Don Crewell, director of financial aid at Caltech, passed away on March 17, 2020, after a long illness. He was 67.
Joe Shepherd, Caltech's vice president for student affairs, said Crewell deserves appreciation for going above and beyond in his work and called him a wonderful colleague.
"Don worked behind the scenes, helping our students and their families afford a Caltech education," Shepherd says. "He was compassionate and thoughtful, and provided that personal touch that we believe characterizes our work with students and families."
Crewell joined Caltech as director of financial aid in 2007, a position he maintained until November 2019. Before that, he was director of financial aid at the California College of the Arts; director of enrollment and student services at the California School of Professional Psychology; a program director at the Educational Testing Service (ETS); and associate director of financial aid at Lehigh University, where he also graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Government.
"Don cared deeply about fairness and equity, and was a compassionate supervisor," says Jarrid Whitney, Caltech's assistant vice president for student affairs, enrollment and career services. "He did an amazing job of coordinating aid policies and practices so that Caltech could remain competitive with its need-based financial aid programs. He was also a pioneer in transforming the financial aid office into a paperless operation a decade ahead of his peers."
Crewell is warmly remembered by his coworkers in the financial aid office.
"I'll never work for someone so generous with his knowledge and compassionate," says Isabel Houser, financial aid analyst. "He will be missed beyond words."
"Today I lost a colleague, a mentor, and most of all a dear friend. Don did not just teach me how to be a better staff member, he taught me how to be a better human," says Malina Chang, Caltech's acting director of financial aid.
"Don was a kind and gracious person who was committed to his friends and to the Caltech community," says former Caltech Registrar Mary Morley. "His unwavering care for the welfare of our students and families was always Don's top priority. As a personal friend, he will be sorely missed."
Crewell was also known for his love of dogs, especially his Labrador retriever, Josie, and for being proud of his home state of New Jersey.