Alumni and Student friend: Jan Devore

Heather Croyl

For those of us closely approaching graduation, there is one person that we are soon to befriend: Jan Devore, the director of alumni relations. Through her 35-year history at Millikin University, Devore has supported students and alumni alike in carrying out the Millikin tradition.

Devore first entered the Milli-Bubble in 1978 as a Resident Director. For this position, Devore lived in an apartment on the first floor of Walker (where safety and security is now). From there, Devore oversaw all of the women’s dorms, as there were no co-ed dorms yet. Aston, Walker, Blackburn and the no longer standing Fairview Hall were filled with women, all under Devore’s care. After three years in this position, Devore was promoted to Assistant Dean of Students (1980), Associate Dean of Students (1984) and then Dean of Students (1989).

During this time, Devore faced some changes on campus, one of them being in regards to alcohol. In 1980, the drinking age was changed from 19 to 21. This created quite a stir on Jan. 1, as many Millikin students were suddenly underage. Devore worked with staff and students in preparation and response to this change. She was part of the staff who agreed that Millikin would not be a dry campus, but instead would follow the law, which stated anyone 21 and older in a private room would be allowed to consume alcohol. This change also affected parties and Greek life, which Devore worked with, making some of the ground floor policies we as students now experience today.

An additional change affecting campus during that time was a transition to the five-day class schedule that we see today. Previously, students did not attend classes on Wednesday; instead, this day was reserved for labs and study. Additionally, a winter term had been in place where Millikin students had a 7-credit requirement in winter term classes in order to graduate. These classes were set up as pass-fail and lasted only a few weeks.  This has been replaced with the January immersions that we see today.

Alongside this work, Devore obtained her Ph.D. in education, with a concentration on Higher Education Administration in 1988. With this in hand, Devore worked as the Dean of Students until 1995. This job included supervising and working with just about all of campus. This led Devore to have a very close connection to students and faculty alike.

Upon becoming the Director of Alumni Relations, Devore brought with her 20 years of relationships with students. Through this, Devore has been able to maintain a connection with the dedicated and awesome individuals who make up Millikin’s alumni.

As seniors near the stage, everyone should be proud to join a group of strong and loyal alumni.  One great way to stay connected to the Millikin institution will be to get connected with Millikin’s Alumni Department. Housed across the street from Westminster and cornered to PMC, the Alumni House will become a new home to the 2013 Millikin graduates. Under Devore’s direction, the staff will organize homecoming activates for alumni, foster continued relationships with alumni and carry out alumni-giving to the current student body at large.

As she states, “What is special about Millikin is the relationships that students make.” Therefore seniors, or any students near graduation, should be confident that your new friend Jan Devore will be there to keep the Millikin relationship alive and well.