Eastern Illinois University Foundation welcomes 2017 class of Honorary Lifetime Members
The Eastern Illinois University (EIU) Foundation recently welcomed Dr. Gail Richard of Charleston and Dr. Donald and Ferne Rogers of Port Charlotte, Florida, as its 2017 class of Honorary Lifetime Members.
“The Eastern Illinois University Foundation is proud to recognize these pillars of the EIU community,” Jonathan McKenzie, executive officer of the EIU Foundation, said in a release. “Donald, Ferne and Gail are staunch supporters of Eastern Illinois University, and we are honored to recognize them as this year’s Honorary Lifetime Members of the EIU Foundation.”
The Honorary Lifetime Member awards began in 2006 to recognize individuals for making significant lifetime contributions, earning national or international acclaim making significant contributions to the university, the release said.
Richard earned a masters degree in speech pathology and audiology in 1977, the release said. She later became a professor in speech pathology at EIU and gave diagnostic and treatment services at the Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic. Her specialty made her highly sought after by people around the world seeking treatment for various communication disorders, the release said.
Richard also served as chair of the Department of Communication Disorders and Sciences for 14 years, the release said. She continues to make an impact at EIU after retirement and works as a part-time director of EIU’s Autism Center. She continued to assist individuals diagnosed with autism and Asperger's syndrome and in 2015 created the Students with Autism Transitional Education Program (STEP). As president of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, Richard continues to be a leader in the area of autism spectrum disorders, the release said.
Donald Rogers was a professor at EIU’s Buzzard Lab School from 1964 to 1974, the release said. His teaching career continued as he moved to the Secondary Education and Foundations Department at EIU. While working at EIU, he was director of the Alternative Secondary Education program. He later served as a visiting professor in Taiwan.
Ferne Rogers earned three degrees at EIU and graduated with a bachelor's degree in zoology (’74) and a Master of Science and Master of Arts degrees in speech communication (’77), the release said. She taught in both the Speech Communication and Biological Sciences departments at EIU. She retired in 1994.
The Rogers also created the Donald and Ferne Rogers and Daughters scholarship in 2012. Their four daughters all attended EIU's Buzzard Laboratory School.