News

The Farmer School Celebrates the Life and Lasting Legacy of FG "Buck Rodgers"

July 2014

With great sadness and even greater respect, the Farmer School announces the passing of one of our truly exceptional alumni, Buck Rodgers (MU '50). While many will remember him for his unparalleled career at IBM and his bestselling books, to us, his most enduring legacy is the passion for learning and engaging with students that was the nexus for the groundbreaking Farmer School Buck Rodgers Business Leadership Program.

The program's mission, "transforming the business students of today and building the passionate leaders of tomorrow" and his trademark Five Pillars of Leadership - Personal Reflection, Diversity, Community, Service, Communication and Organizational Leadership form the core of the Buck Rodgers Business Leadership Program. This powerful combination has elevated the leadership skills of hundreds of Farmer School students, and will continue to provide invaluable tools and transformational self-awareness to future generations of students.

After graduating with a bachelor's degree, majoring in management, Buck started a career with IBM as a sales trainee and steadily moved up the marketing ranks because of his absolute dedication to customer satisfaction and belief that a company's organizational structure should be inverted with the customer at the top, and sales reps and management underneath. Buck retired from IBM in 1984, after serving for 10 years as IBM's vice president for marketing. During that decade, the company's revenues increased from $10 billion to nearly $50 billion.

Buck has been a constant positive force at the Farmer School, talking with students, serving on our Business Advisory Council and providing insights gained from his illustrious career. He was an exceptional communicator who distinguished himself with poise and grace and was quick to deflect praise, preferring to elevate those around him. We are better as a School, and as individuals because of his kindness, generosity and passion.