EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Breaking News

Latest News

May 19, 2013

Plaistow man, other heroes honored at UNH graduation

'We all can find inspiration and role models in the people sitting next to us'

DURHAM — Like any graduation, the University of New Hampshire commencement ceremony yesterday was filled with laughter, spirit and hope for the future.

Thousands of people gathered in the hot sun outside the Whittemore Center Arena to honor the approximately 2,500 graduates for their hard work and dedication.

But the 143rd commencement also proved to be a tribute to the selfless, heroic acts of others in wake of the Boston Marathon bombings last month and other incidents when UNH students made a difference in the lives of others.

“We all can find inspiration and role models in the people sitting next to us,” said commencement speaker Lt. Gen. Mary Legere, a 1982 UNH graduate and the U.S. Army’s deputy chief of staff of intelligence.

Legere was talking about graduating senior Cameron Lyle of Plaistow and others from the university who stepped up in a time of need. They included UNH director of athletic training Jon Dana and students Brandon Hall and Ashlei Brock, marathon volunteers who helped bombing victims.

Lyle, a member of the UNH men’s track team, recently received national attention when he sacrificed the rest of his college athletic career to donate bone marrow to help save the life of a leukemia patient he didn’t know.

The former Timberlane Regional High School student — a one-in-5-million marrow donor match — also received accolades from UNH president Mark Huddleston during the nearly three-hour ceremony.

Huddleston told of how after Lyle’s surgery, the modest shot put star, who could bench press hundreds of pounds, wouldn’t be able to lift anything heavier than a bag of groceries for weeks.

“The moving part of the story for me is not that Cameron decided to be that donor and to save that life,” Huddleston said. “The moving part is that he genuinely doesn’t understand why anyone would be surprised by his decision.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News

AP Video
Joy Fills Streets of Cleveland As LeBron Returns Proposed Bill to Regulate NY Costumed Characters WH: LeBron's Move a 'Powerful Statement' Ana Ortiz on 'Devious Maids' Finale CDC Addresses Lab Safety Problems Texas Shooting Suspect Collapses in Court Death Toll Tops 100 As Israel Offense Continues LeBron James Says He's Returning to Cavaliers Man Flees Police in World Cup Scalping Scheme Robot Writes Jewish Torah Scroll Raw: Israel, Gaza Exchange Rocket Fire More Immigrants Detained Along Rio Grande World Cup Final Pits Argentina Against Germany Police: Prostitute Linked to 2nd Death Thousands Attend NYC Firefighter's Funeral Art of Haitian Machete Fighting Revived Raw: Australia Hosts Annual Beer Can Regatta Mass. Mayor: Families Lost Everything in Fire Fans Dying to Be Near Jazz Greats Robots Gearing Up for Their Own 'World Cup'
Photos of the Week