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Robert Kraft Named Among NCAA's 100 Most Influential Student-Athletes

Former Columbia football players Robert K. Kraft has been named among the NCAA's 100 Most Influential Student-Athletes.

Dan Connolly kickoff return vs. Green Bay, Dec. 19, 2010.
Dan Connolly kickoff return vs. Green Bay, Dec. 19, 2010.

NEW YORK - Former Columbia football players William V. Campbell and Robert K. Kraft have been named among the NCAA's 100 Most Influential Student-Athletes, the governing body of college athletics announced.

Among the other 98 individuals joining Campbell and Kraft are Madeleine Albright '68SIPA (master's) '76 SIPA (Ph.D.), Arthur Ashe, Michael Jordan, Jack Nicklaus, Jesse Owens, Knute Rockne, Captain Alan Shepard, Dr. Benjamin Spock '29MD and five former United States Presidents, including former Columbia President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

A 1962 graduate of Columbia College, Campbell has had the rare distinction of captaining Columbia's 1961 Ivy League champion football team, serving as head coach of the Lions from 1974 through 1979 and being named Chair of the University Trustees. Columbia coaching legend Buff Donelli once described Campbell as "the best captain I ever had."

Campbell, who also earned his master's degree at Columbia University Teachers College, is chairman of the board of Intuit. From 1994 to 2000, he was president and chief executive officer of the software company. He also was founder, president and chief executive officer of Claris Corporation.

He continues to serve on the boards of Apple Computer and Opsware, Inc., and is a director of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. In 2004, he earned the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame gold medal.

A generous benefactor to Columbia University, Campbell has received both Columbia College's prestigious Alexander Hamilton Medal (2000) and the John Jay Award (1991).

LeGarrette Blount 73-yard rushing touchdown vs. Indianapolis, Jan. 11, 2014 (playoffs).

Robert K. Kraft, a 1963 graduate of Columbia College, lettered in lightweight football in 1960 for the Lions. A Columbia University Trustee Emeritus, he has engineered one of the more remarkable turnarounds in professional athletics as owner, chairman and CEO of the New England Patriots.

When Kraft purchased the Patriots in 1994, the team had suffered five consecutive losing seasons. In the 12 seasons since, the franchise has won six AFC East titles and three Super Bowls.

Kraft provided the lead gift for the Robert K. Kraft Center for Jewish Student Life at Columbia University. In November 2004, Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger presented Kraft with the Alexander Hamilton Medal for distinguished service and accomplishment.

Over the past three decades, the Kraft family has been one of New England's most philanthropic families, donating millions of dollars in support of local charities and civic affairs. In 2004, the family received the Lifetime Achievement Award during an annual sports legends event in Boston. Kraft serves on the executive committee of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where he established the Robert K. Kraft Family Blood Donor Center.

In January, the NCAA awarded Kraft its highest honor, The Theodore Roosevelt Award.

The 100 Most Influential Student-Athletes were selected by a panel that included college presidents, athletics directors, faculty representatives, student-athletes and conference representatives. The group was chosen on the basis of those "who have made a significant impact or major contributions to society," according to a news release from the NCAA.

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