Janet Crawford Evans '75 is a Multi-Faceted Volunteer
When Janet Crawford Evans ’75 returned to DePauw in 2010 for her 35th reunion, she remembers feeling sad and disoriented. DePauw had always been a sort of magical place – the place where she met her husband, Dr. Richard W. Schwartz ’75, where they returned when Rich was honored with the Young Alumni Award and each reunion year, where Rich served on the Board of Visitors and their daughter Sarah Schwartz Woodworth ’02 earned her English degree and also met her husband, Michael N. Woodworth ’99. Janet and Rich loved DePauw and visited often to reminisce with former classmates and friends. They volunteered to help plan their 2010 reunion, but the magic of campus had faded when Janet arrived in Greencastle alone that summer having lost Richard to cancer just a few months prior.
A few years later, when she received a call about serving on the Alumni Board, she was beginning to heal from her loss and was ready to reconnect with the University. She attended her first Alumni Board meeting in spring 2012, and she was asked to make phone calls to parents of prospective students who lived near her home in the Lexington, Ky., area. That is when the DePauw magic began to return to her life.
“One of the families on my list had an older son who had already graduated from DePauw. I left them a message offering to chat but acknowledging that they probably knew DePauw well with a young alum in the family,” she says.
The prospective student’s father, Carson Evans, returned Janet’s call. They soon discovered that they had both recently lost a spouse to cancer, and their conversation turned to grief and recovery. They talked by phone for an hour, and a week later they met in person for coffee to continue their conversation. Janet and Carson married in the summer of 2015. Carson’s oldest son, Joseph graduated in 2010 with a degree in communications, and his younger son, Jack, will graduate with a degree in history in 2017.
Janet continues to serve on the Alumni Board and is involved with the Hubbard Center for Student Engagement where she and Rich established an endowed fund to support pre-medical advising. Janet and Carson serve together on the Parents Council, which they helped to reenergize. As Parents Council members, they act as liaisons between the University and parents of current students. They’re on campus when families arrive on opening day. They make phone calls to welcome and answer questions for families of incoming first-year students. They rally parent support for initiatives that make a difference for current students, such as the Cornelsen Challenge for student internships. With all that Janet has given during 35 years to support DePauw, she insists that DePauw has given her so much more.
“I met and married Rich at DePauw, and we had a wonderful life and family. Then I met Carson through DePauw and have a wonderful husband and family with all of our children. We love spending time together on campus. DePauw just keeps giving back,” Janet says.
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