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John and June Rogers, prominent Central Valley philanthropists, have established a $1 million endowed scholarship to support local students who aspire to be teachers.

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Academics

Aspiring teachers to benefit from new endowed scholarship

Nov 16, 2017

John and June Rogers' philosophy is simple: Help people help themselves.

And the couple is doing just that through the Rogers Scholars Endowment that provides financial support to Pacific students aspiring to becoming educators.

As Central Valley natives who grew up in Modesto, the couple had heard of University of the Pacific, but had never stepped foot on campus. It wasn't until five years ago when they took a tour of campus that they learned how connected the university is to the community, especially in the field of education, a cause close to the couple's hearts.

"Education is the key, especially in the Central Valley," said John Rogers.
During their visit the Rogers learned about the Powell Match program that allows endowed gifts to be matched dollar for dollar, doubling the impact. The promise of matching funds was an opportunity they couldn't pass up.

"We were completely awestruck when we learned about Powell Match and we knew we wanted to be part of the momentum," said John Rogers. The couple has established scholarships at several universities throughout the country.

Their gift of $1 million was doubled to $2 million through the Powell Match in endowing a scholarship benefiting junior, senior and graduate students pursuing advanced degrees in education.

"We're thrilled that our gift will enable students who otherwise would not be able to afford a college education to enter the noble profession of teaching," said June Rogers. "We hope that students who receive this scholarship will be inspired to continue pursuing charitable work throughout their careers and give back to their communities."

The Rogers understand the need facing college students in the Central Valley. For many, a college education continues to grow more expensive and more out of reach. It's not uncommon for junior or senior students to run into financial hardship after their sophomore year and feel compelled to find a second job or supplemental income. That's why the couple opened their scholarship to upper-division students so that they can concentrate on finishing their degree instead of worrying about their next paycheck.    "People often ask us why we've been so generous. Well, we've been gifted and we feel it's our duty to give back," said John Rogers. "In the end, you can't take it with you. But by establishing an endowment at Pacific you can make a difference for these students now and for generations to come."

The Powell Match was created as part of the $125 million gift from Robert C. and Jeannette Powell, who, like the Rogers, had no connection to Pacific until they were invited to tour the campus. While neither graduated from Pacific, both served as regents and upon her death in 2012 the university received the $125 million transformative gift from the couple's estate. The gift continues to support the Powell Scholars Program and the Powell Match Program, which matches new endowment gifts for scholarships and academic programs.