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Crane family donates $13.5 million to Ohio State

Three generations of a Columbus-area family have pledged a multi-million dollar donation to The Ohio State University to establish the largest and most comprehensive dedicated sports medicine facility in the country. Pending approval by the university Board of Trustees at its April 5 meeting, a gift of $13.5 million from the Crane family, including 30 donors from multiple branches of the family tree, will establish the Jameson Crane Sports Medicine Institute, as well as fund early-childhood and foreign-language education initiatives.

The Crane family is well-known in central Ohio as a generous, strategic and committed partner in the community. Through substantial financial gifts, scholarships, organized volunteer efforts, and personal leadership and guidance on boards, the Cranes have generously supported dozens of schools, museums, arts groups, and health and social service agencies.
The majority of the three-pronged gift will honor Jameson Crane, a former Ohio State football team member, 1947 graduate of Ohio State and chairman emeritus of the Crane Group, a family-owned, private holding and management company based in Columbus.

In addition to Jameson Crane, the family tree includes many other Ohio State graduates. Tanny Crane, a 1978 graduate of Ohio State and one of Central Ohio’s most prominent business leaders, is the current president and CEO of the Crane Group. She and her cousin, Mike Crane, a 1978 Ohio State JD and president of The Crane Group Companies, are the third generation of the Crane family to lead the family business. Rob Crane, MD, is an associate professor of family medicine at the university. Rob and Tanny Crane’s father, the late Robert S. Crane, earned his B.S. at Ohio State in 1946; and their mother, Loann Crane, is a 1947 graduate of Ohio State.

“The Crane family has an extraordinary legacy of support at Ohio State, and we are humbled by this tremendous gift – one which comes from 30 family members spanning three generations,” said Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee. “Through this most recent support, the Cranes will advance critical research and education programs in sports medicine, languages and early childhood development. And, in so doing, they set a powerful example of commitment and philanthropy for all of us.”

“Our family is intrinsically tied to Ohio State, and we are thrilled to be able to make this contribution to enhance the great work of sports medicine at Ohio State, the College of Education and Human Ecology, and the College of Arts and Sciences,” said Jameson Crane. “I get a great measure of happiness seeing an impact like this made in my lifetime, and am grateful beyond measure to the three generations of my family who have banded together to make this dream donation a reality. Columbus has been a very supportive community to the Crane family, and we feel a strong obligation to give back. I hope our heartfelt contribution will benefit this community in a significant way.”

The gift will support creation of the Jameson Crane Sports Medicine Institute at The Ohio State University, which will be located on the athletic campus at the corner of Ackerman Road and Fred Taylor Drive. The 140,000 square foot facility will provide new, expanded space for Ohio State’s sports medicine collaborative and innovative programs of health care, education, training and medical research. Plans for the structure include physicians’ offices, large scale human performance labs, sophisticated imaging facilities, computer modeling and biodynamics laboratories, full range physical therapy and rehabilitation areas, and state-of-the-art surgical suites designed for observation and training.

The institute will offer a broad range of personalized care, research and educational opportunities in a multi-disciplinary model that includes programs in: concussions; asthma; the athlete's heart; nutrition; psychology; human performance; surgical and non-operative physicians; physical therapy; athletic training; biologic, biodynamic computer modeling; and clinical outcomes research labs.

“The new Jameson Crane Sports Medicine Institute will help put Ohio State at the forefront of the rapidly growing field of sports medicine,” said Dr. Steven G. Gabbe, CEO of Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center. “We are grateful for the Cranes’ generosity and foresight that will enable our sports medicine program to move from excellence to eminence.”

The total gift will also fund the Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy and the Loann Crane Advanced Language Institute.

The Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy at the Schoenbaum Family Center at Weinland Park (formerly the Children’s Learning Research Collaborative) in the College of Education and Human Ecology, is directed by Professor Laura Justice, a speech-language pathologist and researcher in early childhood language and literacy development, communication disorders and educational interventions. The new center will occupy 4,514 square feet in the Schoenbaum Family Center at Weinland Park.

“Naming the Crane Center for Early Childhood Research and Policy empowers Ohio State to become a driving force in making new discoveries about child development and early education, especially in urban environments,” said Cheryl Achterberg, dean of the College of Education and Human Ecology. “The gift supports our internationally renowned faculty in their vital role of fostering partnerships to overcome the gap between research discoveries and early childhood practice and policy. By connecting researchers, practitioners and policymakers, we can address the most pressing problems of early childhood education in the Columbus community and beyond.”

Named for community volunteer and Crane Group Director Loann Crane, the purpose of the Loann Crane Advanced Language Institute will be to take students with advanced language skills and disciplinary focuses such as engineering, business or architecture and provide them with the specialized knowledge that will allow them to function effectively as professionals in that language. The institute will offer both master’s and certificate programs.

“Ohio State’s foreign language program offers students the opportunity for intense language immersion and study. Thanks to the continuing generosity of the Crane family, Ohio State’s foreign language education will continue to grow and thrive,” said Joseph Steinmetz, executive dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and vice provost. “The Loann Crane Advanced Language Institute will help students develop cultural and professional skills that prepare them to compete on the global stage.”

The gift supports the ongoing work of the university’s But for Ohio State campaign. Last October, Ohio State announced the launch of a $2.5 billion university-wide fundraising campaign that supports funding for five priority areas: placing students first, elevating faculty and academic enterprise, creating modern learning environments, emboldening our research agenda, and driving high-impact innovation.

About The Ohio State University

Founded in 1870, The Ohio State University is a world-class public research university and the leading comprehensive teaching and research institution in the state of Ohio. With more than 63,000 students (including 56,000 in Columbus), the Wexner Medical Center, 14 colleges, 80 centers, and 175 majors, the university offers its students tremendous breadth and depth of opportunity in the liberal arts, the sciences, and the professions.