Robert “Bob” Evans, C’53, was a three-year letterwinner in football who served as that team’s first African-American captain.


In an era when Penn competed against high-powered programs like Notre Dame, Michigan, Army and Navy, Evans caught the sporting world’s attention when he was named captain of the Quakers in 1952.


Before enrolling at Penn, the North Philadelphia native starred as a tackle at Roman Catholic High School, leading his school to the Catholic League and City championships.  Evans also was a member of the scholastic All-America team in 1948. At Penn, his standout performances earned him high praise from opponents, and he was named to Notre Dame’s All-Opponent team.


After Penn, Evans served in the Navy until 1956, and opened a funeral business in 1959. He later became executive director of the Philadelphia Council for Equal Job Opportunity. In 1968, Evans joined Philadelphia National Bank, and eventually became the vice president of human resources.