Sitting prominently on the desk of Frank Roach ’73 is a wooden box inscribed with the motto of St. Catherine’s School in Richmond, Virginia, where his wife and daughters are alumnae. It reads:
“What we keep we lose; only what we give remains our own.”
“It’s a reminder to me of what is truly important,” Roach explains.
Supporting Hampden-Sydney is one of the things Roach considers truly important. He has generously shared his time and talents by serving as a Trustee, as a member of the Wilson Center Advisory Board, a mentor to Wilson Center Fellows, and a member of the James Madison Society.
Recently, he and his wife, Mary, made a significant gift to create an endowed professorship in the Department of Economics and Business to support the curricular offerings in finance. “Finance is an important foundational element of business,” Roach says. “We were able to identify an area of personal interest and overall, the process was easy.”
“There are so many options that allow you to accommodate your current lifestyle financially,” he continues. “All gifts have an impact and support Hampden-Sydney’s mission to form good men and good citizens.”
Roach graduated with a degree in history in 1973, studying under legendary Squires Professor Emeritus of History Ron Heinemann. After taking a gap year working in construction, Roach received his MBA from William & Mary. He entered Ferguson Enterprise’s training program in 1976 and retired as CEO 41 years later.
“When I interviewed with the CEO of Ferguson, he reminded me of Ron Heinemann,” he recalls. “Dr. Heinemann brought passion and enthusiasm to the classroom every day. He was one of the greatest influences on my life both personally and professionally. I wanted to work for a company whose leader had the qualities Dr. Heinemann possessed.”
“During my tenure at Ferguson, we recruited from 28 universities and Hampden-Sydney,” Roach continues. “The liberal arts preparation equipped Hampden-Sydney men to compete with anyone at any level. Ferguson has a long history of providing Hampden-Sydney graduates with career opportunities. I was proud to continue that tradition and can attest the company was a beneficiary of their many talents.”
Former Hampden-Sydney President W. Taylor Reveley II was another whose leadership qualities made a lasting impression on Roach. “He had the rare combination of humility and a fierce resolve, always making the conversation about others and not himself.”
As a member of the class of 1973, Roach will be celebrating his 50th reunion this year, an event he is chairing. “I treasure all that I learned at Hampden-Sydney and the lifelong friendships I made,” Roach shares. “It’s with gratitude that I give back.”
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