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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


What’s In A Name?: James E. Rogers College of Law

James E. Rogers may be the owner of a Nevada-based communications company that owns 12 NBC television stations, but don’t try to reach him via e-mail or cell phone, because he’s “”too old to learn”” how to use them, he said.

The James E. Rogers College of Law, 1201 E. Speedway Blvd., was renamed for Rogers in 1998 after he donated about $125 million to the school.

“”It felt very, very good,”” Rogers said. “”That was a great honor.””

In 1915 the UA College of Law became the first law school founded in Arizona. The school was originally a department of law in the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences until 1925, when the department officially became the College of Law, according to the UA Web site.

Rogers graduated from Las Vegas High School in 1956 prior to attending the UA, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting and a law degree in 1962. He went on to receive a master’s degree from the University of Southern California.

Rogers chose to attend the UA for several reasons.

“”I lived in Las Vegas at the time and the only university in Nevada was in Reno,”” Rogers said. “”I didn’t want to go to California because I thought it was too big and crowded. I could have gone to Utah or New Mexico, but I really thought the University of Arizona was the best of those schools.””

Rogers, who practiced law from 1964 to 1988, has a broad range of interests that led him down several different career paths, all of which he said he enjoyed.

“”I like the banking business, I like education and I like broadcast,”” Rogers said, whose long list of achievements includes starting two banks in Nevada. “”I love news. I’m a news junkie, so it kind of all has gone together.””

Rogers was also chancellor of the higher education system in Nevada for five years before his contract expired in June of this year. He currently owns Sunbelt Communications Company, which he started in 1971.

“”Just by chance I filed an application for a broadcast license in Las Vegas and I got it,”” he said.

Rogers remembers his time at UA as a “”great experience”” filled with a lot of hard work.

“”I worked all the time and I studied all the time,”” he said. “”I took Saturday morning off from 8 to 10 (a.m.) and my wife and I did whatever. It was probably an 80-hour work week, which included going to class.””

His hard work was worth it, because Rogers said he received a “”very good education.””

After about 47 years, Rogers has stayed “”fairly active”” at the law school and said he misses the UA college environment.

“”When you’re there, everyone who surrounds you is bright, ambitious and intelligent,”” he said. “”Most people who go to the university are really concerned about their country, cities and states. They’re very caring people.

“”When you get away, you realize there are a lot of people who don’t give a damn and know very little about their country and that’s very distressing. A college community is a great culture.””


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