November 1, 2012
DALLAS (SMU) — SMU law graduate W. Yandell “Tog” Rogers, Jr. of Houston is giving back to the school he attended on a scholarship. His gift of $12.1 million will provide scholarships for students in SMU’s Dedman School of Law. The W. Yandell “Tog” Rogers, Jr. Endowed Scholarship Fund is the second largest gift in the history of the law school, following the Dedman family gift of $20 million that resulted in naming of the school.
“Increasing scholarships to attract and retain top students is one of the major goals of SMU’s Second Century Campaign,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “We are grateful to Tog Rogers for his vision and generosity in support of this goal. The Rogers Scholarships will have a long-term impact on Dedman School of Law by providing resources to educate leaders, like Tog, for generations to come.”
Rogers earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Texas before enrolling in the SMU School of Law. Through a scholarship arranged by Law Professor Roy Ray, he was able to complete law school and graduate in 1961.
“I’m paying back a debt,” said Rogers. “Without a scholarship, I wouldn’t have made it through the SMU School of Law. This gift is to help other people in need do what I was able to do.”
Rogers is a retired lawyer and businessman. After graduating from the SMU School of Law, he clerked for Texas Supreme Court Justices Clyde Smith and Joe Greenhill. He then worked as an associate in the Dallas law firm of Wynne, McKenzie, Jaffe and Tinsley from 1961 to 1967. He was in the firm’s litigation practice and represented celebrities such as baseball legend Mickey Mantle.
Rogers moved to Houston in 1967 to enter the printing industry. He served as general counsel at Ridgway Blueprinting, a small, publicly traded company, before becoming president of the company. He took Ridgway private and purchased the company, later selling it to American Reprographic Company in 2000. At that time, Ridgway was the largest privately held reprographics company in the U.S.
Rogers said his law education helped him every step of the way as a business leader. He added, “I can honestly say that my years at SMU Law School helped prepare me for all of the issues I would later face in business.”
Dedman Law Dean John B. Attanasio said, “We are overwhelmed by the tremendous generosity of Tog Rogers. Continued investment in scholarships and faculty is essential to SMU Dedman Law remaining competitive and advancing the momentum of recent years. We attract some of the most sought-after students from across the country and around the world. This is possible only because of the exceptional generosity of our donors.”
Rogers is a member of the Executive Board of Dedman School of Law and the Houston Steering Committee of SMU Unbridled: The Second Century Campaign. Three of his five children are SMU graduates. Wiley Yandell Rogers III earned a B.B.A. in finance in 1986. Laura Rogers Braun earned an M.B.A. in 1987, and Matthew Alford Rogers graduated in 2003 with B.A. degrees in public policy and economics.
With Rogers’ gift of $12.1 million, SMU Dedman School of Law has raised more than $55 million in gifts to the Second Century Campaign. Rogers will be honored at a gathering of alumni, parents and friends of SMU in Houston on Nov. 1. President Turner will give a campaign update and recognize the University’s Houston leadership and support.
To date, SMU’s Second Century Campaign has received commitments of more than $653 million toward its goal of $750 million to support student quality, faculty and academic excellence and the campus experience. The campaign coincides with SMU’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of the University’s founding in 1911 and its opening in 1915.
The SMU School of Law was founded in 1925. Since then, its alumni have distinguished themselves as global leaders in law, business and government and as prominent members of the judiciary. They include Texas Supreme Court justices, members of the U.S. Congress, an ambassador, a governor, foreign ministers and members of the highest courts worldwide, as well as attorneys at leading law firms. Dedman Law ranks first among the nation’s law schools in the number of graduates who are CEOs at Fortune 50 companies.
SMU is a nationally ranked private university in Dallas founded 100 years ago. Today, SMU enrolls nearly 11,000 students who benefit from the academic opportunities and international reach of seven degree-granting schools.