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Delta College couple honored for their love of service

"Love for people." 
"They did things from the heart." 
"They wanted a better place for everybody." 

These are some of the many sentiments shared by long-time colleagues about the enduring impact of a couple’s lifelong acts of service to Delta College and their community.  

Anita and Jack Crowell

The Jack and Anita Crowell Scholarship Endowment supports students interested in pursuing mathematics or computer-related careers, community service or global peace-related fields of study, or early childhood development or education fields in general. 

Unbeknownst to them, the math division initiated the scholarship, a decade in the making, with contributions from friends and community members. The scholarship celebrates the Crowells’ commitment to education and global awareness.

“I was shocked that they were able to keep the surprise,” Jack said. “I’m just very thankful and honored, and my wife would be extremely excited about having something like this in our names. For many years, our married life was part of Delta.”

The Crowells met at Delta in 1965 when Anita, a then-student, saw Jack walking down the hall in a wrinkled shirt. She turned to her friend and said, “That man needs a wife.” Five weeks of courtship later, they eloped and remained married for 55 years. 

From their union, they had two daughters, Shoanna Crowell-Keyser and Tennell Crowell-Laverty, and four grandchildren. 

Jack joined Delta in 1966 as a mathematics instructor and rose through the ranks to become a professor. Though he “retired” in 2010, Jack continued to teach as an adjunct faculty member for another ten years and often teaches math to elementary children. 

Anita, a Michigan State University graduate, loved supporting children through creative initiatives, reading and childhood educational efforts through PBS programming and the Rainbow Wizard and Company puppet show. At Delta, she served as president of the Delta Women’s Club and was the hostess of Kenyans visiting the campus through the Delta/Kenya program.

Anita passed away on October 7, 2022, after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s disease. She was 76.

“She was the conductor that made the train move. She was very much involved with everything Jack did,” Ron Sharp, former Delta chemistry professor, said. “If we had more Jacks and Anitas in the world, it would be a better place to live.”

Katrina Nichols, a retired Delta mathematics professor, called the recognition a crowning moment for their selflessness, saying, “They genuinely cared for uplifting other people’s lives.” 

Reflecting on his late wife, Jack expressed his gratitude for Delta changing the trajectory of their lives. 

“Delta has been a focal point in my life and the lives of my family, bringing opportunities for us to further our interest in teaching, learning and service,” he said. “To be able to provide opportunities for others to grow in their education and development is a mark Anita and I are honored to leave behind.”  

Interested in starting an endowment? Many individuals and businesses establish endowments, which are held by Delta College and provide interest that is awarded as scholarships to students. Contact Julie Dorcey at 989-686-9079 or