It was a sunny day in the spring of our senior year, if I recall, when, while crossing the campus, I ran into a gathering of sundry men outdoors, dressed in navy blue and white visored hats, all heavy with gold braid glistening in the sun. The entire NROTC Corps of the college was milling about, some ceremonial sidearms and ensigns adding flash and color. I spotted my classmate Homer Smith among the latter and asked him if it was a funeral of some worthy from among us. No, he said: the Navy was honoring Professor Hess — they had just promoted him to rear admiral!

That was also the last day I saw Homer, then our class president, in Navy uniform. We met later on, in a remote U.S. Army outpost, both dressed now in olive drab. He sought me out then to share report and to mourn with me our classmate, my particularly close friend as he knew, Steve Champion, lost to a car accident.

Sic transit gloria mundi.