Priscilla Sue Rogers of Ann Arbor, associate professor emerita of management communication in the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, died May 3 in Singapore, where she resided for several months annually with her life partner, Gunter Dufey, professor emeritus of corporate strategy, international business and finance.
Born Priscilla Marquardt on March 5, 1949, in Lansing, her parents were Elmer Fred Marquardt, a pastor, and Doris Goehring Marquardt, a teacher. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of Michigan in 1986 and joined the faculty at the Ross School, where she founded and directed the MBA Writing Program and the Business Communication Program, mentoring faculty and building advocacy for the discipline.
She also taught in the Global MBA Program in Ann Arbor, as well as in South Korea and Japan. She served as a visiting professor for many years at the Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration (now Aalto University) and at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.
A prolific scholar, Rogers published numerous articles, book chapters and cases, for which she won many honors, including the Association for Business Communication’s Outstanding Researcher Award in 1999 and the Outstanding Article in the International Journal of Business Communication in 2005 and 2008.
She also was lauded as a teacher and received many honors, including the Ross Outstanding Teacher Award for the Global MBA Program in 2016 and the ABC Meada Gibbs Outstanding Teacher-Scholar Award in 2017. She received ABC’s highest honor, the Fellow Award in 2020.
After her retirement in 2017, Rogers mentored young scholars and incoming ABC leaders and collaborated on scholarly projects. She also wrote a valuable article about her own journey as a teacher-scholar, published in the collection The Business Communication Profession. At her death, she was actively working on a long-researched book-in-progress.
In the words of an ABC leader, Jacob Rawlings of Brigham Young University: “The contributions Pris Rogers made to the study of business communication place her among the giants in our discipline.”
Many pursuits characterized Rogers’ life beyond her profession. Beginning at the age of 3 when she sang a solo on the radio, singing was a primary activity of her youth. She won a college scholarship for her singing, and during summers sang the lead in a trio that traveled across the country.
Throughout her life, she loved painting, and in later years painted large abstract art works. A cat lover, she helped care for feral cats in her Singapore neighborhood, even saving one caught in a drainpipe and flying it back to Ann Arbor. Naming the cat Pipy, she wrote a charming children’s story about the rescue.
During her last months in Singapore, Rogers worked many hours on the board of her Ann Arbor community association, attending meetings remotely and writing extensive reports.
Rogers is survived by her life partner, Gunter Dufey of Singapore and Ann Arbor, with whom she celebrated their 33 years together at a party in February; her brother, Paul Marquardt (Pat Plasko) of Kalamazoo; and her sister, Patrice Marquardt (Tom Cummins) of Marshall.
A memorial service took place in Singapore on May 6, and a service in Ann Arbor will be announced soon. An informal memorial gathering will take place in October at the ABC International Conference in Denver.
— Submitted by faculty colleagues at the Ross School