As the Louisiana State University of Alexandria wraps up its 60th Anniversary celebration this year, it is only fitting that another major milestone be reached.
At Friday’s drive-thru commencement, a diploma will be distributed for the first graduate in the World Religions degree program.
Taylor Rogers, Alexandria native and Holy Savior Menard High School graduate, will be the first student to have completed the coursework in the recently established program.
“I absolutely loved the World Religions program. Coming out of high school I knew I wanted something with theology or philosophy and after meeting with Dr. (Holly) Wilson regarding the coursework, I was sold on the program and LSUA,” said Rogers.
Dr. Holly Wilson, chair of the Department of Arts and Sciences, spear-headed the addition of the program in 2018.
“When we first met for advising, we got into great conversations about Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas. He is well read outside of school, loves to learn, and is a delight to teach,” said Wilson.
Taking his love for learning to the next level, Rogers plans to pursue a master’s degree in counseling for clinical mental health. Ultimately, he wants to open a private practice right here in Alexandria.
“I knew I wanted to stay local after high school and that remains even now. I love where I’m from and want to give back to this community in the form of work and church,” Rogers said.
Rogers won’t be settling down alone. He and fiancée Molly Parks, also from Alexandria, both want to keep root rights here in Central Louisiana. Rogers and Parks met at LSUA and have been key contributors to the Catholic Student Organization where Taylor has also served as CSO President.
Not only did Rogers attend LSUA with his fiancée, but also with his fraternal twin brother, Austin Rogers. The two have been together nearly their whole lives including high school, at LSUA, and will even walk across the same stage at Friday’s commencement.
“It is a pretty neat thing,” Taylor said. “We have done everything together our whole lives, so I’m pretty excited about being able to have this moment with him (Austin) also. Although I do have to say, everyone here at LSUA is like family. It is such a close-knit community where everyone has your best interest at heart. I have loved my time here (at LSUA).”