Oct. 3, 2013
The Ohio State University College of Social Work has selected its annual McMurry Scholar Athlete Citizenship Award winner as Aaron Craft, a Nutrition (Pre-Med) senior and Ohio State basketball guard. A Findlay, Ohio native, Craft was awarded this honor because of his ability to perform as a top-notch student, as well as his outstanding achievements on the court, in the classroom and in the community. He was nominated by Thad Matta, head men’s basketball coach.
The McMurry Scholar Athlete Citizenship Award, founded in 2008 by 1960 social work graduate Preston V. McMurry, Jr. of Phoenix, Ariz., honors student-athletes with a minimum 3.0 GPA, who best exemplify the idea of "Education for Citizenship" through significant volunteer service to the community. Coaches representing the 36 varsity sports at Ohio State nominated candidates for this award, and a committee of graduate-level social work student leaders selected the recipient.
McMurry was an important member of the Woody Hayes 1957 Championship Football team. He founded McMurry Inc., one of the largest advertising and marketing firms in the United States. McMurry received the 2002 OSU Alumni Association Citizenship Award and was selected as Arizona’s 2001 Philanthropist of the Year.
Craft truly exemplifies what the McMurry Scholar Athlete Citizenship Award represents—a high level of commitment and success both academically and athletically. His 3.92 grade point average speaks for itself, as does his being chosen as a two-time First Team Academic All-American.
Craft is a social champion who is committed to service, those around him and the community at large. Locally, he is involved in a wide variety of service projects including the A Kid Again organization, which provides fun experiences for kids living with life threatening illnesses. Kids have been able to play basketball with Craft and other Buckeyes for a day and Craft has personally visited kids unable to play because they were hospitalized at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
One of Craft’s most recent notable accomplishments was his trip with Mission of Hope to Haiti in August. Craft was able to give back by working in the Haitian community planting trees, cleaning the community, teaching, and simply spending time with the children. Other groups Craft has committed himself to include: Athletes in Action, through which he regularly shares his story of faith to churches and other organizations in the community, and Manna Café in Downtown Columbus, where he serves meals to the homeless and less fortunate, reads books to children at various area schools, and participates in the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes and the Make A Wish Charity.
“I am humbled and honored to have been nominated by Coach Matta and chosen by the College of Social Work for the McMurry Scholar Athlete Citizenship Award. Being an athlete at The Ohio State University means more to me than just playing a game,” said Craft. “Academics and citizenship have been an important part of my life. I feel very fortunate to be able to use the platform I have as a student-athlete to help enrich the lives of others.”
Previous McMurry Scholar Athlete Citizenship Award recipients include: Alice Zita Kebeumen Jamen (women’s basketball) in 2008, Elon Simms (men’s track and field) in 2009, Ali Ristas (field hockey) in 2010, Bryant Browning (football) in 2011, and Sarah Mignin (volleyball) in 2012.
To read more about Craft, click here. For more information about the McMurry Scholar Athlete Citizenship award, contact Frankie Jones-Harris, Communications Director for the College of Social Work, at 614/292-3540, 614/330-2206 or firstname.lastname@example.org.