By Jamie Sapp and Sequoia Sinclair | Editor-in-Chief and Staff Writer
Katherine “Katie” Rogers, 21, a student at Augusta University, died on Monday, Nov. 28. University officials announced her death the next day, which occurred a week after Thanksgiving Break.
Rogers was a senior psychology student that was involved in various organizations and campus activities. She played an intricate role in Greek life, specifically Zeta Tau Alpha (ZTA). She was a member of the CREW and the President of Psi Chi. Rogers was greatly involved in the office of study abroad and campus housing at Augusta University.
In addition, Rogers held an internship at Able Tree Autism Treatment Center in Augusta, Ga.
To honor and celebrate the life of Katie Rogers, a candlelight vigil was held on the Summerville campus at the D. Douglas Barnard Amphitheatre on Friday, Dec. 2, at 7:36 p.m.
The candlelight vigil opened with the sisters of ZTA approaching the stage. President Katie Humphrey spoke on behalf of the sorority, rendering much appreciation for those who attended the vigil and disclosing that the sisters were not strong enough to speak at the time.
However, the sorority ensured on getting the necessary support and love from everyone who loved Katie Rogers to get through the pain of this loss.
“Thank you so much for coming tonight to honor and remember Katie,” Humphrey said. “She was someone who was extremely close to us and who touched each and every one of our lives in a completely different way, but in a special way, nonetheless.”
Humphrey then relayed a few messages at the request of the family of Katie Rogers.
“They thank you from the bottom of their hearts for the amount of time we were able to give Katie,” she said. “They ask that everyone who knew Katie go out into the world and love someone different from them and post about it on social media to put it back into the world.”
Faculty, friends and family of Rogers came to share stories, which brought out laughter, tears and inspiration for everyone.
The members in the department of psychology discussed Rogers’ enriched involvement in the department.
“Katie was fully immersed in our department,” Dr. Georgina Hammock shared with the crowd. “She was very active. This academic year she was elected as Psi Chi President and took on the hard work of motivating individuals to be involved. She helped raise funds for suicide awareness.”
During the candlelight vigil, Hammock spoke further on about Rogers’ enthusiasm.
“She always let you know you were appreciated,” she said. “We are better for having known Katie… It is now our turn to do the hard work to honor her memory and her passions.”
Fighting the tears, along with others, Dr. Candace Best spoke on the strength of Rogers’ work ethic.
“When I first met her she was just bubbly,” she said. “Her outgoing nature had a generous and a sincerness about it. She was always the first person to ask someone if they were okay.”
Best then described how Rogers was an excellent fit for her research team.
“Katie was loved by everyone,” she said. “Katie, as part of the research team, presented at two different summer scholars’ presentations and one regional psychological conference.”
Psi Chi members and friends of Rogers, Taylor Rodriguez and Amma Sarfo, shared their favorite moments with Katie.
Sarfo shared the story of her favorite moment with Rogers at a conference in New Orleans.
“Katie was very inspirational,” Sarfo said. “She was a natural optimistic.”
Rodriguez said her and Rogers met in high school, but they really became friends during Rodriguez’s sophomore year in college.
“We never knew how close we would become,” Rodriguez said. “She wanted everyone to be engaged and happy. Not just in Psi Chi, but in all organizations. She planned great events.”
Members of Able Tree Autism Treatment Center, where Rogers interned, shared their thoughts and stories on how Rogers changed their lives for the better.
“Katie breathed life into people,” One member said. “Rogers will not be forgotten at Able Tree. She was family.”
Various friends of Rogers spoke of how she made them feel great, how she made them feel loved, and how she will be missed.
Family members of Rogers expressed their gratitude for the candlelight vigil. Her uncle Jim Rogers, her second cousin Rainee Rogers and her younger brother William Rogers brought some laughter to the crowd.
“I remember [Katie] saying ‘I love you guys so much,’ when I was right on the verge of going to sleep,” William Rogers said. “So I replied ‘what!’ And ever since then, she says ‘I hate you, guys.’ But I know she knows that I love her so much.”
Katherine “Katie” Rogers, along with students Emily P. Smith, Melissa Hooper, Kevan Khaksarfard and Daniel T. Perry, are members of the Jaguar family that died this year.
If you or someone you know may be suffering from depression, feeling overwhelmed or grieving, call the Student Counseling and Psychological Services (SCAPS) at 706-737-1471.
The website for SCAPS is http://www.augusta.edu/counseling/
Here are the two center locations at Augusta University:
Summerville Campus: Central Utilities Building Annex, 2nd floor (CE-201)
Health Sciences Campus: Satellite office within the Student Wellness Center on the second floor above the food court
For emergencies, call the Georgia Crisis and Access Line at 1-800-715-4225, or dial 911.
Contact Jamie Sapp at firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact Sequoia Sinclair at email@example.com.