Regina J. Rogers
Regina Rogers obtained her law degree in 1970 and served as the first female law clerk to Joe J. Fisher, chief judge of the Eastern District of Texas. An active participant in community affairs, she is the founder of several nonprofit organizations that provide assistance to the underserved communities of Southeast Texas. Ms. Rogers serves on the boards of The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, where she is a senior member; the Harris County Hospital District Foundation; Anti-Defamation League Southwest Region, which she chaired in 1994; Pauline Sterne Wolff Memorial Foundation; Holocaust Museum Houston; the Babe Didrikson Zaharias Foundation; and on the advisory board of Children’s Defense Fund Texas. In addition, she is president of the Joe Louis International Sports Foundation, established in 1972 by her late father, Ben Rogers. Following the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, she co-founded the Southeast Texas Emergency Relief Fund (SETERF), which has provided several million dollars in assistance to thousands of people after the storms and helped those who suffered losses from Hurricane Ike. Additionally, Ms. Rogers also served on the Bush/Clinton Coastal Recovery Fund and the (Texas) Governor’s Disaster Recovery and Renewal Commission. In 1997, Ms. Rogers established IEA – Inspire, Encourage, Achieve, a program designed to help young people in the juvenile justice system achieve dignity and respect through knowledge, compassion, understanding, and love. IEA emphasizes rehabilitation for youth in detention and/or on probation, annually impacting more than 400 juveniles in the Minnie Rogers Juvenile Justice Center or through its Ben’s Kids outreach activities.
While chairing the Southwest Regional Board of the Anti-Defamation League in 1994, Rogers founded the Coalition for Mutual Respect, a group of religious and lay leaders whose annual programming includes pulpit exchanges that promote positive intergroup relations by encouraging understanding and respect among Houston’s diverse population. In 1994, Ms. Rogers established and currently serves as chair of the Julie Rogers “Gift of Life” Program, which annually makes available more than 1,800 free mammograms (more than 18,000 since inception) and 500 prostate cancer screenings (more than 6,000 since 2000) for the medically underserved population of Southeast Texas. In addition, the “Gift of Life” offers education that focuses on breast, ovarian and other gynecological cancers, prostate, testicular and lung cancer at 80 or more outreach programs a year, affecting nearly 17,000 people annually, as well as smoking prevention programming through its “Don’t Smoke Your Life Away” campaign. Founder of the Ben Rogers/Lamar University/Beaumont Public Schools: “I Have a Dream” program in 1988, Rogers serves as executive director of the organization that has made available mentoring and guidance, along with $4,000 scholarships to nearly 400 academically talented students who would not otherwise have the opportunity to attend college. She was also the first female regent of Lamar University and for six years served as a member of the Texas College and University System Coordinating Board where she was chair of the Educational Opportunity Planning Committee for Minority Education in Texas, helping implement programs to increase admissions and retention of minority students and also the hiring of minority faculty in colleges and universities throughout Texas.
Ms. Rogers obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology, graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Sophie Newcomb College of Tulane University in 1968, and a Doctor of Jurisprudence degree, graduating magna cum laude from the University of Houston Law Center in 1970. Selected as a Distinguished Alumna of the University of Houston in 1994, she was also named a Distinguished Woman of Northwood University; a Child Advocate of the Year by CASA of Southeast Texas; a Pacesetter of the Year by the Cancer League; a Woman of Distinction by KTRK/Channel 13 in Houston; a recipient of the Cherish Our Children Award from the Child Abuse Prevention Network in Houston; the Press Club’s 2002 Southeast Texas Newsmaker of the Year; a recipient of the 2003 Humanitarian Award from Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Beaumont, Inc.; named a 2005 Citizen of the Year by the Southeast Texas Regional Planning Commission; and recipient of the Cris Quinn Community Service Award in 2009 by the Jefferson County Bar Association.