Hampshire College honored Honesdale native Sigmund J. Roos and his wife Ruth Rhode during commencement weekend events recently for their years of devotion to and tireless work on behalf of the college.
Former area resident honored
— Hampshire College honored Honesdale native Sigmund J. Roos and his wife Ruth Rhode during commencement weekend events recently for their years of devotion to and tireless work on behalf of the college.
Roos is the son of William and Paula Roos of Honesdale and a graduate of the George School.
Roos, who steps down June 30 as chair of the Hampshire College Board of Trustees, has served as a trustee for 17 years, longer than any other person. He is the first graduate of the college to chair its board.
A groundbreaking ceremony for a building to be named the Roos-Rohde House was held , following presentations by students who worked on the design of the building.
A sustainability project that will be a “by and for student space,” the Roos-Rohde House involves the repurposing and relocation of a large New England-style barn that is being converted into a gathering space for students.
It will be moved from the grounds of the president’s residence onto a central location on campus, next to the college’s community garden. It will serve as a community gathering space for studying, meetings and socializing.
Students have worked with architecture and design professors as well as outside professionals over the past two years to conceptualize and design the space. It is being named in honor of Roos and Rhode, who is also a Hampshire graduate, to commemorate their dedication and ongoing commitment to the Hampshire College community.
Roos and Rhode were also celebrated at a dinner given in their honor. Innumerable contributions by Roos and Rhode — of time, energy, wisdom, and financial support — have spanned much of the history of Hampshire College. Hampshire opened in fall 1970, Roos entered as a student in fall 1973 and Rhode in spring 1975.
A Boston attorney specializing in commercial litigation, Roos is a partner in Block and Roos LLP.
In addition to his bachelor’s degree from Hampshire College, Roos holds a master’s degree from Brown University and the J.D. from Northeastern University.
Roos and Rhode, and their daughter Eleanor and son David, live in Concord, Mass.
Of his commitment to Hampshire, Roos has said: “What Hampshire provides that I don’t think students will find elsewhere is that Hampshire models what it teaches. There is a consistency of philosophy and ethics that runs throughout the campus. What is learned in the classroom can also be seen in how faculty relate to students, how everyone on campus relates to one another, and how we as a community relate to the world at large.
“Hampshire embodies a deep respect for individuality and at the same time a commitment that those individuals be active participants in the society, which means being actively involved in improving our culture and our environment and in sustaining our world as a whole.”