2023 Community Service Award

Rom Roach posing with space needle in background

Tom Roach, ’71

College of Arts and Sciences

Tom Roach has deep ties to Seattle University, with 24 family members over three generations, including his mother, Patricia Sullivan Roach, all eight of his siblings, and two of his children, having attended SU.

For more than 40 years, Roach served as an immigration lawyer, greatly impacting the lives of thousands of Eastern Washington immigrants by helping them navigate the process to gain citizenship status and employment opportunities.

Though he is now retired, Roach has not stopped helping people.

When Russia invaded Ukraine this past spring, Roach was compelled to help. Guided by his values and an intrinsically caring disposition, he traveled to the Balkan countries bordering Ukraine.  There, he set out to provide assistance to refugees in whatever way he could. Before long, he was putting in countless hours of volunteer work, preparing bags of food for displaced families.

When Roach learned of Ukrainian children unable to go to school, he jumped into action once again. He reached out to 250 friends and family and, almost overnight, raised enough revenue to fund a summer school program, including two full-time teachers, for 51 Ukrainian refugee students.

For his recent good deeds and for a lifetime of serving communities in need, Roach is the recipient of the Community Service award.