It’s happened to all of us. Your phone rings; it’s an unknown number from 2,000 miles away. Easy decision, right? You let it go to voicemail, like Grant Jones ’88 did when he received such a call in February.
“I thought it was a telemarketer,” chuckled Jones. “It didn’t hit me until I realized that he had mentioned my name and was asking me questions.”
What hit him was the realization that legendary sportscaster Dick Enberg was congratulating him on having been named to the Capital One Academic All-America Hall of Fame, which honors former college student-athletes who are excelling in their professions and contributing to their communities. He couldn’t believe it.
Despite his surprise, Jones’ resumé speaks for itself. In addition to playing football for four years under Coach Keith Piper, Jones graduated from Denison as valedictorian and from Ohio State University’s medical school with honors. He was a two-time all-conference player at defensive back and, in 1987, the football team’s captain and MVP. In addition to his Academic All-America of the Year award, Jones also received an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship and TIME magazine’s College Achievement Award, which acknowledges America’s top 20 college students, based on academics, social service, and athletics.
Jones, who is a surgeon at Ohio State’s College of Medicine, joined 132 previous Hall of Fame inductees during a June ceremony in Orlando, Fla. His classmates included NBA champion Shane Battier (Duke); Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel (Florida); Olympic gold-medal-winning hockey player Angela Ruggiero (Harvard); and basketball standout Congressman Lee Hamilton (DePauw).
“I am proud to represent Denison as its first Academic All-America Hall of Fame member,” says Jones, who was also inducted into Denison’s Varsity D Association Hall of Fame last year. Jones is certain he won’t be the last.