Friday, September 5, 2008

The Rev. Nathaniel Crawford, Jr., J 1972 - MMI’s first African American cadet and graduate

Image of Cadet Sergeant First Class Nathaniel (Nate) Crawford, Jr., J 1972

Marion Military Institute’s first African American cadet and graduate was Nathaniel Crawford, Jr., of Tarpon Springs, Florida. Nate entered the Institute in 1970 as a first year college student, and he graduated with the A.A. degree in the Class of 1972.

At MMI, Crawford held rank as a Sergeant First Class in “A” Company, and he played varsity baseball (pitcher) and basketball (a top player) both his college years. He was a member of the Monogram and Athletic Clubs, he made the Commandant’s List his second year, and he received the Excellence in Citizenship award in 1971-1972.

Nate was an outstanding player on the college basketball team.

He pitched for the college baseball team.

Nate at bat.

The team captains with Alabama Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant who was the guest speaker at the MMI Sports Banquet in 1972.

Nate Crawford completed the Master of Divinity (M.Div.) degree at the Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta, Georgia, and then took the degree of Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) from the Atlanta School of Social Work, Clark Atlanta University.

The Rev. Crawford served as a career Air Force Chaplain, rising to the rank of Colonel. COL Crawford retired two years ago as Chaplain of the 375 Airlift Wing at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois. He and his family settled on Florida’s West Coast. COL Crawford is married and the father of three grown children.

His son, Isaac A. Crawford, graduated from MMI with the A.A. degree in 1999.

Isaac A. Crawford, J 1999