Crandall touched many at MSSU



Her life reached into departments across campus, and when Jan Crandall passed away on Feb. 15, her friends felt her loss.

Faculty and staff remember Crandall for a devotion to students. Students remember her exuberance.

“She was like a mother to them as much as a teacher,” said Charline Lewis, English secretary.

An instructor at Missouri Southern since 1987, Crandall taught writing and research skills to her students, checking back with them constantly to see if they needed assistance. Her specialty was English 102.

“That’s a difficult course to teach,” said Dr. Dale Simpson, department head of English. “Se had a method of presentation, she had a very well laid-out program for taking the students through the process of their research paper and she did it with a great amount of energy and sacrifice.”

Crandall made herself available to students who needed help, inviting them to her home for tutoring sessions.

Fellow instructor Michael Rodgers, assistant professor of English, worked with Crandall for many years. He admired her teaching technique, and investment she placed in her students. He called her the “ultimate problem solver” when it came to tasks.

“She just had these strategies for teaching and writing that I borrow all the time,” Rodgers said.

She was devoted to Southern sports. Rodgers said basketball, football and baseball dominated their conversations over the years, and she was never too busy to help.

“She was totally devoted to the student cause,” he said.

Life lessons were part of Crandall’s curriculum. Robert Corn, head basketball coach, said Crandall showed a genuine interest in all her students.

“Anybody who had her in her English classes they learned much more than just English in that class,” Corn said. “You spend much time around Jan [Crandall] and then all of a sudden a cloud has been lifted off your day and then there’s sunshine out there.”

A Lionbacker, Crandall wanted to see her athletes succeed in more than just the classroom. She was on the bench as an honorary coach during the Jan. ?? basketball game against Pittsburg State University.

“This would have been the eighth year that she’s been the honorary coach,” Corn said. “It’s always the Pitt State game at home and she’d go the extra mile. She’d decorate our locker room and make little treats for the players.”

“She was the only one that did that,” said Tyler Ryerson, senior physical education major and ??? “She took a lot of pride in it, you could tell she loved doing it.”

The team hugged their way through Crandall’s Feb. 25 visitation trying to return the support they have had through the years.

“Her family has been good to this program,” said Teejay Britton??? Criminal justice, senior

Britton said Crandall’s support meant a great deal to the team. She would smile through her locker room pep talks, but did not mince words.

“She was motherly but at the same time – don’t lose to Pitt State,” Britton said.

Crandall worked on a variety of committees and areas at Southern from promoting Greek life painting pots as part of an alumni awards dinner.

“Her entire family has always been supportive of Southern,” said Lee Elliff-Pound alumni director. “She just touched so many lives.”

The basketball team’s support impressed Pound who said Crandall would have loved having students there.

“They represented what Jan loved about Southern,” Pound said. “They really are family.”