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Heroism At H-SC

Verne Lundquist described it as “an act of courage, love and brotherhood almost Biblical in its application.”

Remove the word “almost” and the statement by Hampden-Sydney College's commencement speaker would have our complete endorsement.

On the night of January 24 a fire roared through the Tiger Athletic Clubhouse, a college residence for H-SC student athletes. Escaping the flames just in time, the young men looked around them in a darkness that was illuminated only by the conflagration that might have destroyed them.

Kirk Rohle did not see his best friend, Ben Rogers.

Mr. Rohle ran back into the inferno and saved his friend's life, suffering severe burns.

There was nothing “almost Biblical” about the “courage, love and brotherhood” Mr. Lundquist, a CBS Sports announcer, so appropriately held up during the college's graduation ceremony, which saw both men in attendance.

No disrespect or criticism is aimed at Mr. Lundquist but the qualities of courage, love and brotherhood the hall of fame announcer so rightly cited were demonstrated in Biblical proportions.

There is a line in the Bible spoken by Jesus Christ that sums up Mr. Rohle's heroism on the night of January 24: “Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

Biblical, indeed.

Summa cum laude is a Latin phrase found on the diplomas of those whose grade point averages have earned the words “with highest honor.”

At Hampden-Sydney College, summa cum laude must be redefined this year, to mean second highest honor.

Highest honors belong to Kirk Rohle.

-JKW-