Ross Ogden '66 Still Serving American Red Cross after 50 Years

The Greenwich Time: After 50 years with the Red Cross, Greenwich volunteer still serving

In more than 50 years volunteering with the American Red Cross, Greenwich resident Ross Ogden has seen his share of disasters. Ogden responded in New Orleans in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina, one of the five deadliest hurricanes in U.S. history, slammed into the southeast coast of Louisiana, crippling the Lower Ninth Ward and causing destruction from Florida to Texas. Ogden also responded in south central Los Angeles in 1994, when a 6.7-magnitude earthquake rocked the metropolitan area, causing billions of dollars in damage and killing 57 people.

And Ogden responded in Manhattan in September 2001, when two hijacked jets slammed into the World Trade Center, toppling the iconic towers and changing the landscape of the United States forever. "It was just such a terribly emotional and tragic situation," he said. "The suffering was so deep and so great."

Ogden, now the national chair for disaster services for the American Red Cross, said one of the reasons he has remained with the organization for so long is because of the way it empowers its volunteers to create change for the better.

"It's an organization that prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of its volunteers," he said. "It's sort of a transformational agency. They always give you the training to support you to do your work well."

Ogden joined the Greenwich chapter of the American Red Cross - now the Metro New York North chapter - in 1960, when he was a junior at Brunswick School. His commitment continued at nearby chapters while he was earning his degree at Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania and his MBA at the University of Virginia. ...

And Ogden doesn't plan on stopping anytime soon.

"I think each of us has an obligation to serve the community in which you live and work," he said. "Everything you do kind of broadens you."

Ross Ogden '66 graduated from Swarthmore with a B.A. in English literature. He has received both the Clara Barton Award for his work at the Greenwich Red Cross and Harriman Award for Distinguished Volunteer Service, the highest honor bestowed upon a Red Cross volunteer at the national level. He recieved the Arabella Carter Award from the College in 1997 in recognition for his commitment to service work. Ogden was also recognized this spring in the Red Cross Month Volunteer Leader Spotlight.