Enterprise State mourns the loss of former president Matt Rodgers

Rodgers served as president of ESCC since 2017
Rodgers served as president of ESCC since 2017.
Published: Jun. 1, 2022 at 10:18 AM CDT
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ENTERPRISE, Ala. (WTVY) - Former Enterprise State Community College president Matt Rodgers has passed away. Rodgers, who retired from the position on May 1, has been battling colon cancer since 2021.

Rodgers served as the president of ESCC for the last five years.

Enterprise State released the following statement:

“Matt Rodgers was a great administrator, leader, father, and friend. He led by example every day, and he was always ready to offer a hand to help or support those who needed it. He touched the lives of those around him, and his legacy at this College is one that will endure for years to come. We are deeply saddened by the loss of Matt Rodgers. We will keep his family in our prayers.”

Before coming to ESCC, Rodgers was principal of Enterprise High School, a position he held for six years. Before that he was a high school teacher and coach at Enterprise, Andalusia, and Zion Chapel.

Enterprise mayor, Will Cooper released the following statement on Rodgers’ passing:

My heart is heavy with grief after learning of the death this morning of my close friend, Matt Rodgers.

Having worked with Matt in the Enterprise City School System for a number of years, I came to know and respect him as a steadfast friend, a genuine professional and a devoted family man who deeply loved his wife Stacy and son Liam.

I will miss our frequent phone calls and “drop by” visits to exchange advice, to talk about life, family and often, how we both could help others by working to improve our community.

Yes, Matt was a personal friend of mine, but more importantly, he was a personal friend of our city and all of the surrounding area. When he was principal at Enterprise High School and more recently as president of Enterprise State Community College, he demonstrated the ability to work well with people and make good things happen.

Matt was a man with vision who backed up his words and his ideas with actions, and we are all better for what he accomplished during his service in education.

He had a servant’s heart and a leader’s spirit, always interested in developing others to be the best they can be.

I think Matt was meant to be an educator. He took his role in shaping the lives of young people through education extremely seriously, and he continually worked to see that young people not only had a good foundation to start with, but also had new and wonderful opportunities to explore. His legacy will be the lives he positively influenced through emphasizing the basics in education while implementing programs that dramatically enhanced the prospect of the students’ future success.

For example, while at EHS, he was instrumental in the transformation of the Career Tech program, development of the dual enrollment partnership with ESCC and introducing the military/civilian connection program, Student2Student, among many other initiatives.

Since he took the reins at ESCC, Matt was instrumental in starting a much-needed nursing program, renovated buildings on the Enterprise and Ozark campuses and expanded the Aviation program.

He was a driving force in the partnership with the City of Enterprise that resulted in the donation of 20 acres of land adjoining the ESCC property off George C. Wallace Drive. We are in the process of developing that land into an additional recreation facility that will serve citizens throughout the community for many years to come, thanks in large part to Matt’s efforts.

Matt seemed to be motivated in all aspects of his life by his capacity to love.

He probably said it best in an informal, informative video to the ESCC student body in 2020:

“I’m very proud to be the president of this community college. I love this community. I love our students. I love our faculty and staff. All of us got into education because we wanted to make a difference and have a positive impact in the lives of those we teach and come in contact with.”

Our community has lost a great servant and visionary. We will truly miss him.

Mayor William E. Cooper

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