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A History of Generosity

Nearly 2,000 Rogers Society members have included Northwestern in their estate plans through planned gifts, creating a lasting legacy at Northwestern.

henry and emma rogers
Henry and Emma Rogers

Summer 2019

The Henry and Emma Rogers Society was founded in summer 1987 to honor and recognize alumni and friends who have included Northwestern in their estate plans.

Henry Wade Rogers was dean of the University of Michigan Law School when Board of Trustees Chair Charles Deering recruited him to become the 10th president of Northwestern. During Rogers’ tenure, from 1890 to 1900, he expanded academic offerings, hired new faculty and led the construction of new buildings and facilities, including Annie May Swift Hall, Orrington Lunt Library and Fisk Hall. He is also credited with transforming the University from a cluster of colleges and professional schools into a nationally recognized university. His leadership led to a dramatic increase in enrollment and positioned Northwestern among the country’s most prestigious universities.

A champion of social reform and leader in the suffrage movement, Emma Winner Rogers co-founded the University Guild, through which she worked to promote higher learning and the arts within the Northwestern and Evanston communities, and the Northwestern University Settlement Association (now called the Northwestern Settlement, see “A Good Neighbor”), which at the time provided social services and support for immigrants on Chicago’s near West Side.

The Rogers Society was originally named for Henry alone. Emma’s name was added in 2007. This change recognized each spouse’s contributions to advancing educational excellence, equality and social justice.

The University has welcomed 657 donors to the Rogers Society throughout We Will. The Campaign for Northwestern. Today nearly 2,000 Rogers Society members have included Northwestern in their estate plans through charitable bequests, gift annuities, charitable remainder trusts and other forms of planned gifts, creating a lasting legacy at Northwestern. 

Learn more about the Henry and Emma Rogers Society.


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