Born on a dairy farm in Guilford County in 1916, Mary Motsinger Evans lived through the Great Depression. From her parents, she learned self-sufficiency and charity.
She graduated from Guilford High School and earned a B.A. in biology from Women's College. She taught biology before marrying Ray L. Evans. While her husband served in the military during World War II, Mary held a temporary job with Esso (now Exxon), which ultimately became a 34-year career.
Mary and Ray enjoyed their long-standing relationship with Guilford students, faculty and staff through her husband's business, Ray Evans Hardware, which was located across from the campus. And as an active member of New Garden Friends Meeting, Mary appreciated Guilford's Quaker heritage and values.
A Pioneer for Women
In 1987, Mary joined the college's Board of Trustees, serving actively until 1993. She was one of few women who served on the board during those years.
Her business acumen became an asset to the college, paving the way for other women to serve in the same capacity. Eventually, she was named an Emerita Trustee, a title she held until her recent death. In 2002, Guilford College awarded her a Distinguished Service Award.
Legacy Supports Students
The two scholarships Mary endowed at Guilford provide financial aid and support for students, with preference given to Quakers and those majoring in the natural sciences.
Mary also included a bequest in her will, which provided financial benefits to the college after her death.
Mary set a fine example for all who knew her. She taught us about community and the importance of being engaged in life. We pay tribute to Mary as a lifelong supporter of education.
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