Remembering Barbara Yarwood Rogers

The Nebraska Wesleyan community said goodbye to its former first lady, Barbara Yarwood Rogers, in November.

Barbara RogersBarbara Yarwood Rogers
Chula Vista, Calif., formerly of Lincoln,
November 13, 2009

President Fred Ohles spoke at a memorial service for Barbara Yarwood Rogers, wife of former University President Vance D. Rogers. A portion of Ohles’s remarks follows.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

We gather as a university community to honor the life and the memory of one of our own, Barbara Yarwood Rogers, who for 20 years was the First Lady of Nebraska Wesleyan University.

Whenever my interest is on our own history, the progress of Nebraska Wesleyan over many years, my source is first of all Dr. David Mickey. Often he enlightens me in person; sometimes the illumination comes through his grand history of Nebraska Wesleyan. Here are David’s words about Barbara and Vance Rogers:

They “made the ‘President’s Residence’ . . . a delightful place for receptions, teas, luncheons, dinners, meetings of organizations, and alumni reunions.”

Barbara and Vance Rogers had a style in their leadership and hospitality that was at once inviting and dignified. They were not just the leaders together of this institution, and the first couple of this campus, but they were among the foremost leaders of civic life in Lincoln and in Nebraska for decades.

On the corner where the “President’s Residence” once stood, Nebraska Wesleyan University dedicated a rose garden to the honor of Barbara Rogers. And that is where I had the privilege of meeting her about two and a half years ago. It is a fitting tribute to the lady who was the rose of this campus.