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John Roe Jr., P’07, ’09, ’11, attributes his business success to his military training and his participation in team sports. So important to Roe are the values gained from working together that he and his family endowed the first scholarship for female athletes at Boston College to enable more students to experience the positive benefits of team play.
“Sports teach you how to operate in unison,” says Roe, president and CEO of City Underwriting Agency, a provider of comprehensive insurance products and services. “You learn to convince others to go in the same direction even though everyone may not be in complete agreement.”
Roe played hockey and football at Holy Cross, graduating in 1980 with a BA in history and math. After spending six years in the Navy, he earned his MBA from Bryant University and joined the family insurance business when he and his wife, Debra, had children. He became president in 1997 and has maintained a close-knit employee-centered business where teamwork can flourish—helping the company to grow tenfold.
Although Roe’s younger sister, Karen, attended BC, the family’s connection to the University truly blossomed in 2003 when his son, John, arrived at the Heights. At first skeptical about his collegiate rival, Roe has had a change of heart. “John really loved the school and through him I came to love it too.” Roe’s second son, Christopher, and daughter, Elizabeth, will graduate from BC in 2009 and 2011, respectively.
Particularly impressed with BC’s athletics program, the Roes decided to assist the school’s most promising female student-athletes. The Roe Family Scholarship benefits what they consider one of the best colleges in the country. “BC is a great school academically and it also has terrific sports and arts programs. It’s a place I believe in,” Roe emphasizes.