by Elizabeth Stone
Dr. John K. Folger and his wife Mary Folger generously contributed $50,000 to the University of West Georgia College of Education in memory of Dr. Folger’s father, Dag Folger, the first dean of the College of Education at UWG. The Folgers’ endowment will create the Dag Folger “Critical Topics in Education” Speaker Series, offering multiple opportunities to bring innovative speakers to UWG’s campus.
(from L to R): Dr. Dianne Hoff, dean of the College of Education, Dr. John Folger, Mary Folger, Dr. Bill Estes, vice president for university advancement
Dag Folger came to UWG, then West Georgia College, in 1940 as the first dean of instruction to start a third year rural teacher training program. He served as educational faculty from 1940 to 1946, securing funding to recruit experienced teacher educators and helping to grow the school into what is now the College of Education. John, an author of multiple books and former dean, remembers his father’s tenure at UWG as a special time and recalls visiting his father on campus, which was a short walk from their family home located across the street from the university. John also attended West Georgia College during this time.
When asked what motivated him to make this tremendous gift, John answered with reverence to the past. “It’s very simple, really,” he says. “I was always very close to my father and he was my role model. After he died, I wanted to do something to remember him.”
John first established the Dag Folger Memorial Endowment Fund in 1984 within UWG’s College of Education to honor the memory of his father. The $50,000 endowment will be added to the current endowment in order to create the speaker series.
“After a few years, I decided I really wanted to update the endowment,” John adds. “I came back to UWG and was really impressed with the idea of the speaker series and with what the College of Education had grown to become.”
As the College of Education continues to expand, the new speaker series will provide UWG students with access to some of the brightest minds in education. “The creation of this speaker series is perfect timing for the College of Education,” says Dr. Dianne Hoff, dean of UWG’s College of Education. “This is exactly how I see the college moving forward. We’ve grown to be a dynamic part of the university, and we are continually building on that.”