Alumnus Rich Roberts, MBA 99, Passes Away

Richard C. Roberts, MBA 99, died peacefully at home in San Rafael on April 23 after a courageous battle with cancer. He was 38.

Roberts was born and raised in Massachusetts, where he graduated from Boston College. He began his career as a CPA at Coopers & Lybrand and soon moved out west to Southern California to work at the Walt Disney Co.

After several years in Santa Monica, Roberts moved to the Bay Area, where he earned an MBA from the Haas School. While at Haas, he discovered his entrepreneurial streak and began working at startups in San Francisco. He co-founded and sold an Internet marketing company, GetRelevant, and helped turn around a struggling CD/DVD duplication service.

After discovering he had cancer, Roberts chronicled his battle against the disease for family and friends on a sometimes humorous blog,

"To say Rich was an inspiration is quite the understatement. In class he was gregarious, smiling, and a great team member and contributor," said Jerry Engel, executive director of the Lester Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. "After Rich became ill, though, he became a leader, a role model for all of us to look to when we meet challenges in our own lives."

Roberts enjoyed traveling, and some of his favorite spots were Bali, Thailand, Costa Rica, and Australia. A passionate swing dancer, Roberts coordinated many swing dance nights with his friends while he was at Haas.

Roberts is survived by his wife, Michelle; daughter, Lucy; parents Richard (Duke) and Diane; and sister, Sharon Pina, and brother-in-law, David Pina, and nieces Lauren and Rachel Pina.

The family requests that donations in Roberts' memory be made to any of the following organizations:

1) A fund to benefit his daughter's education. Please make a check payable to Lucy Roberts and send it to The Lucy Roberts Fund, 2030 Union St., Suite 205, San Francisco, CA 94123.

2) The Richard C. Roberts Scholarship, established at Roberts' high school alma mater in Massachusetts. Please make checks payable to Bishop Stang High School and note that your donation is for the Richard C. Roberts Scholarship. Contributions should be sent to Richard C. Roberts Scholarship, Bishop Stang, Attention: Advancement, 500 Slocum Road, North Dartmouth, MA 02747.

3) The Melanoma Research Foundation,