The summer Myron Rolle was 12 years old, he scored nine phone numbers from nine different girls on the Atlantic City boardwalk. Consequentially, this was also the summer that his father made him stay inside and complete book reports on Booker T. Washington, Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela. The transformation from lady killer to empowered young man, yearning to be a leader of his generation, is the result of that summer 14 years ago.
The Leadership Institute presented “An Evening with Myron Rolle” on Monday, Oct. 28 in the SUB ballrooms. Rolle’s talk was included under the university’s Year of Engaged Leadership. Hundreds of people turned out for the event which was organized by student employees of the Leadership Institute.
After achieving a perfect 4.0 in middle school and high school, Rolle continued on to Florida State University to play football as their starting safety. Rolle is also a recipient of the renowned Rhodes Scholarship which he utilized to obtain his masters degree in Medical Anthropology at Oxford University in England. Upon returning to the U.S. in 2010, he was drafted in the sixth round by the Tennessee Titans resulting in him being one of three Rhodes Scholars to ever play in the NFL. He is currently a medical student at Florida State University Medical School.
When asked how he stays grounded with so many achievements, Rolle replied, “Always say hi to the lunch ladies and the janitors … these people matter, these people are important … you can learn from them.”
Rolle has accomplished many things to date including a noteworthy academic career, humanitarian work with his foundation and a hopeful career in neurosurgery. He said of trying to find his passion, “Make a decision that isn’t about you … it’s got to be a decision that impacts lives around you.”
Upon taking the stage Rolle gave an empowering speech conveying a message of encouragement to young people to be on the front lines of their generation. His talk included the notion that society has to think of new and innovative ways to handle current social issues. Rolle believes new approaches come from young people like the students of MSU.
During the evening, Rolle talked about his secrets to success and how he has had many successes by 26 years old. He gains support from his family including four older brothers that help to “keep him humble”, along with his parents who support him greatly in his successes. When asked what the key to his accomplishments is he said, “The biggest motivating factor in wanting to succeed is my parents and even people I don’t know have sacrificed so much for me … it’s my duty and obligation to repay that service.”
MSU student and Sustained Dialogue Student Program Coordinator Katie Chamberlin said, “I think Myron Rolle was a great choice for the Leadership Institutes kick-off event for this year because he really exemplifies to the college age audience.”
The message Rolle conveyed to the audience was that people have to make “unpopular decisions at times,” but those decisions will allow them to be at the “forefront of their generation.” Rolle decided to postpone playing in the NFL to obtain his masters degree at Oxford and this resulted in him falling from a second round draft pick to a sixth round draft pick. But the opportunity he chose to follow didn’t inhibit him from “living his NFL dream” and has propelled him to the accomplishments he strives toward in life.