Volume CXXVI, Number 11
        Established 1856         Thursday, December 10, 1998

The Kenyon Collegian Opinion Page

An era ends at Kenyon as Rogan departs from the classroom

By David Shargel


Donald Rogan taught his last class at Kenyon Thursday, ending a teaching career that began when Lyndon Johnson was president and man had yet to walk on the moon.

Having arrived at Kenyon in 1965 after receiving educations for Morris Harvey, General Theological Seminary, and St. Augustine's College, Rogan assumed the positions of College Chaplain and part-time professor of religion. 1965 was the same year that Kenyon created a major for the study of religion. In 1971, Rogan resigned from his position as Chaplain and began teaching full-time, also acting as chair of the Department of Religion for a total of 15 years.

Twenty-seven years and thousands of students later, Rogan ended today teaching "Approaches to the Study of Religion," a class which focuses on the works of well-known theologians: Mircea Elisade, Victor Turner, Karl Marx, and Emile Durkheim, to name a few. There is no doubt that Rogan's sharp wit and intuitive thinking on subjects ranging from the Holocaust to New Testament Gospels have earned him a place among the names of these great religious thinkers.

But Rogan is more than a scholar. He taught those who passed through his classroom new ways to read and write, transforming minds of students into those of thinkers, all the while maintaining a warm sense of humor vital for succesfully teaching courses like "Religion in America."

Students come away from one of Rogan's classes with a sense that they have actually learned something as opposed to having simply sat through an hour-long lecture.

In the words of the Romans 2:20, Rogan is "an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of the babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law." Though his mark on Kenyon is indeed indelible, we foolish babes will sorely miss Don Rogan.

Copyright © 1998, The Kenyon Collegian, & Staff.