New Mexico nurse honored at NMSU

DATE: 04/10/2019
WRITER: Angel Mendez, 575-646-1795,
CONTACT: Tina Byford, 575-646-1613,

A three-time New Mexico State University graduate, Suzan Reeder Rogers, is now a new face and legacy added to the School of Nursing’s Wall of Excellence.

With a 20-year career primarily focused in orthopedics, Suzan joins fellow nurses honored on the Nursing Wall of Excellence, who have committed their lives to the nursing profession. After Suzan passed away in 2018, her husband and 1963 NMSU alumnus, Charlie Rogers, found a way to make her legacy live on.

“I want Suzan’s name and her love of NMSU – she always stayed a true Aggie – to carry on,” Charlie said. “I also want to support women who are, like Suzan was, working hard to get their degrees to make a career and be independent.”

The funds that are used to add someone to the Nursing Wall of Excellence support scholarships for NMSU nursing students. Yet, Charlie took it one step further, starting a separate endowed scholarship – the Suzan Reeder Rogers Endowed Scholarship – for female, nursing students who are juniors or seniors and maintain a 3.0 grade point average.

“Suzan’s career in nursing is inspiring and one that will continue to inspire Aggie students day in and day out as an honoree on our Nursing Wall of Excellence,” said Sonya Cooper, interim dean of the College Health and Social Services. “We’re grateful for Charlie and his family’s investment in our students, who are graduating from NMSU to fill high-demand careers in our state, nation and world.”

Suzan’s career started at NMSU in 1960. She majored in physical education, ran track, was a cheerleader and joined Chi Omega sorority. She graduated with her bachelor’s degree in 1964 and a master’s degree in science in 1969. Suzan made Las Cruces home and raised two children, Jeff and Sandie Brilliant. She later graduated in 1986 with her third degree from NMSU – this time, in nursing. Two years later, she married Charlie and lived and worked in California, Texas and Rhode Island before eventually settling in Albuquerque.

“Suzan loved being a nurse,” Charlie said. “She loved working as a team with the other nurses. She made great friends with some of them, too. And, she loved helping people get better. She got great satisfaction from giving care to patients who’d come in suffering, and then watching them leave on their own two feet.”

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