To Chris,

Our faculty adviser of 14 years is moving on


Ian Thomas Jansen-Lonnquist

Erika Lewy and Olivia Bowman go through a weekly critique of the Cynic with faculty adviser Chris Evans 2017.

This summer, our faculty adviser of 14 years will be moving on to bigger and better things. And there isn’t much else to say other than that we love him.


It’s hard to imagine the school year starting with anything other than a barbecue at your house. It’s hard to imagine anyone else running our weekly critiques, answering our late phone calls or ordering twice the amount of coffee at our retreats because you know the Cynic team is showing up.

On behalf of student journalists in Vermont, thanks for advocating for the New Voices Act and for being a strong believer in independent student newsrooms. The Cynic knows that the most successful student newspapers have an adviser who gives great direction but who also trusts students to make their own decisions. You were a fierce protector of our independence for over a decade, and we can only hope your successor fills those same shoes. 

Thank you for everything. Many of us made lifelong friends and learned things about ourselves in your backyard and your living room. On behalf of everyone at the Cynic, we wish you the best of luck. 


Bridget Higdon, Editor-in-Chief 2019-2020

Alek Fleury, Managing Editor 2019-2021

Here are some messages for you from past Cynic leaders:

Aviva Loeb, Layout Editor 2012-2014

Thank you for being my teacher, cheerleader, mediator, advocate, friend and 1:00 a.m. phone call. Thank you for having the patience to put up with and educate me for 15 credits worth of classes. Thank you for creating the Cynic as I knew, loved and learned from it. Thank you for believing in me. Even when I failed, when I lost, when I made questionable decisions. You shaped a generation of Vermont journalists and we’ll never forget that. You shaped us into leaders, and just thoughtful, well rounded human beings. I owe so much to you, we all do. I know you are going to thrive at your new school, as will the students lucky enough to be in your orbit. Maybe they’ll even think up a more inventive nickname for you than Crevans.

Natalie Williams, Editor-in-Chief 2013-2014

Chris, I’m sure you know that you have had the biggest impact on my life, and I will forever be grateful for you. From inspiring trainings, to coaching me through rough waters, I always knew you had my back while at UVM. You continue to inspire me — whether going for a PhD or taking on a new professional challenge during a pandemic. When trying to think of a favorite memory to share, I just kept coming back to the practicum and weekly meetings when I was EIC. And I think that summarizes it perfectly. I will forever appreciate the consistent support and levity you brought to four incredibly stressful and fulfilling years. I wish you the best of luck and guarantee we will stay in touch.

You shaped a generation of Vermont journalists and we’ll never forget that. You shaped us into leaders, and just thoughtful, well rounded human beings.

— Aviva Loeb

Stu Laperle, Managing Editor 2014-2015

There aren’t many people who have made such a profound impact on my journalistic career as you have. Over the years, you’ve provided me with countless opportunities, critical feedback and steadfast support — typically at times when I need it most. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate everything you’ve done for me.  You’ve touched so many lives, and influenced so many budding students to pursue careers in communication. Your unwavering positive attitude and calm demeanor are contagious. And your commitment to fair, objective journalism is admirable. I’m going to truly miss traveling back to Vermont and being able to stop by the Davis Center to catch up. I wish you all the best in your next endeavor. The University of Illinois is lucky to have you. I look forward to staying in touch. And please don’t hesitate to reach out if you ever need anything. If I happen to find myself in Champaign, I’m taking you out to the best Sichuan-style spot in town. That’s a promise.

Sarah Olsen, Enterprise Editor 2015-2016

Mr. Evans, thank you so much for all that you did for UVM and the Cynic. You taught me so much about journalism and life. You will forever be synonymous with my time at the Cynic and I wish you all the best.

Bryan O’Keefe Managing Editor, 2017

My decision to join the Vermont Cynic back in 2015 had an enormous impact on my personal and professional life. I was an ambitious but lost undergraduate student, and I did not find my footing at the University of Vermont until I immersed myself in that newsroom on the bottom floor of the Davis Center. With the Cynic I learned the importance of grit, truthfulness, and hard work, skills that have served me well during my time as a law student. But I owe so much of what I learned to Chris. As I climbed the ranks at the Vermont Cynic, Chris was always there to support the decisions of myself and my colleagues, but also to challenge us to be better journalists. Chris could take every moment and turn it into a learning opportunity, something that I probably used to curse him for but now appreciate immensely, and I have carried those lessons and the legacy of improvement with me. The dedication and care for students that Chris demonstrated during my time at UVM was so obvious and tangible to everyone around him. The students at Illinois are so blessed to have such a thoughtful, capable leader joining them.

