The William M. Rodgers Fund
Rodgers Scholarship Applications due March 21, 2014 by 4:00 pm to NC 3621.
About the Scholarship
Education was always important to William Rodgers. So important, in fact, that he took an unusual path to join the ranks of academia. "My husband retired from the Army at the age of 55 and thought, 'What to do?" said his widow, Mrs. Rodgers. At an age when most people consider winding down their careers, Mr. Rodgers began a new one. He enrolled at the University of Arizona for a master's in geography (he earned a bachelor's in business administration from the University of Washington prior to joining the Army). Soon after he received his post-graduate degree, Mr. Rodgers accepted a teaching position in UC Denver's Geography Department, a post he held until 1973 when he retired as Professor Emeritus in geography. He emerged from retirement on occasion, however, to lecture in the department. In honor of her late husband and his passion for geography, Mrs. Rodgers established the William M. Rodgers Fund at UC Denver. Created with an initial cash gift, the fund will support scholarships for undergraduates studying geography, a subject for which Mrs. Rodgers shares her husband's enthusiasm.
"He thought geography had long been neglected," she said. "It's such an important subject and must amount to more than just learning the capitals. It involves studying the social, economic, historical and political aspects of a region." Thanks to his service in the Army, Mr. Rodgers learned geography firsthand. By the time he retired as a Brigadier General, he had served in World War II and the Korean War, was a highly decorated officer, and had traveled extensively throughout the world, including nearly all of the Northern Hemisphere. All this travel enriched Mr. Rodgers' second career in education.
"He incorporated his life experiences from the military into his teachings at CU Denver," said Mrs. Rodgers of her husband, who frequently brought clothing and other items from various parts of the world into his classes to help illustrate points. His students were so captivated by their professor that many of them continued their discussions and debates about geography in their free time. "He had a loyal following of students who met regularly after class in one of the coffeehouses. They called themselves Rodgers' Rangers," said Mrs. Rodgers.
Given William Rodgers' distinguished careers in the military and classroom, Mrs. Rodgers created the scholarship in his name as a loving tribute to her husband of 67 years. "Education is one of the most important things to support," she said, "and my husband truly enjoyed teaching."
Research Scholarship Application
Undergraduate students seeking Rodgers Scholarship support for research must meet the following criteria:
- Junior or Senior Geography Major
- 3.0 GPA overall
- Previous winners are not eligible.
- One to two-page application letter that discusses the candidate's qualifications and future aspirations.
- The name and phone number of two references. At least one must be a Geography & Environmental Sciences faculty member.
- Copies of all college and/or university work are required.
Depending upon quality of applicants, several scholarships of $1,000 will be awarded. Awardees will be notified by phone and mail.
Applications due March 21, 2014.