Our namesake: Dr. Matthew Dogan
He was elected as the second black President of Wiley College, and served in this capacity for more than 46 years. Under his administration, the school chalked up many enviable “firsts.” Among them were these:
One of the first persons to be elected to the Wiley College National Hall of Fame, Dr. Matthew Winfred Dogan, Sr. was born on December 21, 1863, in Pentetoe, Mississippi. He was the third child in a family of six children. His father was a barber who had purchased his own freedom in 1861 for $1400. In 1869, the family moved from Pentetoe to Holly Springs, Mississippi, in order to give the children advantage of the educational facilities at Rust University, then known as Shaw University.
The College was one of the first, if not the first, to secure an endowment of any significant size; it had on its campus the finest library facilities in this section for a long time, serving both the College and the community. It had the only Carnegie Library in this section; The College introduced the practice of interracial student conferences in the state; it led out in educational reorganization program, divorcing college from the high school; it was the first Negro College in the Southwest to adopt the Honor Roll System.
As early as 1934, it was voted eligible for membership in the American Council on Education; As early as 1934, it was a member of the Planning Committee of the United States Department of Education and arranged and held a National Conference of Education of Negroes on its campus; The College inaugurated intercollegiate extracurricular relations and continues to foster them; The College instituted the idea of dramatics as cultural features in Negro colleges in this section; The College was national Negro debating champions as early as 1928-31; The College participated in dramatic and declaration contests with large white schools, winning honorable mention in contests held at large white universities in the North and East; and met debaters for Oxford in England in the Early years.
The college set up and pursued a liberal policy toward student government. The College was the first Negro institution in the Southwest to admit Greek-letter fraternities to its campus; The first college band and orchestras were organized on its campus in this section; The College developed one of the strongest music departments in Negro Schools. It is with great pride and a high sense of achievement and accomplishment that we present for inclusion in the first group to the Wiley College National alumni hall of Fame the name of Dr. Matthew Winifred Dogan, Sr., holder of the PhD Degree in those early times, and thought of by many as the father of Wiley College.
Dr. Dogan was identified with movements such as the YMCA, state and national teachers association, international commission, and was recognized as the leading Negro educator and administrator in the state. He represented Texas at the General Conference of the Methodist Church for more than seven quadrenniums, a very distinct honor. He was one of the secretaries of the General Conference, and a member of the Board of Education of the Methodist Episcopal Church.