GREENVILLE, IL – A year ago, Mayor George Barber declared April 22 as Nicholas Morrow Day in Greenville. In making that designation, Barber cited the many contributions of the Greenville University alum and current National Football League linebacker.

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Barber, who also coaches the GU men’s basketball team, expressed his appreciation for Morrow as an example of the University’s mission to “empower students for lives of character and service through a transforming Christ-centered education.”

While in Greenville last April, Morrow participated in a youth football clinic, was honored by the city, led a GU chapel service, and spoke at a banquet at which his GU number was retired.

As the anniversary of Nicholas Morrow Day nears, his impact on the community is being felt once again. He recently made a generous donation to The Simple Room, a local organization that provides after-school programming, recreation, and educational activities for the young people of the community.

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Lorna Gaffney, communications director for The Simple Room, said Morrow’s gift will be used for the organization's after-school program, which currently serves about 40 students each weekday. Many of The Simple Room’s staff are GU alums, and several current students volunteer with the program – as Morrow did when he was a student.

“We are so grateful that Nicholas continues to support The Simple Room and the things we’re doing for the young people in the community,” Gaffney said. “He’s always been a huge fan of our organization, and his gift will help us reach more young people through the after-school program.”

After a distinguished career at GU during the 2013 through 2016 seasons, Morrow received many accolades, including being named an All-American his senior year. He signed with the Oakland Raiders as an undrafted free agent in 2017 and spent five seasons with the team. He played for the Chicago Bears in 2022, for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2023, and this spring signed with the Buffalo Bills.

Known as an intelligent and exceptionally well-prepared competitor, Morrow is one of only a handful of Division III athletes playing in the NFL. He credits habits established at GU for allowing him to continue his career at the pro level.

The Simple Room was founded in 1983 when Greenville College Professor Jim Reinhard was teaching a Creative Evangelism class. Students in that class noticed that many young people were unsupervised after school and determined that the community needed “a simple room where students could go to be safe and loved.” The organization operated in several buildings in town until a permanent facility was purchased in 1987 at the intersection of Fourth and Franklin Streets. In 2019, a new building was constructed at the same location. It includes several classrooms, a gymnasium, and an outdoor playground.

“It’s great to once again honor a person of such high character as Nicholas,” said GU Athletic Director Tom Ackerman. “He represents GU so well, and we are honored to claim him as one of our own. His donation will be very helpful to The Simple Room.”

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