Thomas C. Eakin was initiated by Ohio Iota Chapter at Denison on March 1, 1953. Since then, his chapter gave the “Mr. Ohio Iota” Award. In 2016, he was given the Fraternity’s Distinguished Alumnus Award for his service to his contributions to the Fraternity and his community.
A member of the Fraternity’s Lou Gehrig Award Committee for 40 years, Eakin is well-known for his accomplishments in the world of sports, and is a member of 15 different Halls of Fame, including: Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame, Greater Akron Baseball Hall of Fame, Cy Young Tuscarawas County Baseball Hall of Fame, Youngstown Old Timers Baseball Association Hall of Fame, American Athletic Association of the Deaf Hall of Fame, Ohio Record Holders Hall of Fame, and the Wisconsin Baseball Hall of Fame. He is a leader in the Fraternity’s as a frequent contributor with more than 825 gifts made to the Phi Delta Theta Foundation.
He is the founder and president of several sports organizations and sports museums, including: Ohio Baseball Hall of Fame, Cy Young Museum, Ohio Sports Council, Ohio Sports Legends Foundation, Ohio Minor League Baseball Hall of Fame Association, and Founder of Target-Reach-Youth (TRY) program. This program has raised over $1 million for high school and inner-city sports programs.
Eakin founded the Moses Fleetwood Walker Memorial Award, which is awarded annually to a minority college or high school student who has demonstrated excellence in baseball and scholastics. Eakin was honored in 1999 by the Ohio Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission with its highest honor for community service and sports achievement. Brother Eakin has received some of the highest sports achievement awards, including: Ohio Governor’s Award ” the state’s highest award, the Sport Service Award by Sport Magazine, the Dapper Dan Club of the Upper Ohio Valley, and Ohio Professional and Amateur Athlete of the Year Awards.
Brother Eakin’s volunteer activities and financial contributions span a wide range of organizations, such as Camp Cleveland, Cuyahoga Hills Boys School, Health Hill Hospital for Children, National Junior Tennis League of Cleveland, Shaker Heights Drug Council.
Eakin has been honored by over 300 cities in the US with a Thomas C. Eakin Day proclaimed in his honor. He made the Guinness Book of World Records for having the longest biography in the 47th edition of Who’s Who in America. He is also featured in A Treasury of Ohio Tales written about famous Ohioans. He was the youngest person ever inducted into the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame at age 61, and received the Ohio Masons highest honor, the Rufus Putnam Distinguished Service Award in 1999, and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2002.