Kirk Rohle honored by NCAA
For only the 14th time in 38 years, the NCAA has recognized a collegiate athlete for "courageous action and noteworthy bravery." In January 2013, the Award of Valor was presented to Kirk Rohle '12 (below at left) for his efforts to save his dear friend and teammate from a burning residence hall. Nearly one year earlier, on January 25, 2012, Rohle safely evacuated from the burning building, but he and his friends quickly realized that Benjamin Rogers '12 (below at right) was still inside. Rohle ran back inside the building and suffered extensive burns searching for his friend. Thankfully, both men made it out alive.
Rohle endured multiple skin grafts and months in the hospital, but he returned to Hampden-Sydney, continued his studies, and walked with his classmates at graduation. Their story of friendship, adversity, and recovery was the focus of a series of articles in The Richmond Times-Dispatch, whose readers voted it the newspaper's Story of the Year.
"It's an award for getting hurt," said Rohle with a rueful laugh, according to the Times-Dispatch. "That's how I thought of it at first. But I'm looking at it a different way now. I'm there for a lot of people who acted with valor, maybe some people who put themselves in danger and didn't get out. I'm honoring them."
Initially, Rohle didn't think the NCAA award was very significant until the organization talked to him about doing some interviews and sent someone to create a short video about him for the awards presentation. "That's when I started thinking 'This must be a big deal.'"
When he found out Washington Redskins Quarterback Robert Griffin III and former Indianapolis Colts Head Coach Tony Dungee were supposed to be there, too, he started getting very excited. "I was just honored to be included with so many great people. There were Division I athletes who are training for the Olympics and have 4.0 GPAs. It was cool meeting so many people who have done really well in their sport and in academics."
An added honor was being able to bring along his parents and his brother Shreve Rohle '15, plus Ben Rogers and his mother. Rohle and Rogers are eager to put the fire and its impact behind them, so they decided before leaving for the ceremony that this would be the end to this chapter in their lives. "It was really cool. It was a great closing to everything for us. It was really special and it was great to share it with out families."
Since graduating, Rohle works for Loveland Distributing Co., Inc., and Rogers earned his realtor's license and works at Hometown Realty.
"At first I was worried that all of this would define who I am, but, now that it is beginning to fade away, I don't think it will. People used to always ask 'How are you feeling' instead of 'What's up.' Now that has stopped too. I feel fine; other than the scars on my body you wouldn't have any idea what happened. Everything is getting back to normal."
That is just the way he wants it.
Price wins NCAA postgraduate scholarship
The fourth Tiger in five years has been awarded the esteemed NCAA postgraduate scholarship. Alex T. Price, a senior Venable Scholar and football player is one of only 87 male athletes from across the country to achieve this distinction each year. Each scholarship honoree receives $7,500 to pursue graduate study. Other recent NCAA postgraduate scholarship winners from Hampden-Sydney are Drew Smith '08 (football), Brett Chonko '10 (soccer), and William Moss '10 (tennis).
Price began his senior year with a 3.81 grade-point average with a double major in physics and applied mathematics and a minor in national security and military leadership. He was repeatedly named Academic All-ODAC and is a member of Chi Beta Phi (sciences) and Pi Mu Epsilon (mathematics). Price was named the Most Outstanding Sophomore in Mathematics in 2011 and the Most Outstanding Junior in 2012. This year he was also awarded the President's Award for Academic Excellence in Natural Sciences and Mathematics. He has been inducted into the national honor societies Omicron Delta Kappa (leadership) and Phi Beta Kappa (scholarship).
"Alex is the ideal student," says his academic advisor, Dr. Hugh Thurman, associate professor of physics. "He is self-motivated and persistent in achieving his goals." Price has been accepted into the graduate program for medical physics at Duke University.
On the football field, Price, a linebacker, had a breakout season as a junior, tallying 78 tackles, 5.5 for loss, one interception, one fumble recovery, and half-a-sack for the 2011 ODAC Champions. As a senior, Alex was third on the team with 61 tackles. He's notched 4.5 tacklesfor-loss, four pass break ups, and 0.5 sacks.
According to Tiger's Head Football Coach Marty Favret, "Alex Price is what you look for when you recruit a student-athlete. Not only a terrific football player but also a campus leader and clearly a top-rate scholar."
Alex was a 2012 William V. Campbell Trophy semi-finalist and was a 2012 Capital One Academic All-District Football selection.