TCU Advancement

University Advancement

A mentor by example

In Texas Christian University’s Department of Chemistry and Physics, Frank Woodall Hogan’s appointment as professor of chemistry began in 1922. He held the position until 1957, influencing hundreds of pre-med hopefuls.

More than a half-century later, he is still remembered by former students, including David R. Brown, M.D., of Oklahoma City, who has made a gift to TCU in Mr. Hogan’s honor.

Dr. Brown was a Navy V12 medical student at TCU in 1944-45. “While there, I encountered one of my most inspirational professors,” he recalled. “Mr. Hogan had very strong principles and preached them, as well as taught a great course that stood me well through medical school.”

Paralyzed from polio, Mr. Hogan walked with crutches and would refuse any physical assistance. “He was a very impressive man, with a bull voice, a strong southern accent, very handsome,” Dr. Brown said.

Mr. Hogan obviously made an indelible impression on many. When The TCU Magazine called upon alumni to write about their most memorable professors, three chose Mr. Hogan, while a column written by Dr. James McBee for a Fayetteville, N.C., newspaper was titled “A Lesson in Life From a Demanding Professor.”

Joan Hewatt Swaim ’56 is the daughter of Willis G. Hewatt, who ran the pre-med program beginning in 1950. She recalled for another TCU Magazine article that Mr. Hogan’s organic chemistry class was “famously challenging.”

“They said if you made it through Hogan, Hewatt and hell, you’d get into medical school”— as a number of former students would attest.

“Mr. Hogan was very proud of the fact that organic was a make-or-break subject for getting one in professional school,” Glyn Spearman ’54, DDS, of Fort Worth wrote to The TCU Magazine. “Knowing that his subject was so essential, I was shocked after the first test. I only made a 75, which disappointed me. I went in to see him after the test to get help. He was so willing to tell me what was important in his tests. After our conference, I made two B's for the course, after learning how to study for organic.”

“Mr. Hogan was a very stern-appearing gentleman with a very kind heart,“ noted Bill Head ’49, M.D., of Fort Worth. “He guided, pushed and pulled many of our small group of advanced chemistry students through several years of organic chemistry… He, more than anyone else, taught me good study habits that helped me through medical school.”

“Mr. Hogan made out his own tests, never gave the same test twice, and graded his own papers,” commented the late W. Harvey Keyes ’50 of Trophy Club, a chemical engineer. Mr. Keyes recalled “those diabolical tests… He was tough but if you passed his class you knew some organic chemistry… He was the most influential professor in my life.”

Dr. Brown echoed the sentiment: “He was a mentor by example throughout my life.”


©2017 TCU | 2800 S. University Dr., Fort Worth, Texas 76129 | 817.257.7000 |

Texas Christian University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award baccalaureate, masters, doctoral degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Texas Christian University.