Not only has Roger established a generous planned gift through his estate, he also heavily invests his time and knowledge, primarily by mentoring students. “They bring the future,” said Roger. “You can’t wait for the future to happen; they are going to invent it. We have to figure out a way to help them think their way through it so they can create a future that is better than the present we are living in today.”
Roger regularly returns to Athens to share his expertise–and his wonderful sense of humor–with students. In 2014, he served as the undergraduate Fall Commencement speaker, igniting the crowd by opening his address with “quid de illis canibus,” which translates to “How ‘bout them Dawgs” in Latin.
He also visits campus to work with students in the UGA Small Satellite Research Laboratory. The “SmallSat Lab” was established in 2016 with the goal of launching a student-built spacecraft – a Cube Satellite – into low earth orbit. The lab’s mission is to place UGA among the world’s top spacefaring universities, to give UGA a permanent presence in outer space while teaching students how to design, build and operate spacecraft, and to provide faculty with unique space-based data.
“I mentioned to Malcom Adams [Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor and the Mathematics Department Head at UGA] to look into the NASA CubeSat Launch Initiative because there are grants awarded to inspire kids about space and engineering,” Roger recalled. “Now it is just exploding. I am hoping that program and these scholarships will be kernels for the future.”