Couple celebrate a life of public service with bequest for scholarships

Maeve McQueeny, 10-10-2023

Alumna Rosanna Lucotti-Roberts and her husband, Lawrence Roberts, have made a substantial bequest to establish scholarships in business and criminology at the University of Miami.
Alumna Rosanna Lucotti-Roberts and her husband, Lawrence Roberts. Photo: Joshua Prezant/University of Miami


Retired United States Secret Service agent Rosanna Lucotti-Roberts and her husband, retired police chief Lawrence Roberts, have dedicated their lives to the service of others.

“Unfortunately, our work didn’t let us see the best side of life,” said Roberts. “We had to work in some really tough areas. Sometimes people need a little bit of help.”

The couple recently made a substantial bequest to establish the Rosanna Lucotti-Roberts and Lawrence Roberts Endowed Business Scholarship at the University of Miami Patti and Allan Herbert Business School and the Rosanna Lucotti-Roberts and Lawrence Roberts Endowed Criminology Scholarship at the College of Arts and Sciences.

Referring to the students who will benefit from the couple’s generosity, Lucotti-Roberts, who graduated in 1986 from the Miami Herbert Business School, added, “We wanted to make sure that the ones who need help get what they need.”

“Rosanna Lucotti-Roberts and Lawrence Roberts exemplify the spirit of dedication and service we champion at Miami Herbert Business School,” said Ann Olazábal, the school’s interim dean. “Their generous bequest ensures that future generations can pursue their passions and make a difference, just as they have. We are grateful for their commitment to empowering our students.”

“As far as criminology goes,” Lucotti-Roberts said, “it’s what I did for a quarter century and what Larry did for 30 years, so it’s near and dear to our hearts. It’s who we are and what we’ve been.”

“We are extremely appreciative of this transformative gift, which will provide scholarship opportunities for students who have a passion for criminology, criminal justice, and law,” said Leonidas Bachas, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “This generous gift illustrates a deep commitment to supporting our students and preparing them for future successes and careers in the field.”

The gift is part of the University of Miami’s Ever Brighter: The Campaign for Our Next Century. The most ambitious in the University’s history, the $2.5 billion campaign is set to conclude in 2025, when the University will celebrate its centennial.

For Roberts, his life was motivated by his conscience: “For 30 years, I got up in the morning, went to work, and tried to do the right thing,” said the former police chief of Franklin Township, New Jersey.

Similarly, Lucotti-Roberts was motivated to leave things better than she found them. From a young age, she believed that “you get back what you give—and then some—because it’s so rewarding to help.”

At the University of Miami, Lucotti-Roberts made lifelong friends through the Roadrunners Club, now called the Association of Commuter Students, which held fundraisers, toy drives, and other philanthropic events to support the community. Giving back gave her a sense of community and a deep sense of satisfaction and pride from serving others. “Throughout college, I gave of myself because I knew I was going to end up getting so much more out of it,” she noted.

This selflessness and commitment to service led her to apply to the U.S. Secret Service after graduation.

“When I was 25, I got hired by the United States Secret Service as a special agent,” Lucotti-Roberts recalled. “When they called me to offer the job, they said ‘Newark, New Jersey, field office. Yes, or no?’ I would have gone to Iowa or Alaska. It was an immediate ‘yes.’ So, I packed up my car with all my belongings and drove up I-95.”

During her time in the Secret Service, she was chosen to serve on the president’s detail in Washington, D.C., protecting former President Bill Clinton and former President George W. Bush. “The mission was to keep the president safe,” she said.

“I made a lot of sacrifices; but for me, it was not a job, and it’s more than a career. It’s a way of life. It’s who I am and what I love to do,” Lucotti-Roberts pointed out. “I spent 25 years dedicated to the Secret Service. There were many long hours and a lot of stress, but it was rewarding. When you look at yourself in the mirror, you’re proud of what stares back, and nobody could take that away from you.”

Her career also brought her to her husband.

“I was the only Spanish speaker in the Newark field office at that time. There was a case, and the Drug Enforcement Administration called me to translate for an informant. I went to the meeting to talk about doing a buy-through on a counterfeit case, and Larry was one of the two agents. That’s how we met.”

“One of the brightest things I did was marry Rosanna,” said Roberts. “Without a doubt, that was one of my proudest moments.”

The couple still visit the University often. “It felt like home—it was home. I love my University, I still do, and I always will,” said Lucotti-Roberts.