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It’s the sound of fans cheering for Comets on the field. It’s the sight of students and squirrels bounding through the Square. For some, it’s the aroma of coffee brewing between classes in Mott Academic Center, and for others, it’s the unforgettable “science smell” of Mather Hall. It’s the way everyone greets one another with a warm smile or a friendly hug. It’s Olivet College; it’s home.

Comets – The Heart of Olivet College

This fall, Olivet College will celebrate Homecoming and kick off the institution’s 175th anniversary Sept. 28 – Sept. 30. The bricks and mortar and beautiful campus aren’t what make OC special – it’s you. Since 1844, the college has made an education available to all, regardless of race, gender or financial means, and an ever-growing strong and vibrant college community resulted.

“Homecoming is an opportunity to connect and reconnect with the college and fellow alumni,” said Samantha Pearl ’00, director of alumni engagement. “It’s the premier event at which Comets can share school spirit and connect across generations. For alumni especially, it’s a chance to come home and reconnect with favorite faculty, coaches, classmates and friends.”

We invite you to join fellow Comets in connecting and reconnecting with Olivet College. It’s not just home for the four years you are on campus, but always.

Make New Memories

Many new and unique events are planned to make Homecoming exceptionally memorable, in addition to many annual favorites.

The weekend begins on Friday with the iconic Alumni Awards Celebration, honoring many Comets for their social responsibility, as well as professional and athletic achievements, and continues with a new premier event on Saturday morning, the OC President’s Panel, where alumni and friends can hear from the current president of Olivet College and three former presidents. The action-packed event of the weekend, the football game, kicks off at 2 p.m. on Saturday as the Comets take on Finlandia University. The celebration is rounded out with the annual Red and White Tailgate and a block party for all alumni, hosted by Soronian, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary.

These events allow alumni to reminisce, connect with other Comets and even make new memories. Joanne Williams, assistant professor of journalism and mass communication emphasized this by saying, “Homecoming is a respected tradition at many educational institutions, but here at OC, it is a chance to gather with students, alumni, friends, staff and others who value this place and know the specialness they will find here. Olivet College is a place you carry with you and rediscover when you return.

“As always, it is a pleasure seeing former students and learning about their lives – new jobs, babies, homes, etc., and hearing them say that Olivet College made a difference in their lives, and that they see the mission of this place as important and true. Our 175th is a testament to the good work done by those who founded OC and those who fought and continue to fight for our mission.”

The Student Perspective

While students have the chance to stay engaged with the college full time, Homecoming is as special to them as it is to alumni. A full week of student events include spirit contests and special challenges, and many opportunities for students to connect and have fun over fireworks, a movie, games, the parade and more.

For rising senior Nataliya Malaydakh, the idea of celebrating homecoming is new, but even more special. As an international student from Ukraine, she had never experienced the tradition before coming to OC. “The experience of Homecoming at Olivet College gave me a sense of belonging on campus,” she explained. “I could feel and see the college community becoming stronger right in front of me. I had never witnessed something so magical. It’s one of the things that makes me proud to call Olivet College my home. I know that I will always have a family here.” This year, Nataliya is part of the Homecoming student planning committee and is even more excited for the celebration because she will get to see her fellow Comets enjoying events she helped organize.

Come Home

It’s all in the name – Homecoming. The 2018 Homecoming celebration welcomes all, whether you are connecting with Olivet College for the first time or have been part of the family for decades. There are sure to be new memories made, old memories savored and a bright future planned.

“I’m excited to spend this Homecoming really focusing on what’s special and unique about Olivet College,” Pearl said. “Everyone who has a tie to the college is connected; we’re family. It’s wonderful to look forward to seeing so many of our OC family on campus this fall and taking time, together, to celebrate what makes our college so special.”

We hope to see you at Homecoming, Sept. 28 – 30! Online registration opens Aug. 1, and there are many great benefits to registering early, including discounts, an exclusive commemorative t-shirt and much more. For more information, contact Samantha Pearl ’00, director of alumni engagement, at 269.749.7644 or alumnirelations@olivetcollege.edu. And don’t forget to wear your Comet red and white!

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