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UNLV Mourns the Passing of Former NSHE Chancellor Jim Rogers

Rogers, a prominent businessman, philanthropist and advocate for higher education, passed away June 14.
People  |  Jun 16, 2014  |  By UNLV News Center
Jim Rogers in the studio at Channel 3. (Geri Kodey/UNLV Photo Services)
Editor's Note: 

A public memorial celebration was held at 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 21, at Artemus W. Ham Concert Hall

The UNLV community mourns the passing of James E. Rogers, a prominent businessman, philanthropist and advocate for higher education. Rogers, who served as chancellor of the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) from 2005 through 2009, passed away June 14 after a long battle with cancer.

"Jim Rogers was passionate about education because he knew an investment in education was an investment in the future," said UNLV President Donald Snyder. "The university and higher education have lost a friend and an advocate. We are grateful for his support and dedication over the years. Our thoughts go out to his wife Beverly and their family."

In recognition of decades of service to higher education, Rogers was honored in 2010 by the Nevada Board of Regents with the title of Chancellor Emeritus and awarded the Board's highest honor, Distinguished Nevadan. In December 2013, he received the President's Medal from UNLV.

"Jim was one of the first individuals I met when arriving in Nevada more than 25 years ago," Snyder said. "We partnered on numerous community projects including UNLV's first-ever comprehensive capital campaign. We spoke Friday and celebrated a long history of mutual respect and collaboration. It was an honor to know Jim and call him my friend."

Rogers was instrumental in the creation and instant success of UNLV's Boyd School of Law in the late 1990s, and his family's philanthropic support continues to strengthen academic, cultural and athletic programs across the university. In 2012, Rogers was named the university's first executive scholar in residence.

Most recently, he and his wife Beverly committed $10 million to support the expansion of literary programming within UNLV's Black Mountain Institute, which was formally renamed the Beverly Rogers, Carol C. Harter Black Mountain Institute.

"Jim was an outstanding advocate for higher education and a great friend. Jim was a distinguished Nevadan in every sense," said Kevin J. Page, chairman of the Board of Regents. "He made it his personal mission to fight for higher education funding when he was chancellor and continued that work after he returned to the private sector. Improving Nevada's education system was Jim's way of giving back to the community."??

A 1956 graduate of Las Vegas High School, Rogers earned degrees in accounting and law from the University of Arizona and a master of laws from the University of Southern California. In 1998 he was awarded a doctor of laws from the University of Arizona. Rogers also held honorary doctorates from UNLV, the University of Arizona, Idaho State University, Kentucky Wesleyan, and Carroll College.

"Jim was a close friend from the day we met, a mentor until our last conversation, and a truly remarkable and unique human being," said Dan Klaich, NSHE chancellor. "While some may have found Jim challenging to work with, we enjoyed working together. Jim abhorred mediocrity and loved this state with every fiber of his being. That is a legacy each of us should try and live up to." ??