Remembering William R. Rogers
William R. Rogers, Guilford College’s sixth president who served from 1980 to 1996, died at Well Spring Continuing Care Community on Friday, July 15, 2022. He was born in Oswego, NY to Rev. William R. Rogers, Sr., and Alice Elizabeth Hollis Rogers. His early years were spent in the Adirondack Mountains (sp.) where he learned to ski when he was four. When his father became pastor of a Philadelphia congregation, he enjoyed attending Philadelphia Symphony concerts. It was an enjoyment of music that followed him all his life.
He graduated from Frankford High School in Philadelphia as salutatorian in 1950, from Kalamazoo College in Michigan, magna cum laude in l954, and with a Ph.D. with honors from the University of Chicago. He began his academic career as a professor and director of student counseling at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. He was known for his innovative teaching style and supportive counseling of students during the Vietnam War. In 1970 he became Parkman Professor of Religion and Psychology at Harvard. He directed the program in Clinical Psychology and Public Practice, supported a number of graduate students toward degrees, and wrote books and articles in his field.
William Rogers became Guilford College’s president in 1980. He was attracted to the college for its outstanding faculty, participative governance, and values of social justice. During his presidency the Quaker Leadership Scholars Program was established, the college endowment grew with its first capital campaign, international and interdisciplinary programs, and the construction of the Bauman Building and the expansion of the Hege Cox Library. Bill was quick to share credit for these achievements with his colleagues. He and his wife, Beverley were actively involved in student life. They were present for everything from sports events to pie eating contests, from choir tours to lecture series, from art openings to Serendipity Weekend.
Bill participated in the Greensboro community and in state and national collegiate organizations. He served on the boards of the Chamber of Commerce, the Moses Cone Health System, the Greensboro Symphony, and was president of the Rotary Club and a Paul Harris Fellow. He was board chair during the establishment of the Moses Cone – Wesley Long Community Health Foundation. His influence extended to national and state institutions. He served on the boards of the National Association of Schools and Colleges, and the Friends Committee on National Legislation, the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, and the Cemala Foundation. He carried Guilford College’s name with him wherever he went.
Bill had a loving and happy family life. He and Beverley shared 68 years of marriage, cemented by love and teamwork. They built a strong family identity with their children, John and Dana Rogers, Susan and Bill Apple, and Nancy Glassman. Hope, Ben, Rebecca, Katherine, Will, Hanna, and Max are his beloved grandchildren. Two sisters also survive him, Jean Morgan and Dianne Lytle.
A memorial service will be held at 2:00 PM, July 29, 2022 at the Well Spring Virginia Somerville Sutton Auditorium and a reception will follow the service.
Memorial gifts may be made to Guilford College, 5400 W. Friendly Ave., Greensboro, NC 27410, New Garden Friends Meeting, 801 New Garden Rd., Greensboro, NC 27410, or Well Spring Benevolence Fund, 4100 Wellspring Dr. Greensboro, NC 27410.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.haneslineberryfhnorthelm.com for the Rogers family.
NCFHS Board of Directors member Willard receives award
Congratulations to NCFHS Board of Directors member Linda Russell Willard for receiving the prestigious Valette Jones Harris Welch Memorial Award given by the High Point Historical Museum. Linda prepared a blog of photographs and descriptions of many historic graves located in High Point’s historic Oakwood Cemetery, the first municipal cemetery in the city. The blog is available for viewing on the museum’s website at https://vi.highpointnc.gov/envi/742/High-Point-Historical-Society. The old graves include many Quakers of the 1800’s including Dr. Shubal Coffin, his daughter and her husband.