Since its incorporation in 1998, the Thomas A. Rodgers, Jr. Family Foundation has donated more than thirty million dollars to schools and charities in the greater Fall River and New Bedford townships of Massachusetts, as well as charities and organizations in Newport County, Rhode Island. The Foundation is organized exclusively for charitable, religious, scientific, literary and educational purposes.
In 2022, the Foundation donated more than one and a half million dollars to schools and charities in the greater Fall River area and Newport County.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Sarah Rodgers McNeill – President and Chairperson, Board of Directors
Thomas A. Rodgers, IV – Treasurer and Member, Board of Directors
Robert F. Stoico – Member, Board of Directors
The Thomas A. Rodgers, Jr. Family Foundation and the greater Rodgers family have long been benefactors of the university founded by the Sisters of Mercy in Newport, R.I. In 2000, the Rodgers Recreational Center opened in honor of Thomas, Jr. And on National Nurses Day in May, 2016, Salve Regina University officially dedicated the Rodgers Family Department of Nursing in honor of Thomas A. Rodgers, III. Through a one-million-dollar grant from the Thomas A. Rodgers, Jr. Family Foundation, the university established a Graduate Program in Nursing.
The Massachusetts public community college with campuses in Fall River, New Bedford, Taunton and Attleboro is the recipient of two endowed scholarships from the Thomas A. Rodgers, Jr. Family Foundation. The Ella A. Rodgers Scholarship Fund, named in honor of Thomas, Jr.’s mother, who was a strong proponent of access to education, provides an annual scholarship to a student who’s a resident of Fall River, Assonet, Somerset, Swansea, Tiverton or Westport, who demonstrates financial need and/or scholastic merit. And the Globe Manufacturing Scholarship was the first broad philanthropic endeavor by Thomas, Jr.
The Thomas A. Rodgers, Jr. Family Foundation supports scholarships and teacher sponsorships at the Nativity Preparatory School in New Bedford, Massachusetts. The school was founded in the fall of 2000 at the request of a sponsoring foundation to start a tuition-free school in New Bedford for boys from families who would otherwise not have been able to afford private school. No tuition is charged; funds are raised through contributions from friends, sponsors, corporations and foundations. Nativity Prep enrolls about sixty students and offers a life-changing experience through educational enrichment to committed and promising young men of New Bedford, and emphasizes a student’s responsibility to give back to their community.
The Thomas A. Rodgers, Jr. Family Foundation proudly supports:
May 5, 2016
Salve Regina Names Nursing Department to Honor Multi-Generational Support of Rodgers Family
Read more at WhatsUpNewp.com
April 22, 2014
$1 million gift supports new graduate program at Salve Regina University
Read more at The Providence Journal
April 23, 2014
Salve Regina Announces Graduate Nursing Program with $1M Gift
Read more at GoLocalProv.com
Philanthropist, Businessman, Inventor
From its origins in the late 1980’s, the Thomas A. Rodgers, Jr. Family Foundation has had an academic impact on students’ lives.
The Foundation has contributed greatly to two scholarship funds at Bristol Community College in Fall River, Mass.: the Globe Manufacturing Company Scholarship and the Ella A. Rodgers Memorial Scholarship. Both scholarships were created by Thomas and the latter was in conjunction with his brother, William, in honor of their late mother, who was a staunch proponent of the benefits of education.
Born in Fall River in 1914, Thomas grew up in the Maplewood section of the city. He attended the University of Rhode Island and Providence College. While working for the Firestone tire and rubber company in the early 1940’s, Thomas developed a unique process for extruding fine rubber threads.
In 1947, after departing Firestone, Thomas founded the Globe Manufacturing Company, of which he was the president and CEO, in Fall River. Under Thomas’s direction, Globe patented and marketed two types of Spandex, “Glospan” and “Cleerspan,” for use by a wide array of apparel manufacturers.
In his travels around the world, Thomas grew an appreciation for the need of education, one that his mother held dearly. Thomas founded his first scholarship program, the Globe Manufacturing Scholarship, at Bristol Community College in 1988. In 1990, he and his brother William established a second scholarship at Bristol Community College, the Ella A. Rodgers Scholarship Fund, in honor of their mother, Ella. Both scholarships have helped more than 260 students in their academic careers at the community college.
In the 1960’s Thomas took on a new endeavor as developer of Goat Island in Newport, R.I. Thomas developed a marina, condominiums and a resort hotel on the roughly 20-acre island that today is a tourist destination for visitors to Newport.
Thomas served on the board of directors for FIRSTFED AMERICA BANCORP, INC. and St. Anne’s Hospital in Fall River, as well as Salve Regina University in Newport. Thomas was a great benefactor to Salve Regina, and The Rodgers Recreation Center (bottom) is named in his honor. He also received the Benefactor Award of the National Council of Resources Development while he served as a member of the Bristol Community College Foundation.
As Thomas transitioned away from Globe Manufacturing his son, Thomas, III, took over running the company and grew it to one the three largest producers of natural latex thread worldwide. Thomas, III continued his father’s philanthropy through the foundation. In particular, Thomas, III’s donation of one-million dollars to Salve Regina University in 2014 led to the creation of a graduate program in nursing.
Today, Thomas, Jr.’s grandchildren, Sarah and Thomas, IV, manage the foundation along with Robert F. Stoico, the retired Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of FIRSTFED AMERICA BANCORP, INC. and a longtime friend of the Rodgers family.
Founded the Globe Manufacturing Company Scholarship at Bristol Community College
Founded the Ella A. Rodgers Scholarship at Bristol Community College
Rodgers Family Recreation Center opened at Salve Regina University
Nursing Graduate Program created at Salve Regina University
The Thomas A. Rodgers, Jr. Family Foundation is organized exclusively for charitable, religious, scientific, literary and educational purposes within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. The Foundation primarily supports non-profit organizations in Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Programs of Interest
The Foundation focuses its resources to benefacting its main interests in:
The Thomas A. Rodgers, Jr. Family Foundation operates primarily in Southeastern New England, benefitting students from the greater Fall River area, defined as a resident of Fall River, Assonet, Somerset, Swansea, Tiverton or Westport, who demonstrates financial need and/or scholastic merit. The Foundation also supports similar programs in Newport County, Rhode Island.
The Foundation does not support any programs, organizations or institutions whose policy, either tacitly or indirectly, discriminates or whose interests are not in the best interest of the Foundation, its representatives, affiliates or communities served.
The Foundation will not offer funding or support for the following:
To request funding, please complete our online application. Be sure to complete the requested fields on the form. You will need to upload (attach) all of the requested supporting documentation, including a cover letter, project proposal, project budget, annual report and IRS determination letter. Once you complete the application, press the submit button at the bottom of the form for delivery to the foundation.
Grants are bestowed on a yearly basis. Requests for a grant in a particular year must be filed by April 15 of that year.
The Thomas A. Rodgers, Jr. Family Foundation
P.O. Box 159
Newport, RI 02840