May 13, 2005
Bolog Finishes Up on the 42-year Track as College Moves Undergraduate Programs
Amber Bryant (Amber.Bryant@liu.edu)
Student who joined inaugural class to finally graduate
Southampton, NY In 1963, John Bolog left Jamaica Estates to join less than 200 students in forming the inaugural class at Southampton College. After 42 years of travel breaks and sporadic low-residency coursework, hell finally graduate on May 22.
Though Bolog will sit among 435 fellow diploma-seekers, his experience at Southampton was steeped in social change brought on by the Vietnam War.
"Its really important to note that so many of the students in that year and the year after came out of a different society. All of a sudden, we went from listening to Doo-Wop to Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones and it shook the earth," he said.
Bolog now lives in Montgomery Center, Vt., and works part-time at Montgomery Elementary School. He has owned a couple of restaurants, where he often performed with jazz groups to satisfy his love for music.
As a college freshman, he majored in music and studied trumpet under expert faculty. The Long Island location allowed him to pursue his two passions, music and sailing. The latter hobby he enjoyed during travels to the Bahamas and New England, where he worked with several marine students from Southampton College over the years.
For the students who wont be receiving their degrees next Sunday, Bolog has a piece of advice he can give out with confidence.
"Dont drop out," he said. "It sounds like such a cliché, but you dont want to work for the man."