Father of TU Law Remembered with Historic Gift

Friday, November 03, 2006

Published on 11/3/06

John Rogers Sr., one of the founding fathers of the University of Tulsa College of Law, is being remembered by his son’s estate with a historic gift to aid student scholarships at TU Law. The multi-million dollar endowment will fund more than 20 scholarships annually.

John Rogers Jr. and his wife Georgette, created the John and Hazel Rogers Memorial Scholarship for Law to honor Rogers’ parents. The elder Rogers was dean of TU law school from 1949-1957, a university trustee, founder of Rogers and Bell Law Firm and attorney for Tulsa philanthropist James A. Chapman.

“This is an extraordinary and transformative gift for TU law school,” said Robert Butkin, dean of the law college. “This single gift will greatly enhance our ability to attract outstanding candidates to TU and the practice of law for generations to come.”

The younger Rogers, a well-known commercial photographer, chose to leave a portion of his estate to fund scholarships at the law school bearing his father’s name. Sharon Bell, TU trustee and 1985 TU law graduate, said she remembers hanging out in John Rogers Hall and said John Jr. was a personal friend and champion of the student.

“John was a modest person with a generous spirit. He always loved students and wanted to make it easier for them to go to law school,” she recalls. “This is a phenomenal present for our university and our profession.”

Phyllis Bryce earned her law degree from TU in 2005. She said it was the influence of her great uncle John Rogers Sr. that prompted her mid-career move from the energy industry to estate planning and elderly law.

“To be able to help students take the financial burden and pressures off going to law school is admirable,” she said. “The legacy of the Rogers family is an inspiration to our entire TU law community.”