George Roche – March 21, 1990

George Roche

George Roche

A World Without Heroes

George Charles Roche III (May 16, 1935 – May 5, 2006) was the 11th president of Hillsdale College, serving from 1971 to 1999. Although Roche led Hillsdale out of a near financial collapse and raised the college to national prominence.

Roche received his bachelors degree from Regis College (now Regis University) in 1956. He later received a masters and Ph.D. from the University of Colorado.

Prior to becoming president of Hillsdale College Roche was a professor at the Colorado School of Mines. He also worked with the Foundation for Economic Education.

The Center for Constructive Alternatives seminar program and the college’s widely circulated speech digest, Imprimis, were started during Roche’s years as college president. Under his leadership, many new buildings were constructed, including a sports complex that bears his name. Roche authored many books, such as Legacy of Freedom, The Bewildered Society, and The Book of Heroes, although it is believed that Lissa Roche, his daughter-in-law who worked at the college, was the ghost writer for his later books. In the case of The Book of Heroes Lissa is sometimes listed as a co-author and was acknowledged as a major contributor in the book’s introduction.

Roche was appointed chairman of the National Council on Educational Research by Ronald Reagan in 1984.

Roche moved to a remote cabin in Colorado. He visited Michigan briefly in 2005 to celebrate his seventieth birthday.He died on May 5, 2006, in Louisville, Kentucky

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