Bud Roche and Thomas Shields


Thomas Shields reflects on what distinguishes Bud Roche, his friend of more than 20 years. "I enjoy watching him move toward the men's room when the dinner check arrives," he chuckles.

When told of Shields' remark, Roche laughs heartily, "He's got more money than I do, why shouldn't he pay? I pick up the check at all the cheap restaurants. I let him pay for the expensive ones."

In addition to enjoying a good sense of humor, Shields and Roche share a love of Stonehill and a close friendship with President Emeritus Bartley MacPháidín, C.S.C. '59. The deep bond between the Shields and Roche families has blossomed and flourished over the years partially because of their common goal of making Stonehill a top-flight educational institution.

"The school has become a special place in our lives," Roche says. So much so that, today, the Shields and Roche families are among the College's most generous and supportive benefactors.

Roche and his wife, Eileen, for example, contributed significantly to the MacPháidín Library, where a room is named in their honor. The Roche Dining Commons is also named for the couple. But, the couple's most enduring contribution was the establishment of the Patty Roche Memorial Scholarship in 1992. The award was named for their daughter Patty, a 1984 Stonehill graduate who died of a brain tumor in 1985 when she was only 25. The couple recently made a major gift to the scholarship, making it the largest scholarship fund in Stonehill history. The Roches' son Daniel also graduated from Stonehill.

"We originally established the scholarship to honor Patty," Roche explains. "But we started meeting some of the students who were receiving the scholarships. We met some of the greatest kids. So, the scholarship honors Patty, but it also gives Eileen and me a chance to meet some of these extraordinary kids."

Tom and Mary Shields have established two scholarships-the Shields Merit Scholarships, which support students on the basis of their academic ability, and another named scholarship for Brockton-area students who are in pre-med programs at the College.

"With the scholarships, I'm seeking to attract a more gifted class and induce them to come to Stonehill, where over time they will enrich the mix of each succeeding class," Shields explains. "I'm really interested in helping people who are looking for an opportunity, not a pass. If those people have the good fortune I've had, maybe they will want to do good for others."

Shields was elected to Stonehill's Board of Trustees in 1987. In 1991, he became vice chair, and three years later, he was elected chairman, a position he held for eight years. As chairman, he was instrumental in raising more than $23 million during the College's first capital campaign.