facebook pixel
skip to main content

Ouachita Stories


Rickey Rogers (’02), Dean of Students and Director of Residence Life

Lydia (Gutierrez) Rogers (’02), Senior Woman Administrator and Director of Athletic Compliance

Photo of Rickey and Lydia RogersDecember 14, 2021 - Jon Merryman

Rickey and Lydia Rogers have developed more than 20 years of history at Ouachita, in part due to simple geography. With Rickey recruited to play football from six hours away in Mississippi and Lydia coming from six hours away in Texas, Ouachita and Arkadelphia were right in the middle – which made attending college and settling after graduation here between their families a perfect fit.

They’ve made their mark on campus in a variety of ways over the years, but always making a direct impact on students. Lydia previously taught Spanish and served as a resident director and now is senior woman administrator in the Department of Athletics and director of athletic compliance; she earned a B.A. in accounting from Ouachita in 2002. Rickey previously served as a football coach and resident director and now is dean of students and director of residence life. He earned a B.A. in physical education from Ouachita in 2002 and an M.S. in clinical mental health counseling from Henderson State University in 2012 and currently is pursuing a doctoral degree in higher education leadership and management from Regent University.

“Always learning, growing and improving would be my three words to describe Rickey Rogers and his work in student development,” said Dr. Wesley Kluck, vice president for student development. “My other three words to describe him as a person are honest, fair and committed. It has been a true pleasure to have Rickey as a valuable team member over the past few years. I value his friendship and devotion to Christ, his family and to Ouachita.”

Serving as dean of students can be a difficult role, but Rickey said he enjoys the challenge.

“I want students to walk away knowing I’m not out to get anyone,” he said. “I want to be consistent, and I like my work most when a student leaves my office feeling I was fair. What I enjoy most, though, is interacting with students I wouldn’t have seen in my previous roles on campus.”

" This year speaks volumes of the resiliency of Ouachita students. "
Dr. Rickey Rogers

The Rogerses credit many Ouachita faculty and staff for encouraging them during their time as students and seek to do the same in their roles on staff. Lydia said she enjoys “paying it forward” and getting to know student-athletes along their journey at Ouachita.

“Lydia Rogers has been a tremendous asset to Ouachita athletics,” said David Sharp, director of athletics. “She has such a heart for working with our student-athletes and has commanded a great deal of respect both from students and our entire athletics staff.”

“I tell myself I’m not going to get attached to these students; they’re just going to graduate soon!” she said. “And then I get to know the students and their stories and become a part of their lives, and I love it. To see the transformation and growth in the lives of our student-athletes over their time here is so rewarding.”

Both Rogerses saw how the pandemic put extra strain on Ouachita students.

“I saw students go from straight A students to students who struggled to just focus,” Lydia said. “I tried to show the students how to see the good and not the bad and let them know they weren’t alone.”

“I think this year speaks volumes of the resiliency of Ouachita students,” Rickey added. “There are some unbelievably difficult situations that many students had to overcome to finish this year. I try to remember that although my environment seems to be entering some type of normalcy, there are many still trying to figure out what normal will look like after this year of difficulty.”

Rickey and Lydia live in Arkadelphia with their children, Rickey Jr. (’24), Reyna (’25) and Ryan, and are active members of First Baptist Church Arkadelphia.

Jon MerrymanBy Jon Merryman, director of alumni relations