Because of his great esteem for Hesston College, 1972 alumni Bruce Rogers and his wife Joy, also a 1972 graduate, donated 65 books on civil rights and African-American history to the college’s Mary Miller Library. Rogers said of all his educational experiences, including graduate school, Hesston had the most profound effect on him, therefore he wanted to give back.
“The gift to the Mary Miller Library of civil rights books and videos from Bruce and Joy Rogers will be an asset to the library collection,” said Margaret Wiebe, library director. “They will be a great resource to those who are studying the topic in classes as well as to those who have a personal interest in studying civil rights.”
Rogers, of Goshen, Ind., has a passion for the civil rights movement, which he describes as the best example of democracy at work. He earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Goshen College and a master’s degree in school administration from Indiana University (Bloomington). In his 36 years as an educator in Elkhart County, Ind., he served as a school principal, teacher, coach, adjunct professor at Indiana University and a consultant for the Indiana Department of Education. He retired in June 2014.
Rogers’ interest in civil rights is fueled by his work as an educator and many years of teaching the history to students.
During the summer of 2003, Rogers retraced the 1964 Selma to Montgomery, Ala., march on foot, visiting historical sites and visiting with people along the way, in order to better teach the civil rights lessons in his curriculum as a sixth-grade teacher at Eastwood Elementary School in Elkhart, Ind.
Rogers will help lead a Hesston College civil rights seminar with Hesston faculty members John Sharp and Tony Brown during spring break March 7 to 15. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the historic Selma to Montgomery march, participants will travel to Birmingham, Montgomery and Selma, Ala., Meridian and Philadelphia, Miss., and Memphis, Tenn., where they will visit historical sites from the march, as well as other sites significant to the 1960s civil rights movement.
The donated books are available for check out in Hesston College’s Mary Miller Library, located in Smith Center.