A plea to recognize Roosevelt alumnus


This letter is a plea to the Kent community to raise awareness about an injustice that has been overlooked for years.

There once was a student walking the halls of Theodore Roosevelt High School whose athleticism was so special, so amazing to watch, that few will ever follow in his footsteps. He never asked for accolades or special favors from anyone. He was a four-sport athlete of all-star caliber, electrifying crowds that watched him compete in football, basketball, track and baseball. He set many records, including some that still stand today.

Upon graduation from high school, he enrolled at San Jose State University, but was susequently drafted and served our country in Vietnam, where he contracted Agent Orange and eventually paid the ultimate sacrifice, passing away in his 40s.

A testament to his character, Roger Boykin Sr. never asked to be recognized. Unfortunately, the city of Kent, the Kent City School District and the Kent City Schools Hall of Fame committee members have failed to recognize this man by inducting him into the Hall of Fame. Nobody has provided an explanation why this miscarriage of justice continues to this day. I hope this is not a personal vendetta.

The Boykin family deserves more. I implore all of Roger's former coaches, teachers, administrators, teammates and fellow students, along with members of the Kent community, to speak up and raise awareness that there is an empty spot in the Hall of Fame and that spot belongs to Roger Boykin Sr.

I will never forget the memories he left with me. It is finally time Roger Boykin Sr. receives this recognition that is long overdue. Induct him into the Hall of Fame.

John Thigpen, Kent

Want to leave your comments?

Sign in or Register to comment.

  • I just want to say roger was a wonderful person. I'm not sure who does the voting for this Hall of Fame for Theodore Roosevelt High School, but there was a gret number of wonderful boys and girls that did great at Roosevelt. This incudles myself who broke the half miles track record that had stood from 1934 till I broke it in 1963.  But it not me you need to put in, but all the great player boys & girls that went there.

  • Roger was a very special person. He broke my Father's 100 yds record.Roger had a god given talent when it came to sports. Kent sometimes forget it's hero. He should have been in the Kent Hall of Fame along time ago.