December 21, 2018
By Laura Howes, Director, Rubenstein Fellows Academy
Jim was one of the Rubenstein Fellows Academy’s inaugural fellows. In this capacity, I had the distinct pleasure of getting to know Jim and learn from him. As best told by Tim Profeta, director of the Nicholas Institute, in his tribute to Jim, Jim was determined to set the bar high for what it meant to be a Rubenstein Fellow. As seemed to be Jim’s approach to all things in his life, he dove into this new role. He took on teaching for the first time and reveled in the new challenge of shaping his knowledge and experiences into a format that others could learn from; he wrote his first book; he opened his calendar for a series of one-on-one mentoring conversations with any Duke student who wanted to speak with him (and did they ever!); he connected students to his friends and colleagues for further advice; he delivered guest lectures across campus; he led a Bass Connections project; and he helped seed plans for what would be come the Energy Access Project at Duke.
As impressive as this might all be, what impressed me most about Jim was how genuine and good-humored he was. As his life accomplishments would suggest, Jim was a force of nature.
Rogers talks with Duke students after class in 2014
Jim first became engaged with the Duke University community as a founding advisory board member for the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, a capacity in which he continued to serve until his passing. Jim also continued to engage with Duke students as a Senior Fellow throughout this past fall semester.
Jim surely succeeded in setting the bar for the Rubenstein Fellows Academy, just as he succeeded in setting the bar for what it means to live a meaningful life.
To learn more about the life and legacy of Jim Rogers: