News at Smith

Diversity Fireside Chat to Feature Investor John Rogers

Sep 22, 2015
World Class Faculty & Research


John RogersJohn W. Rogers, Jr., described by Black Enterprise as “one of the most powerful” African Americans on Wall Street, is the featured guest for the second Diversity Fireside Chat presented by the University of Maryland’s Office of Community Engagement and Robert H. Smith School of Business. The event is from 12:30-2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 9, 2015 in the Tyser Auditorium, Van Munching Hall.

Rogers, CEO and chief investment officer for Ariel Investments, will join the Smith School’s Diversity Officer Hank Boyd in a one-on-one interview.  Rogers’ remarks will address the moral responsibility of persons of color serving in leadership roles throughout the private sector.  In particular, Rogers will tackle the notion of “Acting on the Board: The New Voices of Corporate America.”  In attendance, Dean Alex Triantis and Senior Associate Dean of Learning Joyce Russell will introduce the participants. 

A Smith School signature event, the program is designed to pinpoint how the Fortune 500 can achieve racial diversity in terms of corporate board makeup. “The discussion will also explore what steps minority candidates can take to position themselves for such coveted spots,” says Boyd, also a marketing professor at Smith. “Rogers will share his personal story on his trajectory from a Chicago kid to an investment titan.  His firm actively manages over $17 billion in mutual fund assets.”

“We, the Smith community, are eager to host John Rogers because he exemplifies the character and gravitas of a respected business leader,” Boyd adds. “Having the sheer courage and conviction to pursue his own shop, Rogers embodies the true spirit of the entrepreneur – unsatisfied with the status quo and willing to change the world.”

According to his official bio, Rogers’ passion for investing began at age 12, when his father began buying him stocks as Christmas and birthday gifts. His interest in equities grew at Princeton University, where he majored in economics, and over the two-plus years he worked as a stockbroker for William Blair & Company, LLC. In 1983, he founded Ariel Investments with a philosophy based on patient, value strategy in small and medium-size companies. 

Among several national leadership roles, he directs the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights and chairs the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans. Princeton recognized Rogers’ commitment to national service in 2008 through its prestigious Woodrow Wilson Award.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Hank Boyd at

About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and part-time MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, specialty master's, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

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