INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (November 21, 2005) - The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced today that Robert K. Kraft '63CC is this year's recipient of the organization's Theodore Roosevelt Award.
The award presentation will take place at the NCAA Honors Celebration, held at the association's annual convention in January. The "Teddy" is presented each year to "a distinguished citizen of national reputation and outstanding accomplishment who -- having graduated from an NCAA member institution and having earned a varsity athletics award in college or having participated in competitive intercollegiate athletics in college -- has by a continuing interest and concern for physical fitness and competitive sport and by personal example exemplified most clearly and forcefully the ideals and purposes to which collegiate athletics programs and amateur sports competition are dedicated," as noted on the NCAA web site. It is the highest honor that the NCAA can bestow on any individual.
Kraft, a 1963 graduate of Columbia College, played football for the Lions for three seasons, from 1959 to 1961, earning a varsity letter as a Back and End for the lightweight football team in 1960. He is the first former Columbia student-athlete honored by the NCAA with the Teddy award. Previous recipients of the award include United States Presidents Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, as well as former Supreme Court Justice Byron White. The first recipient of the Theodore Roosevelt Award in 1967 was General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who served as President of Columbia University from 1948-53.
"We are so delighted to learn that Robert Kraft has been named the recipient of this year's Theodore Roosevelt Award," said Dr. M. Dianne Murphy, director of intercollegiate athletics and physical education at Columbia University. "He is most deserving of this tremendous honor."
Kraft, a Columbia University Trustee Emeritus, is the Chairman and CEO of the National Football League's New England Patriots. Since purchasing the Patriots in 1994, he has turned the organization into one of the model franchises in professional sports, winning three NFL Super Bowl championships in the past four years.
For more information, please visit: http://www2.ncaa.org/mediaandevents/pressroom/2005/november/20051121teddyawardrls.html
About Columbia University Athletics: With more than 800 student-athletes competing on 29 varsity sports teams, Columbia University sponsors the largest NCAA Division I athletics program in New York City. Most Columbia teams compete on the island of Manhattan, either on Columbia's Morningside Heights campus or at the Baker Field Athletics Complex in Inwood.
Columbia University is a founding member of The Ivy League, one of the most historic collegiate athletic conferences in the nation. Columbia teams have won 19 national championships, and 50 Columbians have won individual national titles.
For more information about Columbia Athletics, please contact the Office of Athletics Communications at (212) 854-2534 or visit: www.gocolumbialions.com.