John Francis Rogers
1st Knight Commander
Alpha–Washington & Lee University, 1867
John Francis Rogers has the distinction of becoming the Order’s first Knight Commander, the creation of the office being necessitated by the formation of Beta at the Virginia Military Institute and Gamma at the University of Georgia. Born in Macon, Georgia, in 1847, Rogers was initiated by Alpha Chapter on March 18, 1868, less than two months before being elected Knight Commander on May 1, 1868. After serving as the first Knight Commander, Rogers followed his initial term with a second. He oversaw Alpha, Beta, and Gamma, all of which were established before his election, and later became a member of the Macon Alumni Association and represented the group at several Conventions. He was a prominent merchant of Macon in the company George F. Rogers & Sons, wholesale grocers. He died in Macon on August 4, 1910 and is buried there.