Andrew and Janessa Rogerson, the chancellor and first lady of UA-Little Rock, share with us a day in their busy lives.
Invariably we wake early — and 3 a.m. seems like the norm. This usually calls for a cup of hot milk and honey. We take turns making this, although I take more turns than Andrew. We sometimes talk; we sometimes turn on the Weather Channel, which invariably is covering some disaster or another. Hopefully we fall asleep again, next surfacing around 5:30 to 6 a.m.
We have convinced ourselves that a glass of warm water with lemon is a healthy first start to the day. If nothing else it means Andrew drinks some water — he’s a notorious water-avoider! Andrew is a fan of the kind-and-gentle wake-up routine, so we cozy up in bed with the Democrat Gazette, a mug of strong coffee, and Scottish Shortbread. Who doesn’t love a cookie in the morning?
We bound out the door for a morning walk around campus most days. We love to walk the campus and talk about our ideas and dreams for UA Little Rock, all it is, and all it can be.
Shower for Andrew, a quick smoothie and vitamins, and he is off downtown to one of the many boards he sits on. Today it’s 50 for the Future, a group of influential businessmen tackling the issues of making Little Rock attractive for incoming professionals and raising the quality of life in the metro region. Vital to this mission is a great university. I shower then fire up the computer, answering emails, managing calendars, and sending personal notes. I’m already thinking about the menu for this evening’s dinner party. Typically, we entertain at home at least two or three times a week.
Andrew is heading back for a 10 a.m. cabinet meeting with his vice chancellors. His typical working day is usually a series of meetings — every hour on the hour. He might be meeting with the system president, the student association, business leaders, mayors, or development officers. This next meeting is on overseas recruitment strategies and the expansion of our study abroad program. Meanwhile I head to yoga and do groceries.
We meet up at our Rotary Club at the Clinton Presidential Library and enjoy conversation, lunch, and an informative presentation. Club 99 is being highlighted this week. We have met great friends, and though we both struggle to find time for additional rotary activities, we are gratified by all the good work Club 99 is doing in the community. I have completed the requirements for a blue badge. Andrew, however, after 9 months, is still firmly a red badge — signifying a new membership. There is no color change in the near future for Andrew, and he seems un-phased by this status.
I head off to a 1:30 meeting with UA Little Rock’s Marketing and Communications team to discuss aspects of upcoming events, while Andrew heads to his office for afternoon meetings. The first meeting is regarding athletics. Both Andrew and I are Trojan Athletics fanatics and attend as many of the sporting events as time permits.
I rush home to begin cooking. Setting the table, selecting wines, and preparing the dining room are rituals I love. Welcoming guests to our home is one of our great pleasures.
Andrew is sitting at Faculty Senate where he multi-tasks. After giving his report he listens to the development of policy while drafting an agenda for tomorrow’s Board of Visitors meeting and pens a welcome address for an event later that week.
I drag Andrew to 10 Fitness for a workout.
Quick showers and then time to open the wines. We all, including the wine, take a deep breath. We savor a toast to the evening, “May it be filled with enjoyment for all present, and may everyone be inspired, encouraged and aware of how appreciative and grateful we are to have them in our lives.”
Guests arrive, and it turns out to be a lovely evening — great food, wine and conversation!
I clean up the kitchen — this is something I like to do! It’s a peaceful time of completion and a time of quiet contemplation. Andrew tries to help, but I shoo him into the den to catch the headlines on the news.
Lay out clothes. Ensure all is set for tomorrow’s meetings.
Books, bed, and gratefulness for one another, our lives, our work, and for our day.