A monument to a reformer martyred under the reign of Bloody Mary sits outside of Coleman Hall on the campus of Babson College. Born in 1505 in Birmingham, England, John Rogers studied the Bible, met William Tyndale, and left the Catholic faith to translate one of the first English bibles at the time.
He continued to preach against “pestilent Popery, idolatry and superstition,” and was eventually sentenced to death at the stake in 1555 for denouncing the Catholic church—the first person to be martyred under Mary I’s rule.
So, why is this monument on the campus of Babson College, thousands of miles and hundreds of years away from the death of John Rogers? Roger Babson, the founder of Babson College, claimed John Rogers as an ancestor, and considered him influential. “When I think of [him] … I feel ashamed of myself for the little effort I am making to increase Bible reading,” Babson wrote.