A Night With John Rogers provided a rare and insightful look into the life and career of civic and business entrepreneur John Rogers Jr. Taped on October 2, 2010 in front of a live audience at The Art Institute of Chicago, Rogers was interviewed by U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan and President and COO of the McDonald’s Corporation, Don Thompson.
Rogers told lively stories of his unique childhood in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood and reminisced on his time as a Princeton University basketball player. The program also included Rogers describing the launch of Ariel Investments, the first African American investment management firm with publicly traded mutual funds, and the founding of Ariel Community Academy, a Chicago public school with an innovative financial literacy program. Rogers shared his insights on business and corporate boards and talked about his involvement with the historic presidential campaign of President Barack Obama.
John Rogers, Jr. is founder, chairman and chief investment officer of Ariel Investments, a Chicago-based money management firm that serves institutional clients through separately managed accounts; individual investors; and 401(k) plans through its no-load mutual funds. After working for two and a half years as a stockbroker at William Blair & Company, LLC, Rogers founded Ariel Investments in 1983 to focus on undervalued small and medium-sized companies.
As a child, Rogers' father gifted him stocks for every birthday and Christmas, sparking his passion for investing. This interest grew while Rogers majored in economics at Princeton University. In addition to following stocks as a college student, Rogers also played basketball under hall of fame coach Pete Carril. Carril’s court side lessons on teamwork profoundly shaped his views of entrepreneurship and investing. Rogers captained Princeton’s varsity basketball team his senior year.
Rogers' investment expertise brought him to the forefront of media attention; he was selected Mutual Fund Manager of the Year by Sylvia Porter’s Personal Finance magazine and All-Star Mutual Fund Manager by USA TODAY. Rogers is regularly featured and quoted in a wide variety of broadcast and print publications. He is a contributing columnist to Forbes magazine.
Rogers serves on the boards of the Exelon Corporation and the McDonald’s Corporation. He is a director of the Chicago Urban League and a trustee of the University of Chicago. In 2008, Rogers was awarded Princeton University’s highest honor, the Woodrow Wilson Award, which is presented annually to an alumnus whose career embodies a commitment to national service. Following the election of President Barack Obama, Rogers served as co-chair for the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Committee. In 2010, he was named an Outstanding Director by the Outstanding Directors Exchange for his leadership on governance, management and diversity in the boardroom.
Arne Duncan was named U.S. Secretary of Education by President Barack Obama and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on January 20, 2009. Prior to his appointment, Duncan served as CEO of the Chicago Public Schools from June 2001 through December 2008. His seven and a half year tenure made Duncan the longest serving big city education superintendent in the country. As CEO, he united education reformers, teachers, principals and business stakeholders behind an aggressive education reform agenda that included opening over one hundred new schools, expanding after-school and summer learning programs, closing down under performing schools and increasing early childhood and college access. Before joining the Chicago Public Schools, Duncan ran the Ariel Education Initiative, which helped fund a college education for a class of inner city children under the I Have A Dream program.
Duncan has served on the boards of the Ariel Education Initiative, Chicago Cares, the Children's Center, the Golden Apple Foundation, the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, Jobs for America's Graduates, Junior Achievement, the Dean's Advisory Board of the Kellogg School of Management, the National Association of Basketball Coaches Foundation, Renaissance Schools Fund, Scholarship Chicago and the South Side YMCA. He has also served on the Board of Overseers for Harvard College, the Visiting Committees for Harvard University's Graduate School of Education and the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration.
As President and Chief Operating Officer of the McDonald's Corporation, Don Thompson directed global strategy and operations for the thirty-two thousand McDonald’s restaurants in 117 countries. Before assuming responsibility for international operations in 2007, Thompson was President of McDonald’s USA. In this role, he was responsible for the strategic direction and overall business results of the nearly fourteen thousand restaurants in the U.S. Since joining McDonald's in 1990 as an electrical engineer, Thompson has held a variety of leadership positions including U.S. Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President and Division President.
Thompson serves on the boards of directors for Northwestern Memorial Hospital and the Northern Trust Corporation. He also serves on the board of trustees for Purdue University and is a member of the Executive Leadership Council.
Thompson has been recognized by many organizations for his leadership in business and the community. In 2007, Black Enterprise named Thompson Corporate Executive of the Year, and in 2008, he received the Corporate Executive award from the Trumpet Foundation. In 2009, he received the Presidential Inspiration Award from Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated.
Thompson received his B.S. in electrical engineering from Purdue University. In 2006, he received the Purdue University Outstanding Electrical and Computer Engineering Award and was named a Purdue University Old Master Fellow. In 2008, Thompson received an honorary doctorate degree from Excelsior College in Albany, New York.
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