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The Carthage community is paying tribute to the late Jan Tarble, whose unmatched philanthropy elevated the College’s facilities and programs to the highest standards.

She passed away May 1 at age 95.

From afar, the longtime Los Angeles resident became Carthage’s biggest benefactor. Jan’s lifetime giving exceeds $37 million.

Longtime donor Jan Tarble, center, is shown with President Emeritus F. Gregory Campbell (left) an... Longtime donor Jan Tarble, center, is shown with President Emeritus F. Gregory Campbell (left) and President John Swallow. Three campus buildings bear the Tarble name, symbolizing a strong, multigenerational connection that her parents, the late Newton and Pat Tarble, formed nearly a half-century ago.

“Jan Tarble’s ongoing commitment to Carthage, supporting our physical plant and later our educational programming, was unparalleled,” said President John Swallow. “She knew in her heart the tremendous difference she could make for Carthage students and always honor her parents. As the millennium turned, she laid a tremendous foundation for Carthage and our students for the 21st century.”

Her multimillion-dollar lead gifts made possible several new and renovated facilities, including the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Natural and Social Sciences, the Campbell Student Union, and Tarble Arena.

Jan’s record-setting $15 million gift through the Tarble Family Foundation also fueled the creation of The Aspire Program in 2019. The award-winning program provides career development from students’ first days on campus.

“Like her parents, Jan never saw the Carthage campus, but her gifts transformed the college life of every Carthage student,” said President Emeritus F. Gregory Campbell. “She proudly put the names of her parents — and mine — onto Carthage buildings but never would allow her own to be honored. Yet, for those who know the truth, it is Jan herself who pervades the campus.”

Pat, Newt, and Jan Tarble combined for a half-century legacy of Carthage giving. Pat, Newt, and Jan Tarble combined for a half-century legacy of Carthage giving. When Carthage established the Tarble California Scholarship for students from the Golden State who embrace a “spirit of adventure,” the criteria mirrored Jan’s approach to life. Her well-worn passport showed stops in nearly 100 countries.

After studying art at Stanford University and UCLA, she became an accomplished painter and sculptor. Each spring, she spent several weeks roughing it in the Mojave Desert for a national bird count. And she excelled at golf, winning several club championships and the Texas Women’s Open.

“Despite being the only child of extremely wealthy parents, Jan eventually faced challenges that did not make for an easy life,” said Mr. Campbell. “But she developed great force of character that made her a fiercely loyal friend to those she respected.”

Jan’s father, “Newt” Tarble, co-founded Snap-on Inc. in 1920 and provided the sales and marketing savvy to substantially expand its reach. Today, the Kenosha toolmaker is an S&P 500 company with $4.7 billion in annual revenue.

Newt retired in his late 40s and put down roots in Los Angeles. As longtime members of the Bel-Air Country Club, the family enjoyed the company of entertainers like Bob Hope and Dean Martin.

In the mid-1970s, Carthage trustee Tom Clausen ’44 — then president and CEO at Bank of America, where Newt and Pat were prominent clients — encouraged President Harold Lentz to meet the couple. Although the Tarbles had spent only a few years in Kenosha, they remained financially and emotionally invested in their former community.

From those seeds, a lasting relationship blossomed. The N. E. Tarble Athletic and Recreation Center (TARC) and Pat Tarble Residence Hall stand tall as lasting testaments to the couple’s generosity. In all, the Tarble family has donated more than $50 million to the College.

Jan’s favorite family photo was taken at an honorary degree ceremony the College held for her father shortly before he died in 1976. Likewise, her mother received an honorary doctorate in 1997.

Both mother and daughter were awarded the Carthage Flame: Pat in 1990, Jan in 2017. Representing the College’s highest honor, only 30 such medallions have been bestowed.

“Jan was a great friend of the College. She and her family supported many, many students through their philanthropy,” said Edward W. Smeds ’57, chair emeritus of the Board of Trustees. “Hers was a generosity of friendship, and she held Carthage in her heart.”