February 11, 2015

Gift Strengthens Friends Center, Quaker Studies

An anonymous donor has created a fund to support Friends Center and Quaker studies at Guilford College.

The donor has committed to give $500,000 to the William R. Rogers Director of Friends Center and Quaker Studies Endowed Fund. The fund is named in honor of Bill Rogers, president of Guilford 1980-96.

The fund will support the position of Friends Center director. Among other duties, the director teaches Quakerism and Quaker studies in the Department of Religious Studies.

President Jane Fernandes has named Max Carter, leader of the center since 1990, the first William R. Rogers Director of Friends Center.

“Max has announced his plans to retire from the College this summer, and I cannot think of a more fitting way to honor him than with the first Rogers directorship,” Jane said. “His evident commitment to the testimonies of Friends throughout his life and service, his transformational impact on the lives of students, and his influence on and support of Quaker education and Guilford College are legendary.”

Established in 1982, during Bill’s presidency, Friends Center connects Guilford to the wider Quaker community and reaffirms the College’s leadership role in Quaker higher education.

“I find it very touching and humbling to have my name associated with this position of leadership within the College,” Bill said. “I have worked on many issues and programs over the past 35 years at Guilford which brought great challenge and satisfaction. Among these there have been many of national and even international importance. But the Friends Center programs hold a special place in my heart.”

Among his many accomplishments, Bill helped strengthen Guilford’s relationship with Quaker constituencies, raised the College’s profile among liberal arts institutions and completed a major capital campaign. Bill, who is president emeritus, and his wife, Beverley, remain active in the Greensboro and Guilford College communities.

“I am deeply humbled and honored,” Max said of his new title. “Bill Rogers guided me toward my Ph.D. program; he was president when Friends Center, the Campus Ministry Office and the Quaker Leadership Scholars Program were started at Guilford; he was the person who hired me!”

The new fund will support a key element of Guilford’s identity, he said.

“Quakerism profoundly defines the ethos of Guilford College, and Friends Center’s role is to stay awake at night worrying about how to maintain the strength of the Quaker ethos on campus,” Max said. “This endowment will guarantee that there will be a vital Friends Center and rigorous Quaker studies program in perpetuity at Guilford College.”

The College welcomes additional gifts to the fund. For more information, contact the Office of Advancement at 316-2178.