Carr Central to honor Rogers, Shaw at reunion Rhodes scholar, pro football hall-of-famer chosen by alumni for honors at Friday event

Published 12:42 am Sunday, September 30, 2012

Graduates of Carr Central High School will honor two of their most distinguished classmates during their biennial reunion Friday at the Vicksburg Convention Center.

Alumni will honor 1944 graduate George Rogers and 1957 graduate Billy Shaw, reunion organizer Ethel Pickens said. Rogers was a Rhodes Scholar in 1949 and Shaw was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999.

“They have brought such great honor to Carr Central — the only Rhodes Scholar out of Vicksburg and the only NFL hall-of-famer out of Carr Central,” Pickens said.

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After graduation, Rogers entered the U.S. Army and worked as an interpreter and interrogator in Japan. Following his military service, he attended Yale University and received the Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University in England. When Rogers returned from England, he earned a law degree from Ole Miss and served 20 years in the Mississippi Legislature. He joined the CIA in 1978 and retired in 1992. He and his wife, Muriel, live in Oakton, Va.

Shaw attended Georgia Tech where he played offensive and defensive line. He was drafted in 1961 by both the Buffalo Bills of the American Football League and the Dallas Cowboys of the National Football League before the two leagues consolidated. Shaw chose to play with the Bills and earned All-AFL honors five times. He was the first member of the Pro Football Hall of fame to play his entire career in the AFL.

Graduates decided to honor Rogers and Shaw while the reunion was still a large-scale event, Pickens said. In 2014, Carr Central Alumni plan to move the reunion to Vicksburg City Auditorium, she said.

In 2004, more than 700 graduates attended the first Carr Central Reunion, but the number of living graduates is fading.

“We don’t have 700 alive any more. We’re fast dying out,” Pickens said. “I don’t expect more than 300 this time.”

Carr closed in 1979 after it functioned as a junior high school for 21 years. It served as Carr Central High School from 1932 to 1958, when it was replaced by H.V. Cooper High School. The structure was built in 1924 and named for John P. Carr, the superintendent of Vicksburg schools at the time.