La Roche College is a private college in McCandless Township, Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1963 by the Sisters of Divine Providence as a Roman Catholic college and now sits on an 80-acre (320,000 m2) campus in McCandless within the Diocese of Pittsburgh. La Roche College was founded in 1963 by the Sisters of Divine Providence as a private college for religious sisters. It was named in honor of Stephanie Amelia la Roche von Starkenfels, the first Mother Superior of the Sisters of Divine Providence. The first president of the college was Sister Annunciata Sohl, C.D.P., who served until 1968. The college had begun to admit its first lay students by 1965. It continued to grow, and two years later, La Roche expanded beyond its leased space to construct the first College building, the John J. Wright Library.
La Roche encountered financial difficulties soon after its founding. Although closing the college was considered, Sister de la Salle Mahler, C.D.P., president from 1969 to 1975, carried on.
The Board amended its charter in 1970 to establish La Roche as an independent, coeducational Catholic institution, while also diversifying course offerings through an affiliation with the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. This partnership made available several new areas of study, including graphic and interior design, which count among the College's strongest programs today. An enrollment boom made the construction of two new residence halls necessary in the mid-1970s. Under College President Sister Mary Joan Coultas, C.D.P. (1975–80), the College launched its first capital campaign in 1979, garnering enough to construct the Palumbo Science Center, which opened in 1980. During Divine Providence Sister Margaret Huber's eleven-year tenure as president beginning in 1981, the college continued to grow, marking its 25th anniversary in 1987 with the dedication of the $2.5 million-Zappala College Center. The Magdalen Chapel was added in 1990, and in 1993 the college opened the Kerr Fitness and Sports Center.
La Roche's sixth president, Monsignor William A. Kerr, was appointed in 1992 and focused his leadership on raising the College's visibility, while broadening academic, cultural and athletic programs. In 2004, the La Roche College Board of Trustees elected the College's seventh president, Sister Candace Introcaso, C.D.P.
College Mission Statement
La Roche College, a Catholic institution of higher learning, founded and sponsored by the Congregation of the Sisters of Divine Providence, fosters global citizenship and creates a community of scholars from the region, the nation and around the world. The College integrates liberal arts and professional education in creative ways, empowering all members of our community to become lifelong learners, achieve success in their chosen careers and promote justice and peace in a constantly changing global society.
La Roche College offers its students a high value education which balances the reality of career preparation with the essentials of a classical liberal arts curriculum. The curriculum is characterized by a strong global perspective, interdisciplinary courses, and signature undergraduate and graduate professional programs. The faculty is diverse and possesses both academic and professional credentials. In keeping with the global compass of its mission, the College recruits students from both its traditional home base in western Pennsylvania, numerous other states, and many foreign countries. The College strives to enroll academically superior students of diverse religious, ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds and ensures that students with lesser preparation are furnished the assistance they need to enable them to achieve academic and career success.
La Roche College has an academic culture that emphasizes outcomes based assessment of student achievement. The moral component of education is emphasized and an understanding of the Catholic tradition and other religious traditions is available to those students who wish to explore their faith in an academic environment.
Mission and Identity
La Roche offers high-quality educational opportunities that reflect its Catholic heritage and the mission of its founding and sponsoring congregation, the Congregation of Divine Providence, to "co-create a world of compassion, justice and peace." That commitment to peace and justice permeates all aspects of the College - spiritual, academic, social, intercultural, and community service. That commitment is reflected in the College's global focus, which provides the entire La Roche community with the opportunity to reach across the political, cultural, and economic divides and work toward becoming a true global community.
The success of our students is of paramount importance in all that we do at the College. We are committed to providing a learning environment which is conducive to academic achievement, enhanced by an overall campus environment that contributes to the mental, physical, spiritual and emotional development of our students. All this is accomplished not only through the provision of appropriate resources, but also through the example and caring interaction of the faculty, staff and administration, both inside and outside of the classroom.
The College's mission embodies the key elements of student success. One is the ability of students to become accomplished practitioners in their chosen fields who are imbued with a lifelong thirst for knowledge. Another is the ability for students to truly view themselves as citizens of a global society. Finally, student success is seen in the women and men of all ages, faiths, nationalities and backgrounds who, after their time at the College, go forth into the world suffused with a desire to promote peace and justice wherever they go, and who, in so doing, continue to demonstrate that La Roche College is preparing students who truly are the best for the world.
Stewardship of Resources
Adequate resources are vital to the success of La Roche College. We are committed to utilization of available resources in a manner that achieves maximum effectiveness for the College, ensuring the wise and efficient use of our resources while respecting the larger environment through sustainability.