“I never met my grandmother because she passed away before I was born, but I can feel her with me when I walk through campus,” said Jewels Jarrell, ’15. “ In a way, it’s like I’m reliving her college years, and I know that she would be proud of me if she was still with us today.”

It’s not just a connection with her grandmother, Anne Coleman Jarrell, W’61, that links Jarrell with Richmond.

By going to class each day, living in the residence halls and cheering on the Spiders at athletic events, Jewels Jarrell is carrying on a family legacy at Richmond that began more than fifty years ago. She is the seventh person in her family to attend the University.

In addition to her grandmother, Spider alumni in the Jarrell family include Jewels Jarrell’s great-grandfather, James Earl Jarrell, Sr., B’58; her grandfather, James Earl Jarrell, Jr., R’62 and L’69; her father, Jay Jarrell III, B’83 and L’88; her cousin, Susan Hutton Parker, ’97; and her brother, James Earl Jarrell, IV, ’12.

Hailing from Fredericksburg, Va., Jewels Jarrell knew she wanted to attend Richmond since she was in sixth grade.   

“Dad took me to a basketball game, and it was just awesome, and I fell in love with the campus, the people, everything,” she said. “I would hear stories from my family about their experiences, and I just felt at home here.”

Her father, Jay Jarrell, recalls deciding to attend Richmond for a similar reason.

“I was on a campus tour with my father, and a number of staff members and professors recognized him – 15 years after he graduated,” he said. “The fact that the faculty and staff still remembered him after all those years made quite an impression on me.”

Despite the family connection to the University, Jay Jarrell said he never pushed his children to choose Richmond. He wanted them to make their college decisions without any family pressure.

“The fact that both kids picked Richmond on their own after visiting other schools is quite a testament to the excellent school that Richmond is today,” he said.

When asked whether her children might one day carry on her family’s legacy, Jewels Jarrell is optimistic.

“Hopefully! I definitely will remain connected to Richmond after I graduate, and I plan on continuing to cheer on the Spiders with my own family.”