Connecting service, academics: Gift establishes John C. Bogle '51 Fellows in Civic Service program

A gift from investor John C. Bogle Jr. and his wife, Lynn Bogle, has established a program that encourages Princeton University students to design and engage in service or civic-engagement-related summer internships and projects and connect those experiences to their academic work and career interests.

Administered by Princeton's Pace Center for Civic Engagement, the John C. Bogle '51 Fellows in Civic Service program will inspire students to contribute to the common good as they learn from service, reflect on their experiences, and consider how they can address critical societal problems. 

Bogle gift

John (Jack) Bogle of the Princeton Class of 1951, namesake of the new Bogle Fellows in Civic Service program, visited with students engaged in service at the Pace Center for Civic Engagement in March 2014. Pictured are from left (standing) Traphagen Yates, Class of 2014, and Charlie Jacobson, Class of 2016; (sitting) Kimberly de los Santos, the John C. Bogle '51 and Burton G. Malkiel *64 Executive Director of the Pace Center; John C. Bogle, Class of 1951; Joseph Benun, Class of 2015; and Megan Partridge, Class of 2014. (Photo by Gwen McNamara, Pace Center for Civic Engagement)

Ten freshmen will be selected in March as the inaugural cohort of Bogle Fellows and will be involved in the program for a year. This spring they will participate in workshops and events dedicated to exploring why and how to serve, and work with mentors to develop a project or internship that they will immerse themselves in for at least eight weeks during the summer. 

The program aims to broaden first-year students' understanding of service and civic engagement and encourage them to use service as a guiding lens as they move into their sophomore year. It also encourages them to think creatively about how to build upon their academic interests to make an impact on society. Bogle Fellows could tackle issues related to innovation, technology, government, the arts, the sciences or business through a variety of approaches, such as policy, advocacy, research, direct service or community activism. 

When they return to campus in the fall, they will create action plans for expanding upon their service experiences, connecting them to their scholarly work or career interests. 

"We are incredibly grateful for this generous gift and the dedicated support of the Bogle family," said Kimberly de los Santos, the John C. Bogle '51 and Burton G. Malkiel *64 Executive Director of the Pace Center. "The Bogle Fellows program honors the legacy of one of the founding supporters of the Pace Center, and perfectly aligns with our strategy to enable students to experience what we believe is so powerful and meaningful about service and civic engagement. 

"This program will help students learn how to focus service and civic engagement through a critical lens, to shape who they are as individuals and push them to think more broadly about how they can have an impact on our most pressing societal issues," she added. "It is an exciting step in renewing and elevating the University's commitment to service." 

A son's inspiration

The Bogles made the gift in honor of John's father, John (Jack) C. Bogle of the Class of 1951, the founder of the Vanguard Mutual Fund Group and one of the first supporters of the Pace Center. Jack Bogle's history of generosity to Princeton includes creating the Bogle Brothers Scholarship Fund, which has already supported more than 125 undergraduates; funding the Class of 1951 Directorship of the Pace Center; and funding Bogle Hall in Butler College.

"The John C. Bogle '51 Fellows in Civic Service program will provide opportunities for summer service internships that support Princeton's commitment to making service central to our mission. This program will be instrumental in preparing our students to pursue lives of informed and engaged interaction with the world around them," said President Christopher L. Eisgruber. "I can think of no one we could more meaningfully recognize with a program which, at its core, places the needs of others ahead of one's own."

John C. Bogle Jr. is founder and CEO of the investment firm Bogle Investment Management. "My father's entire career has been an inspirational testament to how Princeton's call to its students to place themselves in the service of others can effect almost unimaginable positive change in the community and the world," said Bogle. "His idea, articulated in his senior thesis in 1951, to have an investment company's enormous profits accrue to mutual fund shareholders rather than the company that manages the funds was unprecedented. It has helped millions of investors more easily meet the financial challenges of college education and retirement.

"His sacrifice of vast personal gain for the benefit of society is but one example of the myriad definitions of service that Princeton students embrace," he added. "We are delighted that this gift, motivated by my father's demonstration of the impact of service, will allow students to explore their own passions and ideas about putting themselves in the service of others."

Princeton's trustees recently adopted a strategic planning framework for the University's future, with a mission statement that includes "a commitment to prepare students for lives of service, civic engagement and ethical leadership." 

"I'm deeply humbled and honored by the generosity of my son and his wife, Lynn, and delighted to have the endowment focused on service to others," said John Bogle '51. "My years at Princeton University changed my life and the funding of this project will continue my Princeton legacy far into the future." 

The program will award $4,500 to each student to support the year-long fellowship. The first group of Bogle Fellows will be announced March 24 during the Pace Center's 15th anniversary event.