Getting to know...Doyle Boggs
To understand Doyle Boggs, Wofford’s executive director of communications and marketing, you have to understand his passions. And there are many of them.
Start with his family. He and wife Sara Nell are very active in the Spartanburg community. Oldest son Jay graduated from Notre Dame (he even has a dog named Gipper). Middle son Ryan graduated from Furman. And youngest child Carrie is set to graduate from Wofford in the spring. She is currently studying abroad in England.
Then there is Wofford. Boggs, a South Carolina history buff, didn’t grow up in Spartanburg. He learned to appreciate the subject living in Hartsville, S.C., near Florence in the Pee Dee section of the state. His father was a high school principal and his mother a librarian, so academics was in his blood from an early age, and that’s what drew him to Wofford College.
“I came to Wofford in the fall of 1966 primarily because of the academics,” he says. “I always wanted to be a history teacher. It’s become an avocation rather than a vocation. I came to Wofford because Dr. Lewis Jones had an outstanding reputation as one of the top South Carolina historians. Primarily, I wanted to take advantage of a great teacher.”
Once at Wofford, Boggs was hooked. He returned to the campus after graduation and has worked on enhancing its local and national reputation for 27 years. It’s a labor of love, as can be seen in the book “Shining with Untarnished Honor,” on which he is a co-editor.
“Wofford’s always been known as a good college but our brand was not recognized outside our region,” he says. “Even though we have a long way to go, we’ve come a long way in the last two decades. We’re now clearly recognized as one of the 300-350 best colleges in the United States, and as one of the top 10 liberal arts colleges in the South, from Virginia to Texas.
“I think the biggest challenge in marketing is simply our size, but I’m a big believer in the small college. My children have all gone to liberal arts colleges. I really believe the ideal college would be Mark Hopkins on one end of the log and a student on the other end. That personal attention is so important.”
Boggs gives a lot of personal attention in his off time to another passion of his, historical tours of the state. He and colleagues Charley Gray and Phillip Stone have picked up where former professor Jones left off, giving guided tours of the Palmetto State once a year, mostly for Wofford graduates.
“Dr. Jones always used to say ‘Learning that it happened is good. Learning that it happened right here is even better,’” says Boggs. “When you go to the historic sites and are able to use all five of your senses, you better understand the real fabric of ideas, events and experiences of the people.”
The church is part of Boggs’ fabric, and another one of his passions. He is a Communion minister and is active in campus ministry and several other organizations in the parish. He is also a retired colonel with the South Carolina National Guard, which made him appreciate the state’s history that much more.
“I really enjoyed my military service and felt that what I was doing was important,” he says. “That was at the height of the Cold War. I was on active duty in Charleston right after Hurricane Hugo hit. Helping those people was very rewarding.”
He views his time at Wofford in the same light.
“One of the things that is very gratifying about spending most of my life here at Wofford is that this is a much better college now than it was when I was a student,” says Boggs. “It was always a good school, but the big difference now is that we have more resources and much better facilities and a much prettier campus. The faculty and students are better than they’ve ever been. It’s been fun and gratifying to see Wofford grow. We have so much momentum going now that I see us only continuing to get better.”