Media Contact: Hannah Buchanan
Public Affairs Specialist
News and Information
The University of Texas at Tyler
UT Tyler Greek Alumnus to Embark on 'Journey of Hope'
Nathan McCrary of Tyler, a May 2009 graduate of The University of Texas at Tyler, will this month undergo a grueling 64-day “journey.”
A member of the university’s Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, he will meet about 80 Pi Kappa Phi brothers from other U.S. universities to participate in the Journey of Hope, a 3,900 mile cross-country bike ride that raises funds and awareness on behalf of people with disabilities.
The Journey of Hope is a project of Push America, which was founded by Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity in 1977 with the mission to build leaders of tomorrow by serving people with disabilities today, according to the organization. Since its establishment, members have raised more than $8 million.
The team will begin in San Francisco, Calif. and cycle from city to city with Washington, D.C. as its final destination.
“We will ride an average of 75 miles a day and stop each night at places that house people with disabilities to give them ‘Friendship Visits,’” said McCrary, who served as UT Tyler Pi Kappa Phi president and was eventually named Mr. Theta Pi. “Our activities on these friendship visits will range from wheel chair basketball to puppet shows that teach children that even though one might have a disability, they can do anything that anyone else can, just in a different way.”
McCrary after finishing Tyler's Beauty and the Beast race. He has been preparing for the Journey of Hope with a personal trainer, fitness classes and bike rides. Those interested in tracking his progress may visit http://web.me.com/nmccrary.
McCrary’s inspiration comes from many sources, including his fraternity brothers and family.
“There are several reasons I decided to ride for people with disabilities on the ‘Journey of Hope,’” he explained. “One reason is my dear friend and fraternity brother who is also a UT Tyler student, Brandon Pettey. Brandon is an amazing person who was born paraplegic, and he is definitely a large source of motivation.
“Another reason I wanted to ride is for the younger fraternity men at UT Tyler. I know they are watching me, and I want to motivate them to accomplish great things on behalf of Push America and people with disabilities. I also would like to ride for my father, who has a disability,” McCrary added.
McCrary graduated with a bachelor of business administration degree. While at UT Tyler, he also enjoyed intramural sports and was a member of the UT Tyler Financial Management Association, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and VIPatriots.
His hobbies include golf, spending time with family, traveling and Pi Kappa Phi leadership training.
One of the 15 campuses of the UT System, UT Tyler offers excellence in teaching, research, artistic performance and community service. Nearly 90 undergraduate and graduate degrees are available at UT Tyler, which has an enrollment of more than 6,000 high-ability students at its campuses in Tyler, Longview and Palestine.