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Robert Rodgers '56

Bob Rodgers '56
Photo: Joanne Meeker

During the annual Reunions activities in 2003, Robert "Bob" Rodgers '56 was presented with the Award for Service to Princeton. Few could have deserved it more.

Bob began giving back to Princeton as soon as he returned home to St. Louis after graduating in 1956 with a degree in chemical engineering. There he volunteered to interview high school students applying to Princeton. He continued this service through several moves, from St. Louis to Houston and to northern New Jersey.

In 1994, when Bob retired from his career in the chemical business, he and his wife Sue moved to Princeton. From that point on he devoted himself to Princeton — the University, his class, and the lives of the students, undergraduate and graduate. He was a member of, and often chaired, many Annual Giving and Alumni Association committees, including Princetoniana and the Graduate Centennial Committee that helped commemorate the 100th anniversary of Princeton's Graduate School. He was integral in the planning of the 250th anniversary celebrations and inspired one of Princeton's newest traditions — the annual fireworks display at Reunions.

For all his alumni activity, Bob felt the true heart of Princeton was its students. He and Sue provided a home away from home for many students whose real homes were far from Princeton. He organized the '56 Summer Internship Program at the Crisis Ministry of Princeton and Trenton in connection with Nassau Presbyterian Church and often sponsored a student himself.

Bob's generous spirit touched the Princeton community at every level. His infectious love for all things Princeton was both lively and longlasting. When questioned about it, Bob would only say, "I simply got caught up in the flow and enjoyed it and could never get out of it."

View a tribute to Bob Rodgers '56.