Ray Murphy, Jr., an Oklahoma State wrestling star of the late 1960s who passed away this summer, will be honored at the Bedlam football game vs the Oklahoma Sooners in Stillwater on Saturday, November 27.
Members of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and the Cowboy athletic department will pass the bucket during the game to raise funds for the Ray Murphy Endowed Scholarship.
Murphy, a walk-on wrestler for legendary Oklahoma State coach Myron Roderick, captained the 1968 NCAA Division I championship team. As a senior, Murphy was runner-up in the 145-pound finals of the 1969 NCAAs. The Tulsa native was an honor student and member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. While getting his master’s degree at Oklahoma State, he competed in a wrestling event in Stillwater in April 1970 where he was injured in an accident on the mat which left him paralyzed from the neck down.
On July 20, Murphy passed away as the longest living quadriplegic known to medical science.
“There were three things that prolonged Ray’s life – his faith, his friends and his love for OSU,” said Jim Blazer, a fraternity brother and head of the Ray Murphy Fund. “Ray lived for all things OSU and he loved the university more than anything. He would listen to the radio if a game wasn’t on TV or he’d go online and read about academics, sports, new facilities, everything. He would read articles in the newspaper. That’s what Ray lived for.”
After his death, the Oklahoma State athletic department decided to establish a scholarship in his name. The scholarship will be awarded to wrestlers exemplify Murphy’s outstanding academics, positive attitude and passion for all things Oklahoma State.
“Our goal is to reach $250,000,” said Dave Martin, senior associate athletic director at Oklahoma State who wrestled at Iowa State at the same time Murphy was a Cowboy matman. “It’s the least we can do to honor such an amazing guy with an incredible will to live. He is such an inspiration to others.”
This fund is expected to qualify for the Pickens Legacy Scholarship Match, which will provide a one-and-a-half-times match. By reaching the quarter-million-dollar goal in gifts and pledges, the Ray Murphy Fund would be worth $625,000 once fully endowed. For more information on the Pickens Legacy Scholarship Match, visit OSUgiving.com/PickensMatch. Direct donations to the fund are accepted at the Oklahoma State University Foundation. Checks are payable to the OSU Foundation; donors are asked to note the check is for the Ray Murphy Endowed Scholarship.
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