F. Roland Sargent was born on September 5, 1907 in Saginaw where he resided all his life. After graduating from Saginaw High School in 1924, he earned a B.S (1928) and J.D (1931) degrees from the University of Michigan.
During the European theater campaign in Germany, Sargent served on Dwight Eisenhower’s judge advocate staff. While there, he and General Eisenhower discussed the German autobahn system of highways and foresaw the same thing happening in postwar Unite States.
Upon discharge with rank of Colonel, Sargent, known as Rolly, returned to Saginaw to enter his father’s business, Bridgeport Core Sand Company. It became Sargent Sand with Sargent as president. Still in touch with then President Eisenhower, Sargent convinced his father to pursue the highway construction business.
A huge public works project was in full swing with the passage of the Federal-aid Highway Act in 1956 which funded the construction of a 41,000 mile network of interstate highways that would span the nation. Sargent Sand subsequently paved Interstate Highway 75 from the Kentucky border to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Upon completion of the project, Eisenhower sent him an engraved brass plate” One Mile in One Day”.
Sargent was president and director of Sargent Sand Company, Michigan Gypsum Company, Saginaw Rock Products, Bay Asphalt and Sargent Dredging Corporation. He was vice president of Ludington and Northern Railway. He served as a member of the Board of Directors of Second National Bank for twenty years.
His law career included many years as assistant district attorney for the City of Saginaw and prosecuting attorney for the County of Saginaw.
In 1978, the University of Michigan named the F. Roland Sargent Research Laboratory, site of microsurgery for the replacement of severed limbs after the loyal UM alumnus.
F. Roland Sargent died on December 2, 1983.
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