An indomitable football player, a tremendous leader, and a scholar in the classroom, Amos Alonzo Bolen, '34, '37L, exemplified the meaning of student-athlete long before the term became popular.
A native of Knott County, Kentucky, Bolen captained the 1933 W&L football squad, leading the team to the state championship and a 4-4-2 record. The schedule included wins over Virginia, William and Mary, and a startling upset of Kentucky, as well as a tie with powerful West Virginia. Strong and durable at his guard position, Bolen was selected first team All-Southern Conference and honorable mention All-American. A four-year letterman, Bolen played all but three minutes of his senior season.
Bolen was just as much a success out of the classroom. Valedictorian of the class of 1934, he was selected to Phi Beta Kappa and was elected president of the Athletic Council. He attended the W&L School of Law, where he was named to the Order of the Coif, the law equivalent of Phi Beta Kappa, and Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership fraternity. He also served as head coach of the W&L freshman football squad while earning his law degree.
Bolen went on to a career in law in West Virginia and is regarded by colleagues as among the best in the practice of civil law. In 1958, Bolen was selected to the Sports Illustrated Silver Anniversary All-American football team, a national squad selected by the magazine to honor those individuals who have gone on from their collegiate athletic career to distinguish themselves in their chosen field and in community service.