Faith inspires graduate

Greg Rogers

Inspired by the unwavering optimism of one of Baker University’s newest alumnus, commencement  speaker Tony Brown  reflected in  mid-December  on  Greg  Rogers’  remarkable  journey  as  an undergraduate on the Baldwin City campus.

“One  of  the  people  who  has  taught  me  to  see  the  world differently  over  the  past  few  years  is sitting  among  you  today,  a  person who  ironically has never actually  ‘seen’ me,”  said  Brown,  former  chair  of  the psychology  department  at  Baker  and current  State  Representative  for  the 10th District of the Kansas house.

With  his  right  hand  placed  on  a shoulder of a classmate, Rogers was guided to the commencement platform at  the Collins Center. Blind  since birth, Rogers walked without assistance across the raised stage before being presented his diploma by Baker President Pat Long as more  than 2,000  in attendance applauded.

“I  am  a  strong believer  in God  and  that he will walk with me as  I go through the good times and struggles,” said Rogers, who received the loudest ovation at commencement. “I feel like I have been pretty fortunate with what I have been given.”

Faith, family and friendship served Rogers well as he pursued a business degree. Born with microphthalmia, a condition in which the eyes never fully develop, Rogers embraced his  time at Baker. A member of Zeta Chi fraternity, Rogers was a greeter at the University’s weekly chapel  services,  president  of Cardinal Key  and  excelled  playing the piano.

“I think God does a lot in terms of giving me resources,” Rogers said. “I have been very blessed with a really good family. A lot of visually  impaired  people  don’t  get jobs or do well in society because they don’t have an effective upbringing.” Small classes, academic and music scholarships,  and  a  campus  easy  to navigate  attracted Rogers  to Baker. After he enrolled at the University in the  fall of 2004, he was determined to receive his diploma.

“I knew  I would eventually graduate,”  said Rogers, who might attend  law  school.  “I  come  from  a  family  with  a  long  line  of graduates. It should be a bigger deal. It was kind of expected.”

Near the end of his keynote address, Brown was reminded how Rogers taught him the  importance of other senses  in addition to sight. “And I smile every time Greg bids goodbye to someone with the phrase,  ‘It was good to see you,’  Brown said.

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