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Legacy of young Saint John resident lives on as inaugural Rocca Scholarship awarded

Author: Communications

Posted on Oct 21, 2010

Category: UNB Saint John

Robin Rocca was a young, vivacious 28-year-old. He was married, with a young son, and making a difference in the community. Then his life took a drastic turn. He was diagnosed with leukemia the day before Christmas, 2008. The Saint John native bravely battled the debilitating disease while raising awareness about organ donation, always wanting to give back to the community that he cared for in a meaningful and enduring way. Rocca passed away after his brief battle in September, 2009, at the age of 29. In honour of his strength and selflessness, friends and family have established the Robin Rocca Memorial Scholarship at the University of New Brunswick. “Robin lived life to the fullest every day,” said John Rocca, Robin’s brother. “He was passionate, intelligent, and a person everyone wanted to be around. He always demonstrated a strong work ethic, great respect for family and others, and a genuine desire to have fun. Robin was simply a great role model for his family and friends. Helping others was important to my brother so I know he would be extremely proud of everyone for establishing, and contributing to this scholarship." In keeping with Rocca’s background as an Engineering graduate, the scholarship will benefit students studying Science, Engineering or Computer Science at UNB. Recipients will embody Rocca’s character, high academic achievement and share his love of sport. They will also demonstrate his leadership skills and have a proven commitment to family and the community at large. The inaugural recipient of the Robin Rocca Memorial Scholarship is Rebecca Snow. Snow is a graduate of Saint John High School, currently in her first year of the Bachelor of Science program at UNB Saint John. Like Rocca, Snow is a high academic achiever, is actively involved in sports, and volunteers with a number of community organizations. University of New Brunswick President Eddy Campbell is proud to offer the scholarship. “I did not have the good fortune of knowing Robin, but I understand he was someone who gave generously of his time and talent to his community,” said Dr. Campbell. “By partnering with UNB to offer this scholarship, Robin’s family and friends are honouring his spirit and commitment, while helping deserving students to create new opportunities for themselves, and in turn, help others. This is a fitting legacy for someone who touched so many lives.” Rocca’s former co-workers, family and friends hope to continue to grow the scholarship fund endowment, and will hold a fundraising event at The Lily Lake Pavilion in Saint John at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 22. For more information, or to arrange an interview, contact Efficiency New Brunswick at 643-7826, ext. 118. Contributions can be made online at www.unb.ca/donations. Established in 1785, UNB is Canada’s oldest English-language university. With more than 12,500 full- and part-time students from more than 100 countries, UNB has the best student-to-faculty ratio of Canada’s comprehensive universities, according to Maclean’s magazine. As the largest research institution in New Brunswick, UNB conducts over 75 per cent of the province’s university research. UNB has more than 60 research centres, institutes, groups and major projects.