A UA Little Rock alumnus made the university’s annual Giving Day celebration even more special with the biggest donation of the day of $50,000.
Chris Meyer, president and CEO of James A. Rogers Excavating, Inc., made the donation March 29 to sponsor the Department of Construction Management and Civil and Construction Soil Laboratory at UA Little Rock.
“This gift will support the learning experiences of students in the Department’s majors in understanding the role that soils and soil testing are integral to contractors and engineers,” said Dr. Hank Bray, Chair of the Department of Management. construction and civil engineering and construction. “It will support equipment and training upgrades to maintain our leadership role in this area.”
Meyer runs James A. Rogers Excavating, a 37-employee family business where Meyer has worked since he was 18 years old.
“I was working and attending Pulaski Tech,” Meyer said. “At 20, I stopped going to school and started working full time. My grandfather came to tell me that it wasn’t going to work for him. He told me to go to construction management school. From 2008 to 2015, I attended night classes at UA Little Rock and worked full time to get us to where we are today. I went to school, I was educated, and I had on-the-job training. In 2016, my grandfather decided he was ready to retire, and that’s when I bought the business from him. »
Meyer said James A. Rogers Excavating has a history of giving back to the community and sponsoring organizations like Special Olympics. His gift to UA Little Rock is an investment in the next generation of construction management students.
“We try to give back to the community that has given us so much and try to create an atmosphere for the next generation,” Meyer said. “Being able to sponsor the Soils Lab is not just a construction project. Everything in life starts with a foundation. Soil is the base it all starts with, and I thought that was a good effort. There are so many people who want to go to college and further their education. Ninety percent of the project managers in this field are construction management graduates from UA Little Rock. Hopefully there will be a payback, and they want to call James A. Rogers Excavating when they graduate.
Meyer also works with his parents, Ken and Sheri Meyer, who both said Chris always helps others, but rarely takes credit for his good work.
“At James A Rogers Excavating, we don’t see ourselves as a team,” said Ken Meyer, Senior Account Manager. “We consider ourselves a family, and there are 37 members in this family. Chris is very generous and humble. He often assists employees who need vehicle repairs and financial assistance. He pays them and then allows the employees to reimburse the company. He would rather sit in the shadows and let everyone else get the credit and the praise. That’s how he’s been all his life.
“Chris is very determined every time he sets a goal,” acknowledged Sheri Meyer. “He puts everyone before himself and makes sure his employees are taken care of.”
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