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Senior Christian Gravius Named St. Bonaventure’s 14th Murray Scholar

Senior Christian Gravius Named St. Bonaventure’s 14th Murray Scholar

ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y.— For the 14th time, a St. Bonaventure University student has demonstrated excellence in writing, journalistic integrity and creativity to earn a prestigious Murray Foundation Scholarship.  

Christian Gravius, who begins his senior year at St. Bonaventure this fall, has earned one of five scholarships awarded by the Jim Murray Memorial Foundation as part of its annual essay contest. In addition to the $3,000 scholarship, Gravius will be recognized as the Judges' Choice Award winner because his essay received the most points by the judges.

A fixture at the Los Angeles Times for more than 30 years, the late Jim Murray also was a writer and columnist for Sports Illustrated and Time magazine.

Gravius, a student in the Jandoli School of Communication at St. Bonaventure, is pursuing a major in journalism and minor in English. He is also a member of the Bonnies men's cross country and track team.

The subject of Gravius' essay, coincidentally, was cross country teammate Ethan Kibbe, who graduated from Bona's in May and was a 2017 Murray Scholar. Gravius' profile described Kibbe's perseverance and leadership in his sport despite devastating setbacks from a core-muscle injury that forced him to sit out his first year of collegiate running and a car accident his junior year.

"Ethan never gave up, though, and at the end of his junior season he showed us what hard work, passion and being there for your team looks like," said Gravius.

During the academic year, Gravius covers high school sports for the Olean Times Herald and serves as president of St. Bonaventure's ENACTUS chapter where he assists in planning and leading an annual trip to Freeport, Bahamas, where the organization assists business owners, teaches in primary schools and repairs damaged homes.

"Christian is a talented writer and this achievement proves just that," said Aaron Chimbel, dean of the Jandoli School. "What this recognition also shows — and for the 14th time — is just how good the Jandoli School has been for so long at developing writers and storytellers. It's wonderful to be able to celebrate another Murray Scholar."

Aside from being named a 2018 Murray Scholar, Gravius said his biggest journalistic accomplishment came when he covered the university's men's basketball team in the first round of the 2018 NCAA tournament in Dallas, Texas.

Gravius spent the summer of 2018 as a marketing intern at the YMCA for the Rockies, the world's largest YMCA, where his main responsibility was writing captivating posts for the association's blog.

In his free time, Gravius enjoys listening to music, spending time with friends, snowboarding, hiking and mountain biking. He grew up in Derby, New York, about a half hour south of Buffalo.

The Jim Murray Memorial Foundation was founded in 1999 to perpetuate Jim Murray's legacy and his love for and dedication to his extraordinary career in journalism.

St. Bonaventure students have won scholarships in 14 of the 18 years they have been awarded. Joining Gravius as 2018 winners are Patrick Burns of Penn State University, Henry Chisholm of University of Montana, Maggie Vanoni of University of Oregon, and Chapel Fowler of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The Murray Foundation will host the Murray Scholars Sept. 22 at Dodger Stadium when the Los Angeles Dodgers take on the San Diego Padres. The event will also remember Murray on the 20th anniversary of his death.

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About the University: The nation's first Franciscan university, we believe in the goodness of every person and in the ability of every person to do extraordinary things.  St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them. Named the #5 best college value in the North by U.S. News and World Report, we are establishing pathways to internships, graduate schools and careers in the context of our renowned liberal arts tradition.