We mourn the loss and celebrate the life of Margaret Jonsson Rogers, who passed away on January 25, 2021. Mrs. Rogers was born in Dallas, where she eventually raised her family, was an involved community member, and a generous philanthropist. Though she was an avid Dallasite, she led a full life that included training and education across the U.S. She spent two years of her early life training as a professional ice skater in Colorado Springs, CO, with future U.S. Olympic Team skaters. She attended The Hockaday School in Dallas and graduated from the Skidmore College in Saratoga, NY. She then returned to Texas and made her mark on our community in profound ways.
Her many contributions – whether it be through a charitable gift or her service as a board member – benefitted numerous local nonprofits and organizations. The intersection between her passion for art, health care, and community development was apparent through the institutions she devoted her time to and invested in, including the National Gallery of Art, the Dallas Museum of Art, the UCLA Comprehensive Cancer Center, Charlton Methodist Hospital, and UT Southwestern Medical Center.
“It was a wonderful gift and joy to know Margaret Rogers. Spending time together always brought great insight and fun which she combined with serious conversation about how the medical needs in our city could be met, and the medical heroes she deeply admired could be honored. I will miss her so much and in so many ways.”
Kathleen M. Gibson, President and CEO of Southwestern Medical Foundation
Mrs. Rogers made several generous gifts to Southwestern Medical Foundation in support of a variety of causes at UT Southwestern. Through the Margaret Jonsson Family Foundation, she established or supported many funds for research programs and faculty, including the Margaret Jonsson Rogers Fund for Blood Cancers Translational Research in Honor of Robert Collins, M.D., the Margaret Jonsson Rogers Chair in Clinical Excellence, in Honor of Hugh McClung, M.D., and the Mr. and Mrs. Ben H. Sparkman Internal Medicine Fund. She was also a generous donor to the Campaign to build the William P. Clements, Jr. University Hospital at UT Southwestern.
Together, Mrs. Rogers and her husband, Robert D. Rogers, made a remarkable impact at UT Southwestern. They established the Robert D. Rogers Stroke Center and both created and significantly contributed to a Distinguished Chair in Hematology-Oncology in honor of Drs. Cynthia and John Rutherford.
Mrs. Rogers served on the President’s Advisory Board at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Mr. Rogers served on the Board as a Trustee for 35 years and led as an Investment Committee member, Audit Committee member, and Public Affairs Committee member. Margaret Rogers’ brother, Phillip R. Jonsson, also served as a Trustee for 23 years and an Honorary Trustee for 22 years.
Margaret Rogers’ civic leadership runs in the family. The Jonsson family represents a line of established community members who have supported our region in tremendous ways.
Her father, John Erik Jonsson, led remarkable innovation and growth in the Dallas community. He was the co-founder and later the President of Texas Instruments (TI) and served as the Mayor of Dallas from 1964 to 1971. During his time as Mayor, he supported the work of UT Southwestern researchers Drs. Joseph Goldstein and Michael Brown, who went on to become Nobel Laureates.
John Erik Jonsson had a tremendous legacy at Southwestern Medical Foundation. He served on the Board of Trustees and was the recipient of the 1993 Community Service Award, now known as The Sprague Award – our highest community distinction.
The generosity and leadership of philanthropists in our region have made medical progress possible for decades. We remain grateful for the vision of founders, like the Jonsson family, and the legacy that Margaret Rogers and her family created.