Rogers Foundation makes $800,000 gift to U of O

Release Date: 12/18/2008

CLARKSVILLE, Ark. – University of the Ozarks has received an $800,000 gift from the Rogers Foundation of Fairfax, Va., for the expansion and renovation of the Seay Student Center.

Key elements of the $4.1 million student center project include a new student health and fitness center, a new student and community conference center, and increased dining capacity for the student body. The project will include a 14,000-foot expansion that will increase the dining capacity from 225 to 325. The expansion will also include a 700-person capacity conference center as well as a 2,200-square-foot health and fitness center.

Bill and Ethel Rogers
Bill and Ethel Rogers

The Rogers Foundation was established by the late William F. "Bill" and Ethel Rogers to honor his parents, the Rev. William F. Rogers, Sr. and his wife, Emily. The Rev. Rogers was a Presbyterian minister who had a long relationship with Ozarks. He was a close friend of Dr. Wiley Lin Hurie, who served as president of the university from 1923-1949. Many of Rev. Rogers' relatives attended the university, and the foundation has been a philanthropic supporter of Ozarks for more than 20 years.

"Supporting the expansion of the Seay Student Center provides great pleasure to the Rogers family," said Myrl Weinberg, president of the Rogers Foundation and a niece of Bill Rogers. "The expanded center will serve as an enduring tribute to Bill and his parents."

The area will be named The Rogers Student and Community Conference Center in honor of the family and their generosity.

"The Rogers family has had a long and meaningful association with our campus," said U of O President Dr. Rick Niece. "We are thrilled that the Rogers family legacy will continue to benefit our students. We are blessed by this generous gift and very pleased to name our planned student and community conference center in their honor."

The capital improvements project is part of the university’s broader $40 million Promise of Excellence Campaign, which runs until March 31, 2011. The university has raised $35.3 million.