In March of 2021, Kevin Roach’s family and friends launched an effort to create the Captain Kevin K. Roach Memorial Scholarship to honor the smartest, funniest, happiest Engineer they all knew.
Kevin’s professional successes began when he enlisted in the Navy in 1985 and was selected to attend The University of Texas at Austin where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in the Cockrell School of Engineering and developed a lifelong love for The University of Texas (much to the chagrin of many fellow Naval Officers).
Mentored and inspired by the US Navy’s “Centennial Seven” (the seven Black commanding officers of US Navy Submarines in the 20th century) he served as a Navy submarine officer for thirty-three years. Kevin’s career culminated in his own command tour on the USS LA JOLLA, which, after he sailed all over the world on the boat’s final deployment, became a moored training ship for generations of future submariners – fitting for a ship lead by Kevin, who was a mentor and inspiration to so many.
Kevin’s legacy of leadership and excellence were nothing short of legendary in the American submarine community, even before his infectiously funny personality made him everyone’s favorite shipmate.
In 2021, as he prepared to transition from a successful Navy career, Kevin accepted a position as a researcher in the Applied Research Laboratories at his beloved University of Texas. Kevin passed away on March 10, 2021, before he could move back to Austin with his wife Diane.
Kevin’s friends and family were clear that honoring his legacy included supporting students in the Cockrell School of Engineering who will become the next generation of Black engineers and, they are certain, will impress the world with their talent and a lifelong love of Texas Longhorns.
As Kevin regularly lead groups of friends and rivals to shout, Hook ’em, Horns!
Funds distributed from this endowment shall be used to provide scholarship support to students within the Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering, with preference given to students who are members of the National Society of Black Engineers (or a similar successor student organization).