Scott ’81 ’87MBA and Caroline Hogan Shugart ’83, and sons William “Billy” ’11 and Thomas “Tommy” ’14
By Warren Miller ’90MBA
The Shugarts of Tampa are an active family: Scott and Caroline met on the Rollins water ski team, and all five of their children ski. But what best characterizes the Shugart family is their connection with people—particularly each other. “We’re very good friends,” Caroline said. “Each of us is quite different, but we enjoy spending time together.” In addition to Billy, 22, who works in marketing for a boat parts manufacturer in Oviedo, Florida, and Tommy, 19, now a sophomore at Rollins, their children include Leigh, 20, a student at Washington University in St. Louis, Elizabeth, 14, and Julia, 8.
Hometown: Scott grew up in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, and Caroline in southwestern Michigan. After spending their early childhood in Philadelphia, Tommy and Billy grew up in Tampa.
Majors: Scott was a business major; after graduation, he joined his father to build a distribution company in the water-treatment industry, the industry in which Scott is now a consultant. Caroline was a math major and computer science minor who became a programmer. Having taken time off to raise her family, she now tutors math in a special program for homeless students in the Tampa area. Billy majored in economics, and Tommy, a guitarist, is a music major.
Origin of the legacy: The water ski team. Although Scott and Caroline were drawn to Rollins by its academic reputation, the chance for the two high school students from cold-weather states to ski in the middle of winter for a national-caliber team sealed the deal.
Legacy pressure? Scott and Caroline say there was no pressure. Billy and Tommy beg to differ. “Of course my mom made me apply!” Tommy said. “But after I visited the campus and met a few professors, Rollins moved to the top of my list. It was my decision to come here.”
Common bond: Water skiing. “It’s the only sport that’s truly co-ed, and Rollins is one of the few colleges that allocated a varsity sport slot to it,” Caroline said. Scott became the team captain, and son Billy followed in his footsteps.
Generation gap: None, unless you count the fact that Billy prefers wakeboarding to water skiing.
Sweet spot: The water, of course. Caroline and Scott remember the “funky old boathouse” (since replaced) and Lake Virginia, as well as East India Ice Cream on Park Avenue. Billy’s favorite place was the pool: “I was on the swim team, but it’s also where we just hung out,” he said. Although Tommy competes on the water ski team (“My brother kind of forced me into it,” he said), his favorite place is wherever he is jamming with fellow musicians.
Flashback: “My favorite math teacher was Dr. Douglas Child,” Caroline recalled. “Billy took a class with him his first year and I came to visit the class. Dr. Child told Billy, ‘Tell your Mom to be on time,’ which I never was as a student. Of course, I was 10 minutes late. Dr. Child looked at the clock, then at me, and said, ‘Right on time!’”
Biggest change in 30 years: “How beautiful the campus is!” Caroline said. “It always was pretty, but with the landscaping and building renovations today, it’s drop-dead gorgeous.”
Life today: The Shugarts enjoy living on a lake in Tampa, where Scott—who works from a home office—is able to indulge his passion on a regular basis. “Some people like to run,” he said, “but I’m fortunate to be able to ski several times a week.”
Unforgettable: “How the people at Rollins—the professors, the coaches, everyone—truly cared about us as individuals,” Caroline said. “My favorite math professors came to tournaments to watch me ski. That commitment to others is something I’ve tried to emulate throughout my life.”