UL in History: Remembering Hugh McNeil Scrogham Jr.
Dr. Clifton W. Potter Jr. ~ UL History Professor
Usually when I call to mind the biography of one who has served the University of Lynchburg, it is a member of the faculty, but this week I wish to remember an editor of The Critograph who later joined the senior staff and served his Alma Mater in a number of roles until his retirement in 2007. Hugh McNeil Scrogham, Jr., a native of Staunton, Virginia, entered Lynchburg College in the fall of 1962. He earned his B.A. in Political Science in 1966, and a MEd. in School Supervision and Administration. During his senior year, he edited The Crit, having become involved in publications as the business manager of The Prism while still a sophomore. He never wasted a minute, but at various “free moments” in his college career Hugh was elected to membership in Kappa Delta Pi, Pi Delta Epsilon, Blue Key, and the President’s Council.
Noted for his organizational skills, his ability to evaluate the most complex situation, find a workable solution to any problem, and the gift to save money without sacrificing quality, Hugh was hired upon graduation to work in the Business Office as the Purchasing Manager. When he earned his master’s degree, he was named as Director of Residential Facilities, a position which he held until his retirement in 2007. Both positions came with built-in stress, but I never heard Hugh raise his voice—he was always calm, cool, and collected.
Outside his job, Hugh’s passion was World War II, and over the years he amassed a large collection of material artifacts from that conflict. After his retirement, he became a volunteer at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia. He employed his finely-honed skills to document artifacts, conduct detailed historical research, and enter reams of information into the Foundation’s database. Towards the end of his life, Hugh donated a large collection of valuable World War II artifacts which will form the core of a future museum at the D-Day Memorial. He also created the Hugh McNeil Scrogham, Jr. ’66 Scholarship Fund at the University of Lynchburg to provide financial support for veterans—especially those who had seen combat service—to earn their degrees at his Alma Mater.
I have always sought to link the present with the past, and over the years there have members of the faculty and staff who resembled famous historical persons. Hugh Scrogham resembled Count Camillo Benso de Cavour, the father of a united Italy. Both men worked with quiet determination to achieve specific goals, refusing to allow ill health or seemingly insurmountable barriers to deter them from the realization of their respective visions. Count Cavour did not live to see his nation united, and Hugh Scrogham did not live to see his legacy to the D-Day Memorial realized, but as with Cavour, others will take up the challenge and see the dream completed. The University of Lynchburg is a better place because of Hugh Scrogham, and Central Virginia will be richer for his service and generosity.