About Richard Rock
Richard Rock’s message to incoming University of Idaho freshmen is one of opportunity.
A 1994 graduate in finance from U of I’s College of Business and Economics who was an early member of eBay management, Rock serves at the chief investment officer for the wealth management firm the CAPROCK Group, setting investment strategy for clients and working diligently to manage their money.
Rock will address incoming students at 4 p.m. Pacific time Thursday, Aug. 22, in the ASUI-Kibbie Activity Center as part of the 2019 Convocation ceremony.
He will encourage students to seize on the opportunities that await them at U of I. And to stop and take in their surroundings.
“My advice to those incoming freshman is to take a moment to stop at those crossroads to look around. To make choices and walk in them,” he said. “It’s OK if you don’t get everything right. There are going to be plenty of opportunities to make mistakes, recognize them, and learn and recover.”
Rock took advantage of as many opportunities as he could when he arrived on the U of I campus three decades ago from Coeur d’Alene. He joined the Argonaut student newspaper as a reporter, took part in student government and studied finance and public administration. A four-year inhabitant of the residence halls, Rock joined the Alpha Kappa Lambda fraternity as a fifth-year senior. He was elected ASUI president in 1993.
Rock, who also holds a Master of Business Administration from Stanford, later held several roles at eBay from 1997-2001. He joined eBay when it employed just 30 people and most of the country hadn’t heard of the e-commerce site. Their job was to create a safe online platform where everyday people could buy and sell products.
“It was really a special time,” he said. “We were unlocking opportunity and potential, whether there was a returning veteran or a stay-at-home mom that was just trying to add to their family income on the side.”
He left eBay in 2001 and continued to work in the investment field before forming the CAPROCK Group in 2005.
The values of hard work, persistence and tenacity he learned at U of I have served him and other alumni well in their careers, he said. His experiences at U of I broadened his view of the world.
“U of I is really a place where I discovered so much about who I was, so the opportunity to come back and share what I learned about U of I and lessons that I’ve learned at U of I with others,” he said. “Those are meaningful moments.”
Rock was a U of I Winter Commencement speaker in 2002 and previously served as a director on the U of I Foundation Board. He lives in San Jose, California, with his wife Michelle and his two children.