Professor Emeritus and Advocate for Veterans in Higher Education Passes Away

Headshot of Jerry Rogers in 2009

Whether it was professional or emotional, Management and Human Resources Professor Emeritus Dr. Perry G. (Jerry) Rogers touched many lives while at the CBA and will be missed.

Rogers passed away on March 30, 2019, surrounded by his family in a Seattle hospital. He spent 27 years (5 in the Faculty Early Retirement Program) with the MHR department where the Air Force veteran always tried to reach out to students following a similar path.

“I only had about five veterans in any of my classes,” Rogers said in a 2009 white paper addressed to Cal Poly Pomona’s Academic Senate requesting more resources for retired military. “They were more mature and focused. I would call upon these veterans to be team leaders and role models for younger students.”

While an active member of the Air Force, Rogers earned an MS in Police Administration along with MPA and DPA from the University of Southern California. The Airforce and Civilian Institutions Division, Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio paid for it all.

Rogers took his military roots into the classroom, preparing seven days a week for his students. He looked for any edge to improve as a professor and was using the Internet for satellite teaching before hybrid learning existed. He gave it his all and expected the same effort in return.

Students were given warning the first day of every class and more than once, a course starting with 40 students would have 20 left by the end of the quarter. His self-described “take no prisoners” approach to higher education.

“When I didn’t encounter [veterans] I would voluntarily teach graduate or night courses,” he said. “I would seek out reentry students, usually women, to act as leaders and role models for younger students.”

In 2003, CPP President Bob H. Suzuki awarded Rogers Professor Emeritus status. Although it has been a decade since last led a class, the news and kind words quickly spread through the CBA Family.

“I talked to his wife Judy tonight and she said he was very much at peace,” fellow CBA Professor Emeritus G. R. Waters in an email to the MHR Department the day after his death. “They will have a memorial she thought at Old Mission Inn in Riverside on May 11.”