Roger Elauria '00

 Roger Elauria '00 - GGB and Beach

When Roger Elauria, Class of 2000, was a newly graduated Crusader, he just wanted to help the country in any way that he could. Shortly after September 11, 2001, that desire to helping protect his community and country led Elauria to joining the Transportation Security Administration at San Francisco International Airport.

“I saw the importance in helping the public,” Elauria said. “That was my first step in terms of helping a better cause.”

Elauria eventually joined the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway & Transportation District protecting the Golden Gate Bridge – San Francisco’s defining landmark. After serving 17 years, Elauria was recently promoted to the rank of bridge captain – the highest rank in the bridge patrol department – in March 2022. This makes him just the 11th captain in the Golden Gate Bridge’s 85 year history and the first Filipino-American to hold the post.

 Roger Elauria '00 - Headshot

As bridge captain, Elauria oversees a department of about 70 employees tasked with overlooking the safety and security of the Golden Gate Bridge, including vehicle traffic and pedestrian safety.

Elauria said that the values that he learned at Riordan, especially about the importance of integrity, helped guide him throughout his years of public service.

“When I was a freshman, I had no clue what that meant,” he said. “And integrity, as I learned through the years, is something you can't learn overnight.”

For Elauria, integrity meant doing something because it’s right, “even when people aren’t looking.”

“If you say you're going to do something, are you actually going to do it or is it all fluff?” he said. “And that's huge in my line of work.”

Elauria said that he’s seen the negative consequences of public servants who don’t have integrity in their roles – but what drives him in his position is the positive impact that he makes on his community. According to Elauria, the majority of service calls these days relates to suicide prevention.

“I can say now that I'm proud to be part of a team that last year had 198 successful suicide interventions. I just learned in my role that I could have an impact, not only in preventing crime and keeping a national icon secure.”

“But what really paid off for me was the ability to save someone's life or just be given that opportunity and authority to try to stop someone from hurting themselves.”

 Roger Elauria '00 - Group Shot

One of the people at Riordan who taught Elauria the importance of caring for people in their time of need was one of his teachers, Brother Tom Redmond.

During his junior year, Elauria was feeling down because of the pressure to achieve in school from his family and a recent breakup that he was going through that was affecting his schoolwork. Elauria felt that Brother Redmond recognized that something was off with him, and asked him to stay after class one day.

“I felt like he genuinely listened. He prayed with me. He encouraged me to go to the chapel, spend some alone time, and just reflect on things. And that really stuck with me through the years,” he said.

Elauria said that his proud family history of serving in the military also guided him toward public service. His grandfather served as a scout for the U.S. military in the Philippines in World War II, and other family members have served in the Army and Navy.

“My grandfather was a survivor of the Bataan Death March and my grandmother used to tell me stories of the atrocities of the things that would happen in the Philippines when they were occupied by the Japanese military,” Elauria said.

His grandfather brought his family to America after the war, and the ship that brought Elauria’s mother to San Francisco sailed underneath the Golden Gate Bridge. Elauria said that he believes the Golden Gate Bridge has been the through line in his family’s immigration story. 

“I like to tell that story just because everything ties in,” he said.