Chris, I’m not sure where to begin thanking you, but I’d like to think that writing you this note — on my lunch break, during a busy news day at my dream publication — just about sums it up.

— Mariel Wamsley

Kelsey Neubauer, Editor-in-Chief 2017

Chris — For your patience, your vision and your passion for this craft, thank you. I am truly so grateful to have learned the foundations of journalism, leadership and professionalism from you. I don’t think the impact you have had to UVM can be overstated: you have lit a fire for truth under a generation of Catamounts; you have put us on a path towards seeking it in the halls of Old Mill and Waterman and beyond; you have been a great teacher to us all. The level of potential you see in your students is only surpassed by your unique ability to support them to reach it. I’ve yet to know anyone who believes in and supports their students more. I aspire to one day be one half of the journalist and teacher you are. We have been so lucky to have learned from you! Thank you and good luck on your new journey!

Mariel Wamsley, Copy Chief 2016-2018

Chris, I’m not sure where to begin thanking you, but I’d like to think that writing you this note — on my lunch break, during a busy news day at my dream publication — just about sums it up. To say that you have taught me everything I know about copy editing and have laid the foundation for my career in journalism is an understatement. (My knowledge of the tenses and participles for “lay” and “lie” are, also, all thanks to you.) But when I think about what I’d most like to emphasize in this sendoff to you, as you leave Vermont for your well-deserved position in Illinois, a few scenes in particular pop into my head. 

I think of the barbecues you and your wonderful family hosted at your home, year after year. I think about the time I biked uphill in the rain to a meeting we had, and as soon as you saw me (though I was late), you gasped and immediately found a towel I could dry my hair with. I think of all the invaluable trainings and trips you organized for us (never forgetting to bring bagels and coffee), like the annual Seven Days training and the ACP Convention I attended in Washington, D.C. my sophomore year. And I think of the spring finals week of my senior year, when — though terrified about exams and the absence of any post-grad plans — I attended the senior dinner you’ve always graciously hosted. When I arrived (late again), I quietly made my way to an empty seat and sat with some old friends, though I had admittedly taken a backseat in Cynic affairs that year. But within minutes of being there, you had made a beeline to where I was sitting, greeting me with a hug and making sure you took the time to catch up. You listened to my excitement and my concerns, and I knew then you’d always be there for your students, no matter where they were. 

Chris, Illinois is beyond lucky to have you, but I’m not sure how anyone will even begin to fill your shoes at UVM. Thank you, again, for everything.

Erika B. Lewy, Editor-in-Chief 2017-2018

There are many who are passionate about the personal and professional development of young adults and a shrinking number who are passionate about quality journalism — those who get a thrill from a clever lede, a tight nutgraph, an aggressively reported story. Chris Evans is one of the very few who cares deeply about both and has the tenacity, courage and wisdom to make sure that student journalism not only lives on (and in an increasingly hostile environment) but innovates and improves. Thank you for all that you taught me, Chris, and sorry about these overlong sentences. The Cynic will miss you.

Ben Elfand, Managing Editor 2018-2019

Chris, thank you for your uniquely candid criticisms. They’ve helped me grow immensely as a writer and as a person. Without your dedication to keeping our paper accountable in quality and content, my peers and I would never have confronted our own limitations so head-on. Your new students will be lucky to have you. Godspeed.

Greta Bjornson, Editor-in-Chief 2018-2019

Chris, thank you for believing in the importance of student journalism. If there’s one thing I took away from my time with you at UVM, it’s that there’s always a story and people will try and silence it, but it’s our job as journalists to find the truth. Thank you for treating us as adults, not students and for trusting us and inspiring us to do better with every issue and every new story. Your encouragement, advice and knowledge will be missed at the Cynic, but I’m excited for your new opportunity in Illinois and I wish you the best!