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Getting to know John Bogley

Interlochen’s new Vice President of Philanthropy shares his favorite works of art, northern Michigan connections, and philanthropic goals.

Vice President of Philanthropy John Bogley

Vice President of Philanthropy John Bogley

John Bogley began his tenure as Vice President of Philanthropy at Interlochen Center for the Arts in June 2019. Bogley, a Traverse City native, returned to northern Michigan following 23 years at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington.

At Whitman, Bogley served as Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations and led the largest comprehensive campaign in the school’s history. During his tenure, Bogley and his team raised more than $165.7 million, tripling the annual funds contribution to the institution’s annual operating budget. Prior to being appointed vice president, Bogley was Whitman’s Dean of Admission and Financial Aid.

We sat down with Bogley to learn more about his connection to northern Michigan, artistic background, and vision for philanthropy at Interlochen.

Tell us a bit about your background and interest in the arts.
I participated in music all the way through college. I played the clarinet and studied music history. In both high school and college, I was the drum major of the marching band. I also married an actress, and have a daughter who is a musician and an actress. My two sons are musicians, and one of them is also an actor. I stayed involved in the arts the way a parent does—through my children and my spouse. I was on the board of the Walla Walla schools music boosters. I was privileged to get involved in the Walla Walla Symphony, which is the oldest continuously operating symphony west of the Mississippi River, and I recently completed a three-year term as president of its board.

What drew you to Interlochen?
I was born in Traverse City, and lived here until 9th grade. After that, I returned to northern Michigan every summer with family. During those years, I would often visit Interlochen for concerts. I always enjoyed the opportunity to hear world-class music, especially in Kresge.

How will your personal connection with northern Michigan help you in your role at Interlochen?
Interlochen and northern Michigan benefit from each other’s presence. Interlochen is defined by its location, in no small measure, and students from around the world flock here because of this special place. People who live in this beautiful region have virtually limitless opportunity to hear and view the international talent on display here at Interlochen. It’s my hope that my connection to Traverse City will help us reach more people in the region, encouraging them to engage with this gem that’s just around the corner. When they do so, they will help us spread the word—and also join the legions of philanthropic supporters who help Interlochen thrive.

Now that CREATE AMAZING has concluded, what are Interlochen’s philanthropic goals?
On the heels of the highly successful and high-impact CREATE AMAZING campaign, Interlochen’s strategic plan calls for focused investment in our people and programs. That means scholarships for students and building upon the already impressive quality of our programs through additional gifts.

To accomplish this, we must increase the number of donors to Interlochen and increase support of the annual fund. Provost Camille Colatosti is identifying key areas for investment in our programs—those areas will be another focal point of our fundraising. Integral to our long-term success is an increased focus on endowing existing and new programs so that they have permanent support, which will decrease our reliance on tuition increases to fund our programs.

What are some of your favorite works of music, art, or literature?
My favorite symphony is Dvorak’s New World Symphony. I realize some people consider it a pedestrian choice, but it has always resonated with me. I enjoy reading history, particularly European and 19th century American history. I’m also an avid theatre-goer, and will watch a play about virtually anything. I find that live theatre inspires and entertains in powerful ways.

What words of advice do you have for young artists?
Enjoy the moment. Practice, rehearse, do more with your craft, and you’ll be surprised at how you will exceed the expectations you set for yourself. The chance to pursue the arts is a real gift, and sharing your gift with others is crucial. Interlochen provides many forums for that, and those students who are lucky enough to have been here will have a lifetime of opportunities to share their gifts. I hope they will always do so, and will appreciate the difference their art makes.

Why give to Interlochen?
Interlochen is world-renowned arts organization. Those who know Interlochen understand the magic of the place and the life-shaping experience and education it provides. In a world driven by technology, the importance of the arts should not be underestimated. I hope all who care about Interlochen will think of it as vital to developing the artists, community builders, and leaders of the future, and recognize that all of this is possible only with their support.

President Devey and the Board of Trustees have committed to a bold vision for Interlochen. It is a vision worthy of investment.