LaGrange College welcomed its 2016 honorary alumni during last weekend’s homecoming festivities.
Judy Boggus, Dan Durand and the Rev. Dr. Frank Mc-Cook of LaGrange joined Bishop Michael Watson of Hoover, Alabama, as they were feted at a recognition breakfast Saturday.
Martha Pirkle, director of alumni and community relations at the college, said she was thrilled to salute the new honorees.
“Every one of these amazing people have made such significant impacts on our community,” she said. “It is such an honor to be able to recognize their work and what they mean to LaGrange College.”
Boggus was born and raised in LaGrange. She earned a business degree from West Georgia College, and worked from 1983 until 2000 for Marietta Travel Agency where she was recognized as best travel consultant in Cobb County by Best of Cobb magazine.
She is a member of First Presbyterian Church where she has served as deacon and elder, as well as member of the chancel flower guild, prospective member council and stewardship committee.
Her community service is extensive. She was instrumental in fundraising and securement of a grant from the State of Georgia to establish the Troup County History Museum in 2001. Boggus served on the board of directors for the LaGrange Symphony Orchestra and has been awarded a lifetime membership on the board. Her major responsibility was assisting with the annual children’s concert for all thirdgrade Troup County students to hear the orchestra perform. She also was a member of the LaGrange Symphony Guild from 2002 until 2010, assisting with fundraising efforts to benefit the orchestra.
With the LaGrange Art Museum, her past service includes member of the board of directors, where she assisted with fundraising to enable the museum to host art exhibits from outside the region.
The LaGrange City Council appointed her to the board of directors for Downtown La-Grange Development Authority, where she served from 2003-2016. She worked on the design guidelines committee for her entire tenure, initiating and raising funds for the downtown bench project more than 85 benches to enhance the beauty and comfort of the downtown area.
Together with Ann Beason, she serves as co-chairwoman for LaGrange College’s 3D Journeys program. They developed the travel-and-learn series to be instrumental in enhancing the relationship between the college and the community through faculty lectures and associated travel opportunities.
She is married to Sonny Boggus and they have three children: Catherine Boggus Schirra, Steven Bradley Boggus and Brannon Scott Boggus; and eight grandchildren, Sydney Schirra, Charlie Boggus, Ben Boggus, Kate Boggus, Jack Boggus, Gracie Boggus, Olivia Boggus and Max Boggus.
Durand was born and raised in Woodbury. After serving in the U.S. Navy for three years, he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Georgia State University.
He worked for Durand-Wayland from 1970-74 in LaGrange, then formed Dan-Ric Homes, a residential home building and development company, in 1974. He retired from DanRic in 2009 and turned the business over to his daughters to run. He has been in the real estate business in Georgia and Alabama since 1974 and was part owner of Spinks Brown Durand Realtors for 25 years.
He is a Realtor Emeritus with the National Association of Realtors and received the Community HERO Award in 2014 from Accountability Troup, the Georgia Felony Drug Court.
He is a past board member and chairman of Accountability Troup and Self Help Harbor, past president and current member of West Georgia Homebuilders, a lifetime honorary member of Georgia Sheriff’s Association and life member of the Million Dollar Club of the Georgia Board of Realtors.
He has been married to Nancy Newman Durand ’68 for 44 years. They have two daughters, Darby Durand Pippin ’97 and Kelly Durand Cain ’01 MAT ’03 (Chris Cain ’02); and seven grandchildren.
McCook grew up in Lizella, Georgia. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Emory University and graduated from seminary at Boston University. He served in churches in Boston, South Georgia and Macon before earning his doctorate from Boston University.
Returning to Georgia in 1961, he joined the faculty at LaGrange College where he taught religion for 33 years, serving as department chair for 28 years. Working with the United Methodist Board of Higher Education, he was instrumental in founding the Christian Education major at LaGrange. He also introduced an internship program for Christian Education majors and developed the freshman advisor program, honor student program, the first curriculum for a Social Work major and began study-travel seminars to Israel and Europe.
He created “Project YES” for the North and South Georgia conferences of the United Methodist Church to train college students for summer church ministries, and served Antioch United Congregational Christian Church and North Main United Congregational Christian Church in Roanoke, Alabama, from 1991-2005.
Dr. McCook has functioned as chaplain for several Scottish organizations, including the Order of the Tartan in LaGrange and Columbus for more than 10 years, and was honored by the Stone Mountain Highland Games for 20 years of service. He was appointed national chaplain of Clan Donald USA in 1994 and received its distinguished service award in 2005.
He is married to Elaine McCook. He has three children with his late wife, Louise McCook – two sons, Charles F. McCook Jr. and Donald Burns McCook, and a daughter, Jennie McCook Johnson.
Watson was born and raised in Dothan, Alabama. He is Ecumenical Officer of the United Methodist Church, with offices in Washington, D.C., and bishop-inresidence at Canterbury United Methodist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.
Dr. Watson earned a bachelor’s degree in finance and real estate from the University of Alabama, a master’s of divinity at Candler School of Theology and a doctor of ministry degree from Vanderbilt University.
He was ordained as a deacon and an elder in the Alabama-West Florida Conference. He served as minister of evangelism at Decatur (Georgia) First United Methodist Church, then went on to Aldersgate UMC in Molino, Florida; Christ UMC in Milton, Florida; founding pastor at Covenant UMC, Dothan, Alabama; and Dauphin Way UMC in Mobile, Alabama. He was elected bishop in 2000 and assigned to the South Georgia Conference and then moved to the North Georgia Conference, serving until his retirement in September. He is currently a member of the World Methodist Council.
His professional and community honors and awards include the Centennial Medal from Candler School of Theology at Emory University, Torch Award in Scouting from the General Commission of United Methodist Men, Paul Harris Fellow from Rotary International, Denman Evangelism Award from Foundation for Evangelism of the United Methodist Church (Alabama-West Florida Conference) and Dean’s Medal from Candler School of Theology.
Bishop Watson also served as the chairman of the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits of the United Methodist Church, a $20 billion fund and the largest religious pension fund in the world, caring for over 80,000 participants.
He worked as president of the Mobile County School Board, the largest school system in Alabama; and as chairman of several conference boards and steering committees; and trustee of several colleges, including LaGrange College and Emory University. He also was president of The Kiwanis Club of Dothan and Rotary Club of Mobile, president of The University of Alabama alumni chapter and a board member of United Way, Boys Club, Girl Scouts, Red Cross and Inner City Mission.
He and his wife, Margaret Lee Watson, have two children – Ben Watson (wife Angela) and Elizabeth Watson Riddle (husband Zac) and five grandchildren – Alex Watson, Andrew Watson, Camilla Riddle, Watson Riddle and Emmaline Riddle.