Leaving a Legacy


Professor Emeritus Janet Fritz with her golden retriever, Amber

Janet Fritz has designated Colorado State University as the beneficiary of her life insurance policy, which will be used to endow her newly formed scholarship, the Janet J. Fritz Scholarship fund, for students in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. Her investment in encouraging new students in their studies is reflected in the scholarship criteria: The scholarship will be awarded to incoming freshmen in the department who demonstrate financial need.

Janet benefited from scholarships herself, earning a bachelor's in psychology from the University of Colorado in 1964, followed by a master's in child development in 1966, and a Ph.D. in human development and developmental psychology in 1977, both from Cornell University. Connections from Cornell and her desire to return to her home state of Colorado brought her to CSU in 1969. She served the next 34 years as professor and leader, with numerous department, College, and University service roles, including chair of CSU's Faculty Council, co-chair of the Faculty Women's Caucus, and chair of the University Executive Committee.

Janet was instrumental in the maturation of the department, including development of the Child Life Specialist Program, helping develop the master's program, and instituting a number of courses still part of the HDFS curriculum. She was also known for setting a tone of support and camaraderie with her students. Mary Jo Schumacher ('87, M.S.) explains that, as a master's student, she was intimidated to meet her adviser for the first time. Janet immediately put her at ease, however.

"When I nervously knocked on her door, she was smiling as she turned around to greet me," Mary Jo says of their first meeting. Mary Jo and other students also learned to revere Janet's academic rigor and intelligence. "She is so smart; you know her brain is working faster than the words can come out," says Mary Jo.

Says Janet, "I so very much enjoyed working with graduate students to help them take their ideas and turn them into a solid research thesis. I enjoy hearing from past students about how they are doing."

Janet is now retired and has a very active social life. She enjoys spending time with friends and family, and is particularly passionate about working with her golden retriever, Amber, on an animal-therapy team for CSU's Human Animal Bond In Colorado, a program that works in schools and rehabilitation facilities.

Janet says, "If I hadn't received scholarship help to begin college, I would not have been able to go. I am so thankful for the financial support I received throughout my education and what it has allowed me and my former students to do. The scholarship fund will now allow these same opportunities for future students."

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