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Oldest known SDSU alumnus, William Vogt, dies at 107

Posted at 11:35 AM, Mar 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-03 14:49:15-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- San Diego State University’s oldest known alumnus passed away just 17 days after celebrating his 107th birthday, the campus reported.

According to school officials, William “Bill” Vogt is among the first students to set foot on the campus at Campanile Drive in 1931.

"It was during the Great Depression at a time when Edward L. Hardy, whom Vogt once recalled as “very low key,” was the school’s second president," the school said.

SDSU said Vogt completed his "business degree course work in late 1934 when San Diego State had no official commencement ceremony for mid-year degree completion. Although he said he requested a diploma, he could not recall having ever received one."

In 2018, SDSU President Adela de la Torre honored his request and presented Vogt with a diploma 83 years later during a ceremony.

The school said that Vogt was a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II and the Korean War and retired in 1970 with the rank of commander in the U.S. Naval Reserve.

"A notice of his death issued by the Navy said he enlisted in the Reserve with a rank of Yeoman First Class in 1940 and was called up Dec. 8, 1941, the day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. He served as an intelligence officer at several locations, including California and Washington, D.C. While living in Seattle, he was called back to active duty upon the outbreak of the Korean War," the school said.

Vogt's son described his father as a role model, best friend, and hero, but also as a loyal Aztecs basketball fan.

“He saw 90 years of SDSU basketball and this was the best team in 90 years,” Bob Vogt said. “The team meant a lot to him."