Beacon College President George J. Hagerty addresses the audience during the recent Fogg Hall dedication ceremony.
Beacon College officials dedicated Fogg Hall, the nonprofit liberal arts school’s academic hub, during a January 25 ceremony saluting the continuing generosity of The Edward C. Fogg, III and Lizbeth A. Fogg Charitable Trust.
The college acquired the 12,000-square-foot storefront space two decades ago to serve as its academic focal point. With the help of generous contributions from the Fogg Charitable Trust, the school transformed the space that houses nearly 90 percent of the college’s classroom and laboratory space and more than half of faculty offices into an educational space with a more traditional college feel.
In commemorating the moment, Steve Muller, vice president of institutional development and communications, recalled Winston Churchill:
“‘We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.’ Now I don’t know if Edward and Lisbeth were familiar with that saying, but knowing what I do know about them, it was certainly a mantra that influenced their lives,” Muller continued. “Their philanthropic gifts to higher education, child welfare, health care, and animal protection reflected not only their concerns but their understanding that giving isn’t just about making a donation, it’s about making a difference.”
The Foggs grew citrus and developed farm and convenience stores that primarily sold milk, bread, and ice cream. They owned numerous stores throughout Florida, including three in Leesburg.
Edward Fogg died in November 2004. Lisabeth passed away in February 2015.
Their assets were put into The Edward C Fogg III and Lisbeth A. Fogg Charitable Trust in Camilla, Ga. Each year, the trust distributes a percentage largely to causes focused on hospitals, medical research, humanities, domesticated animals, human services and education causes.
The Fogg Trust, in recent years, has developed a relationship with Beacon College, a nonprofit liberal arts school and America’s first college or university accredited to award bachelor’s degrees primarily to students who learn differently.
“They would be pleased with today’s dedication recognizing their gift to education,” said Fogg Trustee Roger Clark. “Their generosity has made the lives of many people, healthier, more productive, and more enjoyable.”
Several city and county officials attended the event, as did Pam Jones, a representative for U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster, and Florida Rep. Anthony Sabatini.
Their attendance reflects how transformative power both for the college and region of the Fogg gift, said Beacon President George J. Hagerty.
“It has made an enormous difference,” Hagerty said. “When I first came here five years ago, I remember walking into the building and it was kind of pushed in in the front, and was a storefront that didn’t suggest the kind of important academic work that was being done here. Now walking through the building and seeing what it has become, with the library and academic activities upstairs, it is an enormous upgrade, not only for our students but for everybody in the Beacon community and really for the city of Leesburg.”