Jen Crary left us too soon, on May 4, 1985. She was born in Seattle on January 29, 1966. She graduated from The Lakeside School in Seattle (where Bill Gates went by the way); there is a tree planted in her honor, as well as a scholarship fund.
Her younger sister, Alice, remembers Jen “as both a free spirit and quite brilliant.”
At the time she passed away, Jen was focusing on philosophy and composing at Dartmouth. Sailing was another passion. (Her father was a serious amateur sailor, racing yachts in the Northwest and doing some trans-Pacific competitions.) She was fascinated by philosophy from a young age. When other kids of seven or eight were saying they wanted to be the president or an astronaut when they grew up, Jen would say she wanted to be a “philosopher King.”
Her family also set up an award at Dartmouth that is given annually to a female sailor: “The Jennifer Crary Award is given to the sailor who reflects fun and good sportsmanship, while displaying excellence in crewing.”
Classmate Jessica Smith ’88 remembers:
Jen and I became friends in our freshman year. It’s strange to think I knew her for less than a year, but there is something about the friendships we make as freshmen. It’s like we are thrown into a sea of strangers and those we find, and connect with, are like a safe harbor. I connected with Jen, and as someone who had grown up in the New York area, I found everything about her brighter, and sunnier than anyone I had ever known. She had bright blond hair, a huge smile, a bubbly personality, she was from an island outside Seattle, and she sailed. She visited my home that year, and I have in my mind’s eye a photograph of Jen in my house holding up a big fancy full glass of beer, as we gleefully and a bit mischievously toasted our friendship.