Eagle Nation Remembers Two Of Its Most Faithful Supporters

Professor Emerita Rose Mae Bogan Millikan (’87,’93) followed in her parents’ footsteps to become a college professor. The mathematical sciences professor passed away Sept. 24, 2022, after a short illness. Her dedication to her students was renowned. Throughout her life, previous students continued to show appreciation for her influence and the positive impact her teaching and compassion had on their lives. 

In retirement, Millikan found a renewed purpose: endowing scholarships that supported her passion for education. She established three scholarships at Georgia Southern: the Herman Lee and Wordna Isabelle Bogan Scholarship for Science or Math Education Majors, named for her parents; the Rose Mae Bogan Millikan Scholarship for Science or Math Education Majors; and the Dr. Lee Rogers Berger Scholarship in Anthropology, created jointly with her son and noted paleoanthropologist, Lee Berger (’90). She was also a principal donor for the building of the R M Bogan Archaeological Repository at Georgia Southern.  

An accomplished artist, Millikan’s continued support of the University included donating the first sculptured eagle for the Eagle Nation on Parade public arts project, supporting student scholarships and undergraduate research initiatives as well as donating sculptures and paintings exhibited at the College of Artsand Humanities. 

Professor Emeritus Patrick O. Spurgeon, affectionately known as “Doc” by those who loved him, passed away on June 23, 2022 in Statesboro. He had an eight-decade career as a player, student, teacher, coach and mentor. He was born in northwest Indiana and raised in East Tennessee where he earned the rank of Eagle Scout. He taught at the University of Tennessee as a graduate student, then served on the faculties of Catawba College and Coker College before arriving at Georgia Southern University to teach English literature. 

Spurgeon was also one of the first assistant coaches hired by Eagles football coach Erk Russell, and coached with Erk throughout and after his tenure. Spurgeon coached kickers and punters and acted as lead scout for Coach Russell for four of Georgia Southern’s six National Championships. He later joined the staff at Youngstown State, where he won four more National Championships under coach Jim Tressel, and served as a volunteer coach under Tressel at Ohio State when the Buckeyes won a National Championship, giving him nine during his collegiate coaching career.

A passionate mentor to many students and athletes, he served as faculty advisor for the Sigma Pi fraternity at Georgia Southern and was voted Professor of the Year by a George-Anne poll more than once.

He was also associated with several high school football programs over the years and was inducted into the Marist High School Athletic Hall of Fame, the Emory and Henry College Athletic Hall of Fame, and the Georgia Southern Athletic Hall of Fame.

He is survived by his wife of 74 years, Ann Spurgeon, and his sons, O’Dyer
and Kevin.