Gift from Robert Roche and Roche Family Foundation Creates International Business Law Program
December 14, 2010
By: Chase Squires 

Robert Roche (JD '88)
Robert Roche (JD '88)

A $3 million gift from the Roche Family Foundation and Robert Roche (JD '88) will establish the Roche Family International Business Transactions Program at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

The new program will increase the school's capacity to provide comprehensive, internationally relevant business transaction skills training for both Master of Law and JD students. The flexible nature of the gift allows the school to provide financial aid, hire faculty and underwrite international business law programming, such as national conferences and colloquia.

The gift is among the largest of its kind in the law school's history, and includes both outright and future cash commitments.

The Roche family's bond with the University of Denver stretches back over 30 years. Roche's wife Ritsuko Hattori-Roche spent a year studying at the University. His brother, Edward J. Roche, has been a member of the Sturm College of Law faculty since 1982. "This new association is even more meaningful as the University has become like family," says Roche.

"The Roche Family Foundation and Robert Roche's generosity to the DU Sturm College of Law is unprecedented," says Dean Martin Katz. "Their support has enabled the Sturm College of Law to leverage two areas critical to our strategic vision — international law and business law — and to build degree sequences and programming that will set the standard for international business law in the 21st century. We are honored by their vision and humbled by their generosity."

As an entrepreneur, civic leader and philanthropist, Robert Roche has long endeavored to further this vision. The gift to DU is the second donation Roche has made to further an academic institution's mission. He previously donated $1 million to establish the Roche Chair at Nanzan University in Nagoya, Japan, the school at which Roche studied Japanese language and culture as an undergraduate, and to which he returned for a year of legal studies while a law student at DU.

Roche served as an appointee of President Obama on the United States Trade Representative's (USTR) Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations. He also represented the United States as a board member of Organizing for Action, and served as an advisory council member for the U.S.-China Strong Foundation, in addition to serving on numerous boards. As President of Roche Enterprises, Ltd. he has invested in a broad range of industry sectors, specializing in the United States, Japan and China markets."

"I have spent my professional life involved in international business transactions. Helping the college of law create a program in that very area is indeed fulfilling. After all, this is where I received all my training for my professional career," says Roche. "I feel very lucky to be able to help the students at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law prepare for careers in a field I have found to be challenging and rewarding."

This article was updated June 16, 2017

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