Helen Rogers (C ’42) holds many fond memories of her time at Millsaps, including meeting and falling in love with her late husband of almost 74 years, Nat Rogers (C ’41). To provide for their alma mater’s success, the Rogers made a commitment to fund the Helen and Nat Rogers Endowed Scholarship fund.
“Nat and I made the decision to put Millsaps in our estate planning about 20 years ago,” says Rogers. “We wanted to create a scholarship fund to support the college’s ability to attract capable students. Our dear friend and former Millsaps faculty member, Dr. Ross Moore, impressed upon us that an elite educational environment is most dependent on great faculty and capable, motivated students.”
Rogers’ Millsaps experience reflects the kind of educational experience she wants for others. “Besides meeting and falling in love with Nat, my fondest memories center around forging lifelong friendships with students and faculty from outside of Jackson, where I grew up, my intellectual growth and exposure to new and exciting ideas, and many extracurricular activities.” Rogers’ many activities included Millsaps Singers, Millsaps Players, Chi Omega sorority, and serving as editor of the Bobashela yearbook.
Several years ago, Rogers discovered a way to begin supporting Millsaps with her scholarship while also gaining a tax advantage.
“Our estate attorney pointed out to us that the estate would benefit financially by allocating pretax dollars from our IRA to fulfill our estate’s obligation to fund the scholarship.” Providing a portion of her IRA to fund the scholarship each year also allows Rogers to meet her IRA’s annual minimum distribution requirement.
Rogers’ initial gift from her IRA established the Helen and Nat Rogers Endowed Scholarship fund, and the scholarship has supported Millsaps students each school year since fall 2016. After five years of gifts made from Rogers’ IRA, the scholarship will be fully funded.
Rogers wishes to honor her husband Nat through her early gifts to Millsaps. “My ability to provide to the college at this stage of my life is due to the success of my husband. He, like me, had an undying passion to support Millsaps, so I honor him with every gift that I can contribute to the college.”
“Nat and I have been financially supportive of Millsaps throughout our adult lives. Our estate allocation marks the final donation to a school that has meant so much to both of us. It is a way for us to ‘give back’ to the college that has had a monumentally positive impact on our lives.”