We at Chicken-Fried News know that sometimes we can be a little cynical. Since it is the holiday season, we thought that we’d share an uplifting story to highlight that it’s never too late to give up on your dreams.
Meet Ben Rogers, who recently graduated from the University of Oklahoma College of Law and passed the Oklahoma Bar Exam at the age of 68. Rogers’ twisting and turning journey to OU was featured last week in The Norman Transcript.
The son of a college professor, Rogers was born in Minnesota before growing up around college campuses in Florida. His father later accepted a job at now-defunct Parsons College in Iowa.
Rogers attended Parsons for a year before enlisting in the Army. After finishing military service, he moved to Virginia, where he remembered his most enjoyable part of college: selling sandwiches out of his dorm with his roommate. He entered the restaurant business before moving to the Washington D.C. area, where he met his wife Margi.
After a brief period as a general contractor in the 1980s until the housing market crashed at the end of the decade, Rogers combined his two careers: construction and restaurants. He opened his first San Antonio Sam’s in 1990 and expanded to multiple locations, eventually selling them when his wife had a job opportunity in San Diego.
How does someone get from San Diego to Oklahoma? Jury duty and a well-placed billboard, of course. Rogers served as a juror on a complicated suit involving multiple corporations and the U.S. government. The trial was halted, and a corporate attorney asked to interview jurors. During the interview, the attorney told Rogers he did an exceptional job keeping up with a complicated case and said he would’ve been a great attorney. It planted a seed.
While thinking of opening a new restaurant in San Diego, Rogers noticed a billboard for the University of Oklahoma online program, signed up and earned a degree in criminal justice. He enrolled at OU law at the age of 65 and graduated this year. He is practicing law in Norman.