact: 

John Aronowitz, director of development, College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, john.aronowitz@uni.edu, 319-504-8230

Bill Calhoun, president University of Northern Iowa Foundation, bill.calhoun@uni.edu, 319-273-6078

Stacey Christensen, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728, stacey.christensen@uni.edu

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Edra Bogle of Denton, Texas, has made a nearly half million dollar gift to her alma mater, the University of Northern Iowa (UNI), to create the Agathon Fellowship Endowment for graduate assistantships for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students and others supportive of LGBT issues.

The gift, made through Bogle's estate, is part of UNI's Imagine the Impact campaign, which supports scholarships, faculty and programs. Bogle has also provided an immediate $17,500 cash gift to UNI to provide funding for the fellowship over the next five years. 

"In the time since I first met Dr. Bogle, I have grown to understand and highly respect her long and tireless work as an LGBT activist," said Phyllis Baker, director of UNI's Women and Gender Studies program. "Her passion is palpable. It seems so very fitting that her hard work will be carried forward in perpetuity in her generous gift to UNI's LGBT students and to LGBT issues on campus." 

Bogle attended Iowa State Teacher's College, now UNI, receiving her B.A. in 1956. She went on to receive her M.S. at Columbia University and Ph.D. at the University of Southern California. Bogle served as a faculty member in the Department of English at the University of North Texas where she taught for 34 years. Supplementing her abundance of activity in local and state politics in Texas, Bogle has also been a longtime gay and lesbian rights activist. 

Bogle has served as a Democratic precinct chair intermittently since the late 1980s. Since 1982, she has served as a delegate to the State Democratic Convention repeatedly and as the Denton County Democratic chair from February 2003 to May 2006.  She was the interim founding president of the Denton chapter of Texas Democratic Women. Today, she is active in the Denton County Party, Denton County Democracy for America and the Stonewall Democrats chapter. 

As a gay and lesbian rights activist, Bogle was the newsletter editor for the Gay Caucus for the Modern Languages and served on the delegate assembly of the Modern Language Association. She was also a founding member of the Gay Academic Union of North Texas, serving as president and on the national board of the GAU; a member of the Gay/Lesbian Association of Denton; and a member of Queer Faculty and Staff of UNT. Bogle was newsletter editor for the Texas Gay/Lesbian Task Force, and chaired a local Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays committee to include LGBT persons in the Denton Independent School District anti-harassment policy.