The Permanent Fund has lost a friend.

Cornelius “Con” Hogan, our first board member recruited, who, until his final day, remained committed to our mission of ensuring the best possible future for all Vermont children, passed away recently at the age of 77. He left behind a void we’ll spend the remainder of our days failing to fill.

AP Photo/Toby Talbot

Con’s input and expertise these last eighteen years, both data-driven and heartfelt, were invaluable in shaping our work. At the Permanent Fund’s very first board meeting, Con impressed upon us the value and power of strong, healthy human relationships. This led to our early support of adult–child mentoring and to our current mission focused on the developmental benefits of the nurturing relationship between Vermont’s child care professionals and our young children.

Con’s gift of continual positive support and encouragement was extraordinary; he called me after every board meeting to say he thought it was the best board meeting yet! Gestures like these—offered to me as board president and to all

of our board members, partners and staff—made our work especially rewarding and contributed to the success we have enjoyed.

What’s most striking to us, as we grieve our loss, is the sheer number of in memoriams that say the same thing. This is a loss we share with the world. His life’s work—the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the National Center for Children in Poverty, Success by Six, Dr. Dynasaur, the Green Mountain Care Board, the Children’s Defense Fund, the Center for the Study of Social Policy, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, among so many others—reads like a litany of altruism. No, Con Hogan wasn’t just our legend. He was everyone’s.

Con Hogan was a titan of public service whose legacy will outlive us all. As former Senator Jim Jeffords remarked upon Con’s departure from the Agency of Human Services, “The outcomes of Con Hogan’s service to Vermont will need to be measured far into the [future].”

We could not agree more because, among the many hats Con wore—father, friend, banjo player, dedicated public servant—we knew him as a consummate champion for children, positively impacting the course of entire lives.

There is nothing more selfless than dedicating one’s life to the wellbeing of those who will come after us. And whether through a restructured juvenile justice system, the expansion of health insurance to nearly every uninsured Vermont child, the dramatic drop in the number of foster care placements and cases of sexual and physical abuse, or through any of his other countless accomplishments, Vermonters—past, present and future—are most assuredly better off because of Con.

The Permanent Fund has lost a friend.

The world has lost a champion.

The Permanent Fund board and staff send our thoughts and prayers to Con’s family. As they mourn their loss—of a great husband, father, grandfather—we hope they find some solace in knowing the world grieves with them.

Rick Davis
President of the Permanent Fund for Vermont’s Children

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