Alumnus Bruce Rogers '56 sets example of leadership


As an avid gardener for much of his life, Bruce W. “Bud” Rogers liked few things more than the sun at his back and his hands dug deeply in Akron’s rich soil. By the time of his passing in Nov. 2018, his gardening had yielded far more than flowers or vegetables. His spirit of service and selflessness had planted seeds of investment in others, helping their own dream for the future take root.

Bruce W.

Bruce W. "Bud" Rogers, Class of 1956

Rogers directed a planned gift to The University of Akron supporting the Bruce W. Rogers Jr. Honors Scholarship in Mechanical Engineering. “Bud,” as he was known among his friends, started the scholarship in 1991 as a way to help talented freshmen dreaming of careers in mechanical engineering.

Rogers earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from UA in 1956, before embarking on a professional career as a sales engineer with the B.W. Rogers Company, an organization founded by his father. He later was promoted to product manager before being named the company’s president in 1973 and chairman in 1994.

Always passionate about his profession, Rogers had a thriving career that brought him numerous honors, including the Akron Community Foundation’s Bert A. Polsky Humanitarian Award, the American Red Cross H. Peter Burg Award, and Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year by the Akron Regional Development Board.

Even with his success, Rogers' achievements never took him too far from his University of Akron roots.

A member of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity during his collegiate days, Rogers served on the College of Engineering’s Advancement Council, as well as the Students in Free Enterprise Advisory Board. He received both the College of Engineering’s Outstanding Alumni Award and the University’s Alumni Honor Award in 1992.

His philanthropy included additional scholarship support for Zips Athletics, the Phi Delta Theta Gateway Plaza, and Hower House.

Rogers was married to Suzanne, also a UA graduate, for 65 years. They have three children, four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

If you would like to make a gift in memory of Bud Rogers designated to The Bruce W. Rogers Jr. Honors Scholarship in Mechanical Engineering, visit or contact Megan Hopper, Director of Development, at 330-972-5686 or