Edna Marjean Evans died peacefully in her sleep on August 26, 2016. She served as head secretary in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department for more than 20 years between the early 1970s to the mid 1990s. Graduates and former faculty members who were a part of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department during that time will remember her with a particular fondness, which stemmed from her genuinely caring attitude toward students and faculty alike, as well as her quiet competence which came to be taken for granted. She was like a surrogate mother to countless students who felt comfortable sharing their problems with her, and she would listen empathetically and generally help them to get life in perspective and their academic career on the right path. Upon her retirement, a party was held for her at the University Center, and students came from as far away as Memphis to honor her for her contributions to their lives.
“Marjean Evans was gracious and caring, as well as calm and competent,” remembers Emeritus Professor Ed Burdette. “She was a person who genuinely cared for the department and its students. She will be remembered with appreciation and affection by those who knew her.”
Former Department Head Greg Reed had the privilege of working alongside Marjean. “She was so dedicated to the department and took care of everyone – especially students,” he recalls. “She was always positive and upbeat. She helped me a lot when I was a new department head to learn and understand all the little details of the functioning of a department. I am better for having known her.”
“Marjean was the office manager when I joined the faculty in 1991,” said Professor Chris Cox, CEE Department Head. “She always cared a great deal for the students and faculty of the department. Her professional legacy is the creation of a welcoming and friendly atmosphere in the CEE office, focused on service to the students and faculty that has become something of a tradition within the department.”