Pocatello -- James E. Rogers, philanthropist, owner and president of Sunbelt Communications Co., has been selected the 2003 Idaho Business Leader of the Year by Idaho State University College of Business students.
ISU students of the Delta Upsilon chapter of the professional business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi made the selection. The fraternity sponsors professional programs involving both educators and business people. Criteria for selection include business contribution, stature, and support of education and the community.
Rogers will be honored at a banquet sponsored by the College of Business at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 26, at the Red Lion Hotel Pocatello, formerly the WestCoast Pocatello Hotel.
“Jim Rogers is an extraordinarily successful American businessman,” said ISU President Richard L. Bowen. “His somewhat unique quality is that he believes his earnings ought to be returned to the public in the form of philanthropy. Fortunately, his favorite philanthropy is gifting universities and ISU is one of them.”
“The students were particularly impressed with Jim Rogers’ support for higher education and civic involvement in many communities where Sunbelt Communications operates,” said Dr. Bill Stratton, dean of the College of Business. “He is an excellent role model of an involved and committed businessman.”
Rogers owns 98 percent of the stock in Sunbelt Communications Co., which owns and operates KPVI-TV in Pocatello-Idaho Falls, the Fox affiliate in Twin Falls, and NBC affiliates in Las Vegas, Reno, Winnemucca, and Elko, Nev.; Yuma, Ariz.-El Centro, Calif.; Helena, Mont.; and Jackson, Wyo. He was recently listed as one of the top 12 U.S. philanthropists by Time magazine.
Rogers has given generously of his time and resources to Idaho State University. He is the chairman of Creating Legacies, ISU’s highly-successful Centennial Campaign that has raised $124 million for scholarships, academic enhancements, and the L.E. & Thelma E. Stephens Performing Arts Center currently under construction on the ISU campus. He is president-elect of the ISU Foundation board of directors.
His support of the university was recognized when the ISU mass communication program was recently named the James E. Rogers Mass Communication Program. At 1999 Commencement ISU conferred the honorary degree of doctor of humane letters on Rogers.
He has degrees in accounting and law from the University of Arizona, a master of laws degree from the University of Southern California, and a doctor of laws degree from the University of Arizona.
In 1998 the Arizona Board of Regents renamed the University of Arizona College of Law the James E. Rogers College of Law. He is a member of the Nevada, Arizona and California bar associations and actively practiced law in Las Vegas from 1964 through 1988, when he began to devote full time to Sunbelt.
Rogers has three children, Suzanne Rogers Plant, Kimberly Rogers Cell, and Perry Rogers, and six grandchildren. He is married to Beverly Barlow Rogers, who is also active in Sunbelt and its charitable endeavors.
Rogers is the 40th recipient of the Idaho Business Leader of the Year award.