On Monday, April 29, a delegation of Leo seniors traveled downtown to tour Ariel Investments and meet with John W. Rogers Jr., Ariel’s chairman, who ranks among the most prominent African-American businessmen in the Chicago area. Rogers, Vice-Chairman Charlie Bobrinskoy and Vice-President Malik Murray gave the students a primer on how investment firms work, with an emphasis on the stock market, which is Ariel’s specialty area.  

A product of Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, Rogers told the Leo party he was well aware of Leo through his friendship with Andy McKenna ’47, who received Leo’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016 for the impact he has had on the quality of life in Chicago.

Rogers played basketball at Princeton University, and he called Pete Carill, the Tigers’ Hall of Fame coach, the best and most influential teacher he ever had. Rogers said some of his best friends are men he has met through basketball, including former President Barack Obama, who immediately following his election in 2008 began putting together his transition team in the Ariel conference room where Monday’s meeting took place. 

Rogers credited the sense of teamwork and competitive instincts he developed on the basketball court with fueling his success in the business world and said he looks for similar attributes in the workers he hires.