Morgan’s Message

Bridgewater College Student Meredyth Rankin Creates New Club On-Campus


Morgan Rodgers, center, after a game during her freshman season for the women’s lacrosse team at Duke University. Rogers’ life created a legacy which provides a safe space for processing difficult topics and emotions, and makes people feel less alone in each Morgan’s Message chapter.

Jordan Davis, Staff Writer

Bridgewater, Va. – Sophomore Meredyth Rankin is Bridgewater College’s Ambassador for Morgan’s Message and the President of the BC Chapter of Morgan’s Message. Morgan’s Message is a club named after the short lived life of Morgan Rodgers.

Morgan’s Message strives to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health within the student-athlete community and to equalize the treatment of physical and mental health in athletics. This program aims to expand the dialogue on mental health by normalizing conversations, empowering those who suffer in silence and supporting those who feel alone.

Morgan Rodgers was a beloved daughter, sister, friend and teammate. Rodgers was considered a bright student, talented athlete and a gifted artist by her family, peers and teachers. Rodgers’ passionate and energetic personality not only inspired those around her, but provided love and laughter to all. 

As an underclassmen in high school, Rodgers was scouted by numerous division 1 women’s Lacrosse programs, but chose Duke University to continue her dream of earning a great education while playing the sport she loves. Rogers began experiencing high levels of anxiety in her senior year of high school, but received beneficial professional help to cope with her issues. 

Prior to Rogers’ sophomore season as a Blue Devil, Rogers endured a heartbreaking knee injury that led to the next 12 months of her life undergoing surgeries and an intensive rehabilitation program to return to the field. 

However, during this abrupt change in Rogers’ life, she felt that she not only lost control of her life, but struggled with comprehending her own self-worth. Rogers’ anxiety and depression returned when she began feeling isolated from her team, suffered through stressful relationships and felt that she was not living up to her expectations.

Although Rogers’ friends, family and teammates always saw her with a happy face, they failed to realize the mental battles she was having within herself. 

As a result, Rogers died by suicide in July of 2019 at the age of 22. 

Morgan’s Message was co-founded by Dona Rodgers, Aberle Rodgers, Clare Kehoe and Meaghan Birnie.

Currently, Morgan’s Message has 212 ambassadors, with Meredyth Rankin being one, on 53 high school campuses and 72 college campuses — including Bridgewater College. 

“I am the link between the national organization of Morgan’s Message and the BC Chapter of the organization,” said Rankin. “I will lead our chapter meetings, oversee any fundraising events and report back to the national organization about our progress as a chapter.”

“While this club will allow me to gain experience in discussing mental health with athletes, that is not my main focus. This club means so much more,” says Rankin. 

Rankin felt extremely connected to not only Rogers’ story, but the proximity of where the story occurred. Rogers grew up in the same town as Rankin and was friends with a few girls Rankin knew from school and soccer. While Rankin never personally met Rogers, she saw the impact that Rogers had on people.

“I heard stories of the amazing woman she was and it broke my heart,” says Rankin. 

Rankin strives to bring more mental health resources on campus, especially for student-athletes. 

“I feel as though mental health is not talked about enough at Bridgewater because there is more support for physical health than there is for mental and emotional health,” expresses Rankin.  “Of course, there are many outlets, i.e. counseling services, for students, but the lack of conversation between coaches and athletes, professors and students and teammates/peers/friends allows for there to be a stigma surrounding the topic of mental health.”

When Rankin noticed that people from her hometown started their own chapter of Morgan’s Message at their school, Rankin felt it would be extremely beneficial for BC to have a chapter as well to encourage students to seek help. 

Rankin, and the forty other students on campus that have joined the Bridgewater’s Chapter of Morgan’s Message, feel that stigma of mental health should not exist and the creation of Morgan’s Message works towards eliminating it. 

“Throughout my life, I have been exposed to the importance of emphasizing mental health from friends, teammates and coaches,” said Rankin. “When I heard about Morgan’s Message and its mission, I knew it would be a great opportunity to help other collegiate athletes and non-athletes find comfort in discussing their mental health.”

Rogers’ legacy is elevated through her story to provide a platform where others feel safe to share their own, be a catalyst for change within mental healthcare systems and foster a community for which a greater tomorrow exists. 

Bridgewater College’s Chapter of Morgan’s Message will have their first meeting where all students are welcomed to join on Sunday, April 11 at 8 p.m. on Zoom to discuss the goals for the upcoming semester. 

If anyone is interested in joining the club or attending a meeting, email Rankin at [email protected] or send a Direct Message on Instagram @morgansmessageatbh2o or Twitter @mmatbh2o for the Zoom link or more information.