Growing up in families who love Colorado State University tends to be infectious (in a good way). That was certainly true for Colorado natives Jennifer (Evans) (B.S., ’17; M.A.G.R., ’20) and Jake Bennett (B.A., ’17), whose parents gave their dogs university-related names such as Moby and Rammie.
Jake was recruited to play for the Rams out of Bear Creek High School in Lakewood, Colorado, by former head coach Jim McElwain. Jenny attended Regis Jesuit High School in Aurora, but before deciding to attend Colorado State, she visited other universities in the West, and often received baffled looks. “I remember touring Montana State University, and someone asked me, ‘Why on earth would you come here when you have CSU?’”
The couple met at a party in January 2014 and have been together ever since. Although the way they met wasn’t unusual, their engagement was a memorable event. Jake asked Jenny to marry him on Sonny Lubick Field in Canvas Stadium after he played his final game there on Nov. 18, 2017. The entire football team surrounded the couple as the CSU Athletics videographers captured the occasion. They were married in June 2018.
Soon after, Jenny returned to CSU for a master’s degree in agricultural science, and is now teaching in the agricultural education program in the College of Agricultural Sciences while pursuing her Ph.D. “I love the ag ed program and have very supportive professors in the department who want to help me grow professionally,” she said.
Jake is an offensive line coach at Fort Collins High School, whose head coach is Matt Yemm (B.A., ’11), a former CSU quarterback from 2008 to 2011. “I really enjoy coaching at the high school level,” Jake said. “There are a number of CSU alumni who are coaching at Fort Collins High. It’s nice to be giving back to a local football program and hanging out with guys who are former Rams.”
Though Colorado State University has played a significant role in their lives, Jenny and Jake are now positioned to return the favor. Two years ago, the Alumni Association asked them to join its Young Alumni Committee to help keep young alumni engaged with the University. They jumped at the opportunity.
“Jake and I both enjoy sharing our love for CSU,” Jenny said, “and interacting with recent graduates who are going out into the professional world.” Together they have assisted in the planning of Young Alumni Weekend events and participated in dinners and other activities designed to demonstrate to young alumni the benefits of staying connected to their alma mater.
“People often think they should establish themselves first,” Jake said, “and then when they’re 40 years old start coming back around. We want to encourage young alumni, even those who graduated last year, to feel welcome and stay engaged with the University.”
In the fall, attending tailgates and football games is one of the easiest ways to return to campus. As many Ram fans, Jenny and Jake are looking forward to the new football season and have high expectations for the new coaching staff. Jake has been very encouraged by Jay Norvell, the new head coach, who has reached out to many alumni and set up events for former athletes to attend.
To celebrate young alumni, Jenny and Jake rang the Old Main Bell at the Smith Alumni Center on Saturday, Sept. 10 prior to CSU’s football game against Middle Tennessee State University.
“We love this University and have a huge amount of Ram pride,” said Jenny. “It’s a special place. Attending events brings back really wonderful memories but are also opportunities to make new ones.”