While sitting in the memorial service held on Jan. 20 for Kimberly Rogers, her father, Larry Rogers, kept flashing back to the Dr. Seuss book, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”. Part of it reads “You’ll be on your way up! You’ll be seeing great sights! You’ll join the high fliers who soar to high heights.” Larry and Janet Rogers, Kimberly’s mother, used to read the book together with Kim.
“Imagine the sights that Kim has seen and the new heights to which she is soaring,” Larry said. “I hope that the friends she made at Albion will be able to take a small piece of Kim along with them on their life’s journeys. I know we will.”
On Dec. 19, 2009 Kimberly Rogers, Sault Ste. Marie sophomore, died unexpectedly. Kimberly was a biology major, a player on the varsity women’s lacrosse team, and a member of Delta Gamma fraternity.
According to Chaplain Daniel McQuown, Wesley Chapel holds 168 and had reached capacity during the memorial service.
“For Kim’s friends, I was incredibly impressed with their courage at showing up and sharing,” McQuown said. “I know this (the service) meant a lot to everyone there. Afterwards, one student who attended said, ‘I didn’t know Kim, but I wish I had. This service has made me really think about my priorities in life. I want to do better because of Kim’.”
Kati Schwartz, Ann Arbor senior and outgoing Delta Gamma president, spoke on behalf of the 63 members of Delta Gamma.
“She (Kimberly) was a true inspiration to us all and even though she may have only been in DG for a short amount of time, she had a huge impact that will continue forever,” Schwartz said.
According to Janet, the Rogers family has been overwhelmed by the care and compassion shown to them by Albion College students and staff.
“The day after Kimberly’s accident, our first call of the day was from a staff member from Albion College, and the last call of the evening was from a student, both expressing their condolences to us.”
Jaclyn Rutkowski, head coach of the varsity lacrosse program, retired Kim’s jersey number, 1.
“I honestly cannot imagine any other individual wearing number 1 than Kim,” said Toni Spana, Fort Gratiot junior. “We always complained about the walk to Victory Park, our skirts that we played in, and how bad the weather was while we played. I would walk to Victory Park in the rain with the uniform on everyday if Kim could still be here.”
According to Spana, in Kim’s memory, the lacrosse team is stringing a ribbon through their sticks with her number and initials.
“We are going to play for Kim,” Spana said. “She was, and always will be number one on the team and number one in our hearts.”
According to Larry, there is a shirt still hanging in Kim’s closet bearing the slogan “Live, Laugh, Love.”
“I know that she did all three of those things with all her heart,” Larry said. “I always thought Kimberly’s heart must have been much larger than a ‘normal’ heart because she lived so much larger than the 5-foot frame she was packaged in (she always claimed to be 5’1″, but I think that was wishful thinking). She was and still is my hero!”
Ryan Arey, Jackson junior and sorority sister of Kim reflects on what it meant to be a part of Kim’s life:
In Loving Memory of Kim Rogers:
When asked to describe Kim Rogers, it is hard to think of just one word, phrase, or memory. Kim had a type of unforgettable personality and the ability to light up a room with her smile. Kim was only a member of the Delta Gamma Zeta chapter for a short time, but she has touched the hearts and lives of all the members of our house. We all feel so blessed to have met her and have shared such great memories with her. She will continue to be part of so many people’s lives; including the Delta Gamma fraternity, my family within the chapter, the lacrosse team, and the Albion College community.
A lot of different memories were shared and recalled by the sisters of Delta Gamma, but two things were common in all of the responses: the fact that Kim was a genuine person and a true friend. Kim was everything you could ask for in a sister and a friend, and we are all truly blessed to have had her in our lives, even if it was for a short time. Kim will always be remembered, especially for laugh, her love of family, friends, and lacrosse, and for her intense fear of Jell-O! This year, Delta Gamma will be donating part of the proceeds from our annual Anchorsplash to some of Kim’s favorite charities including United Way and Habitat for Humanity in her memory.
Photo courtesy of Larry Rogers
Photo courtesy of Meg Lloyd