University of Pittsburgh students, faculty and staff joined people around Pittsburgh and across the country today in remembering beloved Pittsburgher Joanne Rogers, longtime spouse of the late Fred Rogers of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” fame. She died Jan. 14 at 92 years old.
An accomplished concert pianist and an arts advocate, Rogers carried on her husband’s work in recent years as board chair of Fred Rogers Productions.
The Rogers family and his groundbreaking television show had many connections to the University of Pittsburgh. Writing in The New York Times Magazine, Jeanne Marie Laskas, Distinguished Professor of English in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, offered a warm description: “Mention her name to anyone around town who knows her, and you’ll very likely be rewarded with a fabulous grin. She’s funny. She laughs louder and bigger than just about anyone I know, to the point where it can go into a snort, which makes her go full-on guffaw.”