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'John Doe' who died was Brenau professor

POSTED: August 8, 2014 11:26 p.m.

GAINESVILLE — The man called "John Doe" found after suffering a heart attack in Gwinnett County has been identified as John Philip Rogers, an adjunct professor at Brenau University.

Rogers, 62, was taken to Gwinnett Medical Center after being found stricken July 26 along a Gwinnett roadside. He died Aug. 1.

According to Brenau spokesman David Morrison, Rogers had been teaching history courses on the Brenau North Atlanta/Norcross campus since 2005.

Rogers’ identity remained a mystery for days as police circulated photos of him taken in his hospital bed and asked for the public’s help.

Authorities were able to find Rogers’ son in California, who came to Georgia and made a positive identification Thursday.

“He was among the finest of the university’s cadre of adjunct professors,” said Jim Southerland, the retired provost and history department chair who hired Rogers to teach at Brenau. “He was always willing and eager to teach for us.

“He was an excellent teacher who was well liked and respected by his students. He was highly skilled in his use of technology in the classroom. I was impressed with his professionalism and his teaching skills.”

Rogers previously taught at Norcross and Irwin County high schools He was a U.S. Navy anti-submarine warfare specialist who retired from active reserves as a commander in 1999.

He also spent 10 years teaching at Georgia State University, where he had earned both education specialist and master’s degrees. He had undergraduate degrees from the University of North Carolina in geography and from Florida State University in history.

There are no details yet available on funeral arrangements.


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