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Former NFL Player, Rhodes Scholar Turned Neurosurgeon Visits Wentworth

October 4, 2017

Myron Rolle

Former NFL player and current Harvard Medical School neurosurgery resident Myron Rolle speaks to Wentworth students (Photo by Stephen Kim)

Former National Football League player and current Harvard Medical School neurosurgery resident Myron Rolle visited Wentworth on October 2 to speak to a packed Watson Auditorium audience about his varied career and his take on concussions related to football.

Rolle discussed studying medical anthropology at Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship, being drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the NFL, and serving as an ambassador for the Clinton Global Initiative to fight sexual violence in East Africa.

The former safety shared a maxim that was handed down by his college coach at Florida State University (FSU): try to get 2 percent better every day—advice he believes can be extended to all areas of life.

Rolle recounted his own journey of self-improvement—from a troubled preteen who skipped school and got into fights to a third-team All-America college football player with a 3.75 GPA—and advised students  to focus on school, service, support, and spirit.

“I took on the attitude that I’m going to compete in the classroom like I competed on the field,” said Rolle, who graduated from FSU College of Medicine in May and is currently serving a neurosurgery residency at Massachusetts General Hospital with Harvard Medical School.

On service, Rolle encourages students to take any privileges they receive in life and make an effort to extend them to those who have less. “I believe that service to others is what you pay back for the gift of your breath on Earth,” he said.

Support, Rolle said, means recognizing worth in all people and taking opportunities to meet them. “When you’re walking around campus, you never know who you might be walking past,” he said. “The person next to you might become a lawyer, or a leader of business, or a governor.”

As discussion about the risks associated with head trauma in football has increased in recent years, Rolle is positioned to become an important voice on the subject. Interested in further researching the link between football and CTE  (chronic traumatic encephalopathy), Rolle hopes to focus on the topic to some degree in his medical career.

Rolle left an engaged audience with a simple sentiment that captured the heart of his theme. “Hopefully, somebody got 2 percent better today,” he said. “That’s my goal.”

Rolle’s appearance was sponsored by the Center for Diversity and Social Justice Programs, Wentworth Athletics, and Project 40.

--Stephen Kim

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