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Beloved Golden Bear Zoë Rogers Passes Away

Oct 30, 2020
Zoë Rogers Supported Her Team, Her School And Her Community

Zoë Rogers, a sophomore goalkeeper on the Cal field hockey team, passed away unexpectedly on Thursday.
Rogers, a native of Hatfield, Pennsylvania, graduated from Gwynedd Mercy Academy before joining the Golden Bears in 2019. Rogers did not compete in any games last season, but she provided support at every contest on the sidelines and did whatever she could to help her Bears prosper. 

In addition to her drive to succeed on the pitch and in the classroom, Rogers also gave back to her community in numerous ways. She was a member of the executive board of the Black Student-Athlete Committee (BSAC). In her local community back home, she served on the board of Common Bondz, a not-for-profit organization focused on educating what drives racism and bias against African Americans. Most recently, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Rogers returned home to be a mentor for the current students at her high school. 

"Zoë was a true individual that brought another layer to the tapestry of our team. She was unselfish, hard working and caring. She quietly gave back to community wherever she went, whether in Berkeley or Pennsylvania. She raised our awareness of racial justice and helped us begin to form a plan for change. She helped this team grow as players, teammates and people. We will miss her tremendously and remember her always."
- Donna Fong Director of Field Hockey Shellie Onstead

"We are absolutely heartbroken over the news about Zoë Rogers, and we offer our sincerest condolences to her family, friends, teammates and everyone who knew her. Zoë was not only a member of our field hockey team, but of our entire Cal family. She was a leader on her team and among our entire student-athlete community. Her life was taken far too soon, and we will forever keep her memory in our hearts. She will always be a Golden Bear."
- Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton

"Zoë loved field hockey. Her love of the sport was second to her passion and desire to get more young African American females to play and open up opportunities like she had. We talked often about how CommonBondz could help her with the diversity work she was doing at Cal. Though she is gone, we will continue to promote her passion in her memory."
- Mike DeCandido, Co-Founder and Board Chair, CommonBondz

"Zoë was the first participant to sign up for our partnership program, matching someone who is African American with someone who is white so they can get to know each other better. Zoë was very comfortable in sharing her personal experiences related to racism and her challenges with it each day. She was also comfortable in pushing all races to address bias and discrimination in a collaborative manner. While she was a young board member, she was a leader. We will miss her smile, insight and passion immensely." 
- Mike DeCandido, Co-Founder and Board Chair, CommonBondz

"Zoë always had a beautifully calculated energy about her. When we found ourselves together in social contexts, she always had the most astute observations about the interactions people were having and its interplay with our place there. Along with that, on the BSAC board, Zoë had the talent of reigning us in when we're indecisive about an idea or plan, and really pushing us to think concretely about execution and impact. Zoë always looked forward to community building with true passion, which is something that can get lost so easily with the business of college life. She also always brought a sense of maturity to the room, that feeling that what we were doing, what we were building would be imbued with the gravity to make real change."
- Adam Saleh, BSAC Program Coordinator.

Click here to give a donation to Zoë's family for funeral costs.