Over the past few years, senior sprinter Calvary Rogers has been almost untouchable in the Ivy League.
The numbers speak for themselves. He owns the school record in the 200-meter dash. He earned outdoor and indoor first team All-Ivy honors each of the last two years. He won the 200 at the Indoor and Outdoor Ivy League Heptagonal Championships last year. He was the freshman Team MVP.
Rogers is fast, but there’s a lot more to him than his results on the track. The list of extracurricular activities Rogers has been involved with is arguably more staggering than his list of athletic accomplishments. It's easy to see the lasting legacy he’ll leave at Penn beyond just track.
“Sophomore year, I was in everything,” Rogers said. “I was co-chair of UMOJA, [I] was in Undergraduate Assembly, [I] was doing a lot of university council work on the committee of diversity, [I] was still on the class board. I was kind of all over the place. I was everywhere.”
Rogers elaborated on his whirlwind of responsibilities:
“UMOJA is an umbrella organization for all black undergraduate organizations,” Rogers said. “At first, my involvement was very low-level, I was just passionate about the black community. But my sophomore fall, the GroupMe incident happened and my board had to take a really big role in making sure everyone felt safe and secure on campus, so I stepped into a bigger leadership role. My time at UMOJA has been a lot of fun.”
The GroupMe incident that Rogers alluded to involved a University of Tulsa student sending racist messages to several Penn freshman after the election of Donald Trump in November of 2016.
The above list of extracurriculars doesn’t even include all of Rogers' commitments. In his freshman year, he and two friends started a club called Penn Against Gun Violence.
“At that time, I felt really passionate about gun violence,” Rogers said. “I thought Philly was a really cool place to leverage that passion, so we created a board and started running events to bring awareness to gun control and those kind of issues. We got invited to this big non-profit called the Brady Campaign. They had a conference and invited us to speak.”
It’s clear that Rogers has been a part of a lot of clubs. However, at a competitive institution like Penn, he wanted to note that just being in a lot of clubs and having an impressive resume doesn’t actually change much.
“Sometimes I think we stretch ourselves too thin. We want to be on this board, and this other board, this position and that position. In reality, you’d be a much better leader if you just did one thing,” he said.
Understanding time management has allowed Rogers to become a more efficient leader for UMOJA. In addition, this shifted attitude in the way he approaches clubs and other extracurriculars has allowed him to make time for hobbies.
“I was able to start making music, coding,” he said. “Picking up hobbies is really cool. Just being able to use my time in a much more self-care way.”
After graduation, Rogers will be working for Google.
“I’m not coding [for Google], though, thank God,” he joked. “That’s just a hobby.”
In the meantime, however, he’ll stay as involved as possible in various student groups on campus, leading and being an excellent role model for incoming students of all demographics. It’s easy to be impressed by all Rogers has accomplished at Penn, completely separate from his athletic achievements. And he can still dust nearly anyone in race, too.
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