I sent the obit on to some other GT IE's who might not have seen it. One immediately responded with the undeniable, but startling, observation that we are now older than “Nels” was when he was our professor. How did that happen?
He was one of a kind and he touched many lives – be it in class or drinking that horrible instant coffee with him in his office.
I have one classic story to share. In Winter Quarter 1982, I submitted my petition to graduate at the end of Spring quarter (graduation date is set for June 12th, 1982). Nels calls me into his office and tells me that my petition is denied because I have never fulfilled my thermo requirement. I object that I had taken and received an “A” in Chem 2110 – a standard substitution for ME 3720. He responds that “it is not a standard substitution – it is a substitution with ‘advisor approval' and ‘I ain't approving it.'” I was stunned. Without that substitution there was no way that I could graduate Spring quarter. He then comments “Atlanta is lovely in the summer.”
The rest of the story was that I was scheduled to get married on the evening of June 11th, 1982 and had been taking overloads for the previous three quarters so that I could meet graduation and start my job at IBM on July 1st. In an act of pseudo-parental interference that would likely not happen today, he decided I needed to slow down and so did not allow the substitution. I could argue, but I was stuck.
There were some obvious fall out – finding a place to live for the summer, changing my start date with IBM, etc. There was some “surprising” fall out as well. During Spring quarter, I was enrolled ISyE 4090 – Rogers' “Legal and Ethical Issues in Engineering.” As it turned out, the final for that class was schedule 3-6 pm on Friday 6/11. As a graduating senior, I was exempt from the final. Since I wasn't graduating, I was supposed to take the final – which was a problem as my wedding was scheduled for 7 pm. Oh, by the way, Nels and his wife were scheduled to be in attendance. He grudgingly allowed that I had achieved an acceptable grade and didn't have to take the final.
About three years later, we were sitting in his office talking, and finally discussed the disallowed substitution and my delayed graduation. His statement was “Doug, has that three month delay hurt your career? You were killing yourself trying to graduate and start work. You needed a rest and I knew you wouldn't take it on your own – so I forced you.”
I learned a lot from you. I'll miss you.
I am sorry for your loss. I hope the Lord will comfort, bless, and keep your family.
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Mr. Rogers was a well-educated, accomplished engineer and, from what I've heard, a great professor---but I know him as a loving, kind, teddy bear of a gentle man who was a second father to me. He and his precious wife embraced me when I was an awkward, insecure college freshman who happened to be their daughter's college sidekick and roommate. Mr. and Mrs. Rogers loved me and accepted me unconditionally when I needed it most. They welcomed me into their home and graced me with incredible meals, taught me to play bridge and suffered through my incessant desire to NOT follow protocol when bidding and sometimes Kim and I "whopping their behinds" in bridge marathons. They made sure my laundry was done before I returned to school, and took me to church on Sundays. I enjoyed those GT homecoming games--walking around campus then sitting in the stands with my GT yellow jacket family but cheering for the GA bulldogs. LOL I will always remember Mr. Roger's infectuous laugh and his grand regaling of stories. He could keep me mesmarized for hours. He always seemed to have nothing more important to do on weekends than to find out what was going on in our lives and spending time with his family. He and his wife made me feel loved, supported, and that they were my biggest cheerleaders. I am forever indebted to this family.
What a big hole your departure has left in my heart, Mr. Rogers! Your legacy will live on through the many lives you have changed and I am one of them...and forever grateful. I love you so much.
My prayers and support are with you--Kim, Mrs. Rogers, Ed, Jeanette, and Jamie. With love, Donna Stansell
I graduated from Georgia Tech in 1983 (Industrial Engineering). Professor Rogers was one of my most memorable professors. I remember going to see him during his office hours for career advice, and he was very kind and helpful. My experience at Tech was wonderful, and Professor Rogers really stands out in my mind as being influential. I am positive that he is remembered fondly by untold numbers of students!!