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Educator establishes marching band scholarship

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“Appalachian taught me to care, and this is a way of giving back.”

–John Rogers ’69

John Rogers ’69 loves the Marching Mountaineers.  Although this one-time drummer never marched in the band at Appalachian State University, he’s happy to fund a scholarship to a student who does.

“It’s the one thing I regret having not done as a student at Appalachian,” said Rogers, who played in the band at Statesville High School but didn’t continue in college out of concern it would detract from his studies.

As a student spectator, and in the 40 years since he graduated, Rogers has loved to watch the band. He’s a football Saturday regular, and to this day he makes additional trips to campus to hear the band rehearse. The band, known as North Carolina’s Band of Distinction, is “one of our treasures” and their music “has moved me to tears,” he said.

How he did it

A gift made as part of his estate planning is allowing Rogers to endow the John B. and Linda Rogers Marching Band Scholarship. But rather than wait until after his death to support an Appalachian student, Rogers is making an additional annual gift so the scholarship can be awarded right away. The first recipient will be named in August.

As a result of his estate gift commitment, Rogers is a member of the university’s 1899 Legacy Society.

Rogers also recently created a scholarship benefitting an incoming freshman who intends to major in teacher education.  The John B. Rogers Jr. Endowed Scholarship for the Reich College of Education is not yet fully endowed, but like the marching band scholarship, it is being awarded for 2010-11 through an additional annual gift.

“Appalachian changed my life,” said Rogers. Like many Appalachian students, he came to campus with a desire to teach but limited resources to pay for college. With his father having just passed away from a stroke, a college education wouldn’t have been possible for him or his sister, Kay, to enroll in the fall of 1965 as planned, but they managed anyhow thanks to the university’s willingness to offer financial assistance.

Rogers went on to a successful 35-year career teaching middle school in the Rowan-Salisbury County School System. In April, he was inducted into the Reich College of Education’s Rhododendron Society.

Remembering others

“I could work 24/7 and never repay what Appalachian did for me,” Rogers said. “I’m sure there are kids on this campus like me who could benefit from these scholarships.  Appalachian taught me to care, and this is a way of giving back.”

Rogers earned a Bachelor of Science degree in social science, a Master of Arts degree and an Education Specialist degree in reading education from Appalachian in 1969, 1980 and 1984.

A former president of the Alumni Council and an active Yosef Club member, Rogers added, “I have often walked this campus, passed a student and thought, Does this student have all he needs to be successful and complete his education? Remember, there are those who came before each of us and provided an opportunity, and it is the least we can do to provide for others.”

To learn more about how you may positively impact an Appalachian student, visit www.give.appstate.edu.
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