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Emory's "Openness and Awareness" Impacted Minister's Life

Sam RogersSam Rogers 57C 60T attended Emory during the tumultuous beginning of the civil rights era.

Born and reared during segregation, he says it did not occur to him to question the unfairness of the practice until he came to Emory.

"I took it for granted that was how things were. I learned at Emory that it was not the way things ought to be," says Rogers, now a retired Methodist minister. "The attitude of openness and awareness at Emory impacted my life."

A lifelong Methodist, Rogers knew he wanted to remain involved in the church, but he didn't make the decision to become a minister until he was at Emory College.

"I knew God had a place for me in his will, but discovering that place did not come immediately," he says.

He and his wife, Helen, met when he was a junior at Emory College and she was a freshman at nearby Agnes Scott College. The couple is grateful for scholarship support that helped lighten the financial burden of his education costs both at Emory College and at Candler. That support enabled them to marry as he began his theology training at Candler.

A math major at nearby Agnes Scott College, she took Bible and philosophy courses while he studied at Candler. The young couple had many deep conversations over the evening table in what he calls "an unbelievable cross pollination of our minds and our spirits."

After his graduation from Candler and his ordination as a Methodist minister in 1958, the couple went on to serve 10 churches over 42 years, all in South Georgia.

Grateful for the intellectual and spiritual preparation Rogers received, the couple has established a charitable gift annuity to help students attend Candler School of Theology.

"I believe that God calls people to the ministry, but it takes a place like Emory to equip them," he says.

Support Emory in your estate plans with a gift annuity. Call 404.727.8875 or email

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