June 20, 2012

From left to right: Dean of Engineering Keith Buffinton, Professor Jeffrey Evans and alumnus Michael Costa

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By Andy Hirsch

LEWISBURG, Pa. — During his days as a civil engineering major at Bucknell, Michael Costa, a member of the Class of 1991, realized that Jeffrey Evans, a professor of civil and environmental engineering, was an excellent educator. But Costa didn't imagine the profound impact Evans would have on the course of his life.

"Sure, he taught classes and did so with command of both theory and practice, but he didn't stop there," recalled Costa, who also worked closely with Evans while pursuing a master's degree at Bucknell. "Jeff engaged me. He demonstrated a personal interest and confidence in me. My research with him was invigorating and transformative."

To honor Evans' dedication to his students and his passion for education, Costa and his wife, Laureen Leptinsky Costa, a 1990 graduate, recently established an endowment to benefit the University's geotechnical lab, naming it the Jeffrey C. Evans Geotechnical Lab. The Costas' gift to the University will help fund equipment purchases, use and maintenance of the lab, resources to support student and faculty coursework, and experimentation and research in geotechnical engineering. 

"The lab is not just a building where students learn, it's a place where they connect, share and grow," Costa said. "This gift is to say, 'This is how it's done,' by honoring in Jeff Evans an exemplary educator, and to say, 'Keep it going,' by providing resources to continue these good works at Bucknell."

"I'm very appreciative and honored," Evans said of the Costas' gift. "It's really an acknowledgment of not just something special I did for one student, but what we all try to do at Bucknell. In some sense it's symbolic of lots of students who have been shaped by their professors, and lots of professors who have done their best to connect with their students."

Contact: Division of Communications