William Michael Hogan Memorial Laboratory

Facilitating student research and experiential learning in the techniques of forensic anthropological and bioarchaeological analyses. 

students investigate the hood of a car with labeled sections, as part of their training in crime scene investigations

Through the William Michael Hogan Memorial Laboratory, students complement their learning opportunities with training in field methodologies related to the search for and recovery/exhumation of human remains.

Learn more about the lab's history and namesake.

Laboratory Activities

Field Searches

Field searches are made at the request of law enforcement and involve terrestrial and subterranean searches for human remains and associated evidence. The Hogans have supported these efforts by providing funding that offset costs related to equipment, lodging and travel.

students working together to example bones

Laboratory Partnership

The work performed in the William Michael Hogan Memorial Laboratory complements the TU Human Remains Identification Laboratory (THRIL) started in 2018 by faculty in the Department of Forensic Chemistry.

This partnership formalizes the ongoing interdisciplinary bioarchaeological and forensic investigations that are conducted for purposes of faculty and student research as well as service to the Baltimore Metropolitan law enforcement, museums and cultural resource management communities.

Through this team approach, faculty and students have supported the work of regional historic preservation and cultural resource management agencies.

Supporting Local and State Agencies

Agencies interested in requesting field or laboratory services can contact Dana Kollmann, .

Scholarship Funding

The William Michael Hogan and Dr. Dana Kollmann Student Professional Development in Compassionate Forensic Science Fund helps ensure that future generations of students can participate in professional development experiences.

Laboratory History

The William Michael Hogan Memorial Laboratory has its origins in a 2005 missing persons case.

Michael Hogan
William Michael Hogan

On May 16, 2005, 28-year-old William Michael Hogan, a Bel Air, Maryland resident, was reported missing from a therapeutic work program in Rutland Vermont. On November 15, 2009, hunters found partial skeletal remains in a nearby wooded area.

Those remains would later be identified as Michael.

With the consent and assistance of Vermont State Police, Towson University faculty assisted by 38 anthropology, criminal justice and forensic chemistry students conducted a gridded terrestrial search for additional remains. This search yielded numerous skeletal elements as well as personal effects including clothing, a set of keys, and a water bottle. Michael’s death continues to be ruled undetermined.

In memory of their beloved son, Sandra Ann Hopkins and Michael Owen Hogan established the William Michael Hogan Endowed Fund in Compassionate Forensic Science in 2009. Years later, Sandra and her husband, Edgar P. Hopkins Jr. updated their will to include a generous bequest to the endowment fund. On September 29, 2023, TU recognized their generous bequest by formally renaming the College of Liberal Arts Room 3329 to the William Michael Hogan Memorial Laboratory.


Contact Information

William Michael Hogan Memorial Laboratory

Liberal ArtsRoom 3329