George Roche III
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, his contributions are often overshadowed by a scandal surrounding an alleged affair between Roche and his daughter-in-law, Lissa Jackson Roche, which led him to resign.
Roche received his bachelor's degree from Regis College (now Regis University) in 1956. He later received a masters and Ph.D. from the University of Colorado.
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.
The scandal broke out in 1999 when the wife of George Roche IV, Lissa Jackson Roche, claimed to have had an affair spanning 19 years with her husband's father. Lissa had threatened suicide, and her husband found her in the college arboretum with a handgun, and with her blood still warm, but unable to prevent her self-inflicted death. Following his resignation in November 1999, Roche left public life and moved to Colorado. The widely publicized scandal brought national attention to Roche and Hillsdale. A 2000 book, Hillsdale: Greek Tragedy in America's Heartland, explored the controversial events and questioned whether Lissa Roche's death was actually a suicide.
Roche denied the allegations made by Lissa.
- "American Federalism" (1967, Foundation for Economic Education)
- Legacy of Freedom (1969)
- Education in America (1969)
- Frederic Bastiat: A Man Alone. Architects of Freedom Series. New Rochelle: Arlington House. 1971. Retrieved May 12, 2012.
- The Bewildered Society (1972)
- The Balancing Act: Quota Hiring in Higher Education (1974)
- Federal Assault on Independent Education (1979)
- America by the Throat: The Stranglehold of Federal Bureaucracy (1983)
- Going Home (1986)
- A World Without Heroes: The Modern Tragedy (1987)
- A Reason for Living (1989)
- The Fall of the Ivory Tower: Government Funding, Corruption, and the Bankrupting of American Higher Education (1994)
- The Book of Heroes: Great Men and Women in American History (1998)
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- Miller. "Horror in Hillsdale"
- Rapoport, Roger (2000). Hillsdale: Greek Tragedy in America's Heartland. RDR Books. ISBN 1-57143-088-1.
- Trowbridge, Ron. "George Roche, Caption of the Hillsdale Ship", Human Events. 16 May 2006.
- Remembering George Roche
- Notes & asides.(George Roche)(Obituary)
- Former Hillsdale College President Passes Away
- Ellis, Jonathon "Sex, lies and suicide" Salon Jan 19, 2000.
- John J. Miller "Horror at Hillsdale" in National Review Nov. 12, 1999
- Van der Werf, Martin. “A Scandal and a Suicide Leave a College Reeling,” Chronicle of Higher Education, November 19, 1999. Sub-title: “Hillsdale president quits amid rumors of affair with his daughter-in-law, who killed herself.”
- Ronald Reagan papers nominations listings for March 8, 1984