James R. Roach Endowed Fund in American Foreign Relations
Roach, a World War II veteran and former cultural attaché at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, taught government at UT for 45 years.
Unbowed by the rise of the computer, Roach bought reams of cloth ribbon for his manual Royal typewriter, on which he tapped out innumerable letters to the former students he kept in touch with for years.
“He was a major figure on campus, and he has had a major impact on thousands of students,” said Gary Freeman, chairman of the UT Government Department. “He’s not just your typical professor who taught for a long time. He left a big footprint.”
Former student Robert Hardgrave said Roach’s classes on India during the 1950s were the inspiration for his career as a government professor specializing in the country.
“I don’t know of anyone in the Government Department who had the impact on students that he did,” said Hardgrave, who joined his mentor at the UT Government Department before retiring nine years ago. “He inspired a number of students to go into the American Foreign Service. Others, like me…became professors.”
Freeman remembered Roach as a voracious reader, who, in the days before e-mail and hyperlinks, would clip magazine and journal articles for his colleagues and place them in their mailboxes at the Government Department.
Dr. James Roach died Aug. 5, 2010. He was 87.