Lecturer in Business Administration/Entrepreneurship
1957 – 2006
The Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley lost a dedicated entrepreneurship lecturer on January 31, 2006, when Paul Rogers and his wife, Julie, were killed.
Paul Rogers was born on September 3, 1957, in Berkeley and was raised in nearby El Cerrito. He attended the University of California, Davis, where he graduated at the top of his class in 1983 with a degree in economics. While at Davis, he met and married Julie Ann Wycoff. They returned to the Bay Area upon graduation, and Paul entered the J.D./M.B.A. program at UC Berkeley. In 1988 he graduated in the top ten percent of his class at both Boalt Hall School of Law and the School of Business Administration (now the Haas School of Business).
Upon graduation, he was recruited by the prestigious San Francisco law firm of Howard Rice Nemerovsky, Canady, Falk & Rabkin, where he developed expertise in helping start-up companies. As he became more drawn into the world of entrepreneurs, Paul found that he wanted to do more than be their legal counsel; he wanted to mentor them, to teach them how to build better enterprises that were more likely to succeed. Ron Star, a fellow director at Howard Rice and long time lecturer in the entrepreneurship program at the Haas School of Business, presented him with the opportunity to return to his alma mater. In 1996, Star nominated him as Howard Rice’s representative on the Advisory Council of the UC Berkeley Entrepreneurs Forum at the Haas School. Paul’s active participation and obvious enthusiasm soon led to invitations as a guest lecturer.
As his experience in the classroom grew and his ability to teach was recognized, Paul was given more responsibility and latitude. In 2003, he left corporate law and San Francisco. With his longtime friend, Ross Meador, Paul opened a law firm in El Cerrito, to be closer to his family and to his teaching at Cal. By the fall semester of 2003, he was a lead lecturer in the Haas School’s flagship entrepreneurship class in the M.B.A. program. He was also actively mentoring the student teams in the Berkeley Entrepreneurship Laboratory, the university-affiliated incubator for start-up companies.
Paul was one of the dedicated adjunct faculty who make the teaching of entrepreneurship at Cal a priority while maintaining a full-time professional career. Having teaching faculty with this level of real-world expertise is the key to the excellence of the Haas entrepreneurship program. Paul gave much more than just time in the classroom. He took a personal interest in the students and their ideas and continued to mentor them long after classes ended. Many students and their companies flourish because he took the time to care.
The night before his death, after meeting with the new spring entrepreneurship class in the Evening M.B.A. Program, he stood outside on an unseasonably warm evening and reminisced with his co-instructor and longtime friend, Mark Coopersmith, on how they had progressed from guest speakers to lecturers with their own classes, noted the quality of the class, and rejoiced in how much he liked teaching. His enthusiasm, kindness and devotion to his students will be missed.
Paul and Julie are survived by their three minor children, Eric, Alexander and Laurel.
In recognition of the esteem in which his students held him, the M.B.A. Association established a memorial fund that will award scholarships to young people interested in entrepreneurial careers.