Matthew Winfred Dogan, black college president, was born on December 21, 1863, at Pontotoc, Mississippi, the son of William and Jennie Dogan. He attended Rust College in Holly Spring, Mississippi, and, when he finished the preparatory courses, left school to teach in order to earn money for college. He later returned and graduated from the college at the head of his class in 1886. In the next fall term he was appointed to the faculty at Rust College. After five years he was hired as a mathematics instructor at Central Tennessee College in Nashville, which later became known as Walden College. In 1888 he married Fannie Forest Faulkner; they had seven children, two of whom died in infancy.
In 1896 Dogan left Walden to become president of Wiley College, Marshall, Texas, and during his administration Wiley developed into one of the best colleges for African Americans in the country. Dogan was also president of the Standard Mutual Fire Insurance Company, the National Association of Teachers in Colored Schools, and the Teachers State Association of Texas and was active in many Methodist Episcopal, fraternal, and civic organizations. Dogan voted Republican. He was awarded an honorary Ph.D by Rust College in 1904. New Orleans University conferred the doctor of divinity degree on him in 1910, and he received honorary degrees from Walden College and Howard University as well. Dogan retired in 1942 and died at his home in Marshall on June 17, 1947.