In Memoriam: Former Chapel Dean

Stained Glass Portrait of Evans Crawford

Rev. Evans E. Crawford Jr., Ph.D., former dean of the Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel, died on Feb. 16, 2019. Crawford spent his career at Howard University, where he started in 1958 as a theology instructor and acting dean of the University Chapel.

He served in many positions at the University, including dean of Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel, assistant professor, acting associate dean of the school of Divinity and interim vice president for University Advancement.

He retired in 1991 as professor emeritus of social ethics but continued to teach courses on preaching and social ethics as an adjunct professor at the Howard University School of Divinity. During the 91st Charter Day Dinner, Crawford received the Capstone Distinguished Award for his 48-year tenure as dean and member of the faculty of Howard University.

Howard University is the third University—after University of Chicago and Princeton University—to designate a Dean of Chapel, showing its commitment to organized religious life on campus. The Chapel has had four deans in its history—Dean Crawford was the third.

He graduated in 1939 from Dunbar High School in Washington D.C., where his extracurricular activities included speech and oratory competitions. In 1943, he received his B.S. degree from Huston College (now Huston-Tillotson College). Crawford then went on to earn from the Boston University School of Divinity a bachelor’s degree in sacred theology (1946) and a doctor of theology (1957).

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