Grand Cane, Louisiana, Rogers Scholarship established to honor two-sport star, educator’s legacy

Dr. Murphy Rogers’ ties to Northwestern State predate the school’s designation as a university.

Thanks to his family, his legacy – more than a century in the making – will continue unabated into a second 100 years.

The “Grand Cane, Louisiana, Rogers Scholarship” received its initial donation, putting it on track to join the nearly 70 endowed athletic scholarships at NSU.

The Rogers scholarship will be awarded to a student-athlete who also is a nursing major, such as softball outfielder Hayley Barbazon, who completed her nursing degree in May 2020 and worked as a nurse while playing her final season with the Lady Demons in 2021.

Rogers’ family wanted to establish the scholarship in honor of a man who built an N-Club Hall of Fame and Long Purple Line legacy in Natchitoches and just as indelible a mark in Grand Cane, a village located approximately 56 miles northwest of Natchitoches in DeSoto Parish.

“We appreciate the Rogers family and the village of Grand Cane for wanting to give back to NSU in this way,” Deputy Athletic Director Dr. Haley Taitano said. “Enhancing our Perpetually Purple Program continues to be a key factor in the sustainability of our athletic programs by providing scholarship support for our student-athletes. We can’t thank this family enough for their generous support.”

Rogers, who was nicknamed Red, played basketball and baseball at Northwestern from 1915-17. He was part of a pair of Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Association championship teams on the hardwood and played outfield for two years for the Demon baseball team.

Upon his enshrinement in NSU’s Long Purple Line, which honors distinguished alumni in all walks of life, Rogers was described as a pioneer of modern education. He served as Louisiana’s supervisor of elementary schools and later was the director of college curricula for the state department of education.

As a dean at Northwestern State, Rogers donated more than $120,000 worth of scholarships at his alma mater.

In order for NSU athletic scholarships to become fully endowed, there must be a minimum of $10,000 donated to the scholarship within the first ten years of establishment.

To donate to the Grand Cane, Louisiana, Rogers Scholarship, send a check to the Demons Unlimited Foundation at 468 Caspari Street, Natchitoches, LA 71497 and put “Grand Cane, Louisiana, Rogers Scholarship” in the memo. Additionally, donors can visit and put “Grand Cane, Louisiana, Rogers Scholarship” in the special instructions section of the donation form.

The Grand Cane, Louisiana, Rogers Scholarship was established through the Perpetually Purple Program, which is dedicated to building Northwestern State’s athletic endowment to a goal of $5 million. The Perpetually Purple Program has helped to permanently endow 69 NSU athletic scholarships.

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