May 16, 2022 - With a career in philanthropy and service, Regina Rogers recently established a fund that will benefit University of Houston Law Center students for years to come with a gift in honor of Dean Leonard M. Baynes and dedicated to his commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Rogers, a 1970 Law Center graduate, said she hopes the Dean Leonard M. Baynes Scholarship for Diversity in Law will help ease some of the stresses of law school and allow future recipients to have an increased chance of success in the classroom. Baynes became the Law Center’s dean in 2014. He is the ninth dean in the school’s history, and the first person of African descent to serve in the role.
“I have great admiration and respect for Dean Baynes,” Rogers said. “An exceptional role model for others to emulate, he has broken barriers and achieved great success by working hard.
“I think it is important to focus on diversity and inclusion, particularly in the field of law, because it creates a more realistic reflection of society as a whole and enables lawyers to better serve their clients. Also, a scholarship will allow a law student to concentrate on academics, and less on financial concerns.”
Baynes will match Rogers’ donation, and said he is appreciative of her generosity.
“I am very humbled by this recognition,” Baynes said. “It is amazing to have a scholarship named after me especially since it is based on one of my deep and abiding commitment to making the legal profession more diverse and equitable. I think Regina Rogers is amazing! She is role model for some many of us. I am deeply grateful for this honor.”
The first female member of the Board of Regents of Lamar University in her hometown of Beaumont, and also a member of the Texas College and University Coordinating Board from 1986-1991, Rogers has a long history of creating educational opportunities for underserved youth, having established the Ben Rogers “I Have A Dream” Program that has provided more than 300 college scholarships at Lamar University for Beaumont Independent School District students; and IEA-Inspire, Encourage, Achieve, an initiative that focuses on literacy, education, mentoring and counseling for juvenile justice-involved youth. In addition, she has helped implement a scholarship program for students interested in the pursuit of social justice and equality at five Houston-area universities in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Anti-Defamation League’s Coalition for Mutual Respect, in which Dean Baynes has been an active participant.
For Rogers, her interest in helping others stems from following her parents’ legacy.
“I am so very grateful to have been raised in a home where we always cherished the value of others. Nothing could be more important than celebrating and appreciating one another with a goal of creating a more harmonious, just and equal society.”
Rogers also has witnessed the impact of Baynes and the Law Center’s emphasis on diversity and inclusion. She said that learning about the Pre-Law Pipeline Program and the school being named a Diversity Champion by INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine motivated her to want to do more.
“I particularly appreciate the Dean’s commitment to providing encouragement and motivation for law students, with special attention paid to those who come from less affluent backgrounds,” Rogers said. “They just need a little extra support, and I am pleased to help. I hope this initial scholarship will be only the beginning and that others will want to join the effort.”
To donate, visit http://giving.uh.edu/law/ and select the Dean Leonard M. Baynes Scholarship for Diversity in Law from the dropdown menu.
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