Evelyn Whaley Lafollette ’63
Nearly 55 years since her graduation in 1963, Evelyn “Ev” Whaley LaFollette says DePauw remains one of her passions. “I’m fortunate to live in Indiana, so I can and do visit campus often for events like the dedication of Hoover Hall, the Monon Bell game, Old Gold Weekend, and Ubben Lectures,” she says.
When she recalls her undergraduate years, Ev says, “Leadership opportunities and building relationships were the most important things. I was president of the Association of Women Students, which allowed me to meet and develop friendships with women from other living units. Those friendships have lasted over the years, and I treasure maintaining them through social media and through reunions.” Ev so enjoys Alumni Reunion Weekend on campus in June as a wonderful time to reconnect with old friends that she has agreed to co-chair her 55th class reunion, June 8-10, 2018.
In addition to relationships with classmates, Ev cherishes her relationship with Professor Bob Newton. “He taught a class called Basic Beliefs and Modern Man that was very influential to me, so much so that I saved the class syllabus for almost 50 years. We have stayed in touch all these years, and I presented that syllabus to him at my 45th class reunion.”
“My DePauw experience gave me a great foundation academically and socially and gave me such confidence,” Ev says. “With my DePauw degree, I was able to attend Vanderbilt University and earn a master’s in speech pathology.” Ev worked for five years as a speech therapist in Indiana’s public school system until she became a mother. Then she worked another 13 years after her children were grown.
“In addition to DePauw University, my other passion is for the social justice organization United Methodist Women,” Ev says. “I went to my first meeting with my mother when I was four years old, so it has been nearly a lifelong involvement. It is the largest denominational faith organization for women with approximately 800,000 members who raise funding for programs and projects related social justice and empowering women, children and youth in the United States and 100 countries around the world. The organization’s Mission u educational event has been held at DePauw for the past six years and has been another great reason to return to campus!”
“I can’t imagine not giving to and supporting DePauw,” Ev says. Longtime philanthropic supporters of the University, Ev and her husband, Dr. James “Jim” W. LaFollette, established an endowed fund in 2013 in honor of Ev’s 50th reunion. The Evelyn Whaley and James W. LaFollette, M.D. Endowed Fund for Medical School Preparation supports programs and financial assistance that help DePauw students better prepare for admission to medical school.
Ev and Jim are parents to two DePauw graduates, Cherie LaFollette DuPuy ’95 and Dr. Christopher LaFollette ’98. They have five granddaughters and are hopeful there may be a DePauw Tiger among them.