We honor the life and legacy of a
Buckeye through-and-through, Jameson “Jim” Crane
Jim’s partnership and generosity helped The Ohio State Wexner Medical Center create a world-class Sports Medicine facility in 2016. His enthusiasm inspired his family, as well as other Buckeyes and donors, to add their own support. As a result, The Jameson Crane Sports Institute will remain a leader in patient care, education and research for athletes at all levels. Jim understood the power of sports – its impact on the individual and its ability to join communities. His gift to the medical center and big-hearted approach to life will continue to motivate the Ohio State Sports Medicine team to always provide the best possible care and training, so that athletes can pursue the games they love.
The Jameson Crane Sports Medicine Institute
is celebrating five years
The future of sports medicine at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center looked very bright when the Jameson Crane Sports Medicine Institute opened in 2016.
This state-of-the-art facility, comprising 112,000 square feet, is the nation’s largest dedicated multidisciplinary academic sports medicine facility in the country. The addition of this impressive space gave promise to new program growth.
Five years later, that promise has been realized.
The Ohio State University Sports Medicine Institute has continued its meteoric growth, rising from 11 employees in 2004 to over 300 today. It now has about 100 active clinical research studies and 15 industry-funded clinical trials, and in the past year, faculty members have published 94 peer-reviewed research papers, written 14 book chapters and won several national research awards.
In 2020, the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center opened a surgical skills lab on the third floor of the institute. At 5,000 square feet, this lab is one of the largest and most advanced academic labs of its type in the country. It serves as a model training facility for many, including surgeons from multiple disciplines, resident trainees and established surgeons learning new techniques. The lab provides a connection point for Ohio State to partner with industry for developing and evaluating new surgical products and exploring innovative procedures.
Additionally, Ohio State Sports Medicine has deepened its relationships with external partners, including multiple local school districts, BalletMet, the Columbus Clippers, Capital University and the Columbus Division of Police. It also serves as a center of excellence for several national orthopedic companies.
“I cannot imagine a better community partner than the Crane family in general, and Jameson in particular.”
- Christopher Kaeding, MD, executive director of Sports Medicine
The new facility has enabled significant and widespread personnel and programmatic growth. Countless students, trainees, researchers, faculty, staff and patients have benefited. The institute’s mission is to enhance people’s lives by improving physical activity across the lifespan and pursuing this mission has facilitated even greater achievements through the synergy of our research, education and patient care programs.
Philanthropy was central to the creation of the Jameson Crane Sports Medicine Institute. Three generations of the Crane family made a gift of $10 million in honor of the institute’s namesake, a 1947 graduate of The Ohio State University and member of the Buckeye football team.
“I cannot imagine a better community partner than the Crane family in general, and Jameson in particular,” says Christopher Kaeding, MD, executive director of sports medicine. “Their partnership and generosity have been at the heart of our ability to expand this program and impact so many lives.”
Honoring his alma mater
Jameson (Jim) Crane’s love for The Ohio State University began when he was enrolled at Oberlin College. With admiration, he watched the Buckeyes football team beat the University of Michigan Wolverines in November 1944. After transferring to Ohio State in 1945, he joined the Junior Varsity football team – and eventually the Varsity team.
Jim recalled his greatest college memories as playing in front of 75,000 fans at Ohio Stadium, winning his first Varsity game against Illinois, being crowned homecoming king and playing against Michigan in 1947, which happened to be the first televised sporting event for Ohio State. Jim’s graduation from The Ohio State University in 1947 would launch a legacy of three generations of involvement and philanthropy with his beloved alma mater.
Reflecting on the Great Depression
From a very early age, the value of helping others was instilled in Jim when he and his family struggled through economic hardship of the Great Depression and lost everything. Jim and his family never took for granted his opportunity to go to The Ohio State University and play football. Still to this day, Jim and his family display gratitude for that opportunity.
“Ohio State gave us so much,” shared Jim.
That chance provided by Ohio State left Jim with a feeling of indebtedness. He recalled his first donation to the university: $1 in 1948 as a new alumnus.
Helping support athletes through medicine
Being a student athlete, Jim knew first-hand the importance trainers and sports medicine professionals had on his career. When they were able, Jim and his family wanted to do more to help other young athletes.
A facility unlike any other
Through his family’s gift of $10 million to The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, the dream of the Jameson Crane Sports Medicine Institute became possible. This facility now combines 15 specialty programs – including Sports Performance, Endurance Medicine, Sports Psychology, Sports Nutrition, Golf Performance and Performing Arts Medicine – under one roof.
“I get a great measure of happiness seeing an impact like this made in my lifetime,” said Jim at the time.
How you can help
Make a gift online and help improve the lives of our sports medicine patients.
Donate by Mail
The Wexner Medical Center Development Office
c/o The OSU Foundation
PO Box 710811
Columbus, OH 43271-0811