The past year was full of challenges, hurdles and uncertainty. Members of the Olivet College community faced adversity with tenacity and determination. Even in dark times, Comets’ shine brightly.
The 2020 Year in Review celebrates just a few of the many accomplishments and success of students, alumni, faculty, staff and other Olivetians. The stories below are some of the most popular from 2020.
Olivet College Nationally Ranked and Recognized
Olivet College earned national recognition as an undergraduate college and for service to military students from several organizations. The College was ranked eighth as a Top Performer on Social Mobility and 42nd on the Best Regional Colleges in the Midwest list in the 2020 U.S. News and World Report Best College Rankings. OC was also included in Washington Monthly’s College Rankings, landing 69th on the Bachelor’s College Ranking List and noted 31st overall nationally on promoting public service. The College also earned a spot on the Best Bang for the Buck Rankings: Midwest list.
In addition, Olivet College was named a 2020-21 Top 10 Gold Level Military Friendly School by Victory Media. Olivet ranked third in the category of private schools not offering a doctorate degree. The College was also designated as a 2019-20 Gold-Level Veteran-Friendly School by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency.
Academic Accomplishments of Students
Olivet College proudly recognizes students on the Dean’s List and President’s List each semester. The lists are celebrated within the College and beyond, with hundreds of alumni, parents and friends sharing kudos to students through personal notes and social media engagement. During spring 2020, 345 students earned a spot on the Dean’s List for their high academic performance, and 134 students were included on the President’s List for earning a 4.0 GPA.
Annually, the top five graduating seniors are honored with the Donald A. Morris Academic Excellence Award. The Class of 2020 included so many outstanding students that seven of whom were honored at the top of the class: Jenna Braschler, accounting; Nicole Deweyert, exercise science; Marah Heikkila, English and cultural studies; Ashton Osborne, journalism and mass communication; Brandie Pomeroy, criminal justice; Bailey Saraceno, business administration; and Abigale Smith, business administration.
Insurance and Risk Management Program a National Standout
Olivet College was ranked second in Best’s Review survey of leading college insurance risk management programs. The list is comprised of 20 colleges nationwide. Olivet College is the smallest school by enrollment in in the ranking, earning more votes than several Divisions I universities and programs.
In addition, a special feature highlighted OC’s impact on the insurance industry through educational opportunities for students from high school to professional learners. And, Tom Humphreys, CPCU, CLU, ChFC, CIC, assistant professor of insurance and risk management and director of the program, used his industry expertise to present “Impacts of Auto No-Fault Reform in Michigan” to address legislation changes in the state.
Adult Professional and Graduate Programs Impact
Olivet College’s RN-BSN, Criminal Justice Professional Degree and Master of Business Administration (MBA) programs serve students who are looking to further their education while balancing work, life and family responsibilities. This year, the MBA program expanded to include three specialized concentrations: Insurance (MBA-Insurance), Enterprise Risk Management (MBA-ERM), and a General or “custom” concentration that tailors the curriculum to students’ individual goals. Learn more about all of these unique programs.
Virtual Honors Convocation Gives Many Reasons to Celebrate
In May, the college community gathered virtually to celebrate Honors Convocation. Department honors, scholarships, multicultural achievements and dedication to service were among the awards and honors presented to students and others. Among those highlighted, several Greek organizations were honored for member performance. Alpha Lambda Epsilon, Sigma Beta, Soronian and Adelphic Alpha Pi earned the Michael Fales Greek Service Cup Award for their dedication to community service. Alpha Lambda Epsilon, Sigma Beta, and Soronian also earned the Greek Society Academic Achievement Award, which is presented to societies whose members maintain high academic standards.
Senior Taytum Myers Exudes Comet Pride
Senior Taytum Myers is a friendly face on campus. She regularly presents at college-wide events like Founders Day and Opening Convocation, connecting with students from all corners of campus. Taytum is an exercise science major and sports psychology minor, and she is involved with Greek life, the Black Student Union and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, just to name a few. Her wisdom and positivity serve as an inspiration to many Comets.
Senior Donald Doyle — Using 3D Printing to Do Good
Senior Donald Doyle III is passionate about all things technology, which spans across his professional goals, personal life and even his civic responsibilities. He is pursuing an information technology management major with a goal to hold a career as a computer network engineer. Donald put his skills to use to make a difference during 2020. He and his family leaped into action to 3D print personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical professionals impacted by the shortage of resources due to COVID-19.
Senior Dustin Rutter — Pursuing Passions Around the World
Senior Dustin Rutter is a student of many passions. History, criminal justice, soccer, working with children and traveling are just a few. Thanks to Olivet College’s wide array of student involvement opportunities, Dustin is able to pursue all his passions while preparing for a successful future. After graduation, he plans to join the military and pursue officer school, where his criminal justice background will be utilized.
Olivet College Alumni Take the Stage
In April, the Office of Alumni Engagement welcomed Beth Romeo ’12 as the senior director of alumni engagement and annual giving. She previously served on the Alumni Council and has a passion for making connections throughout the OC family.
James Tanis ’09 was one alumnus who shared his story this year, featuring his experience in the military and quest to become a medevac pilot. In June, James graduated from a five-week officer school, which will be followed by a one-and-a-half-year flight school and more specialized training to prepare for real-world scenarios. He has overcome many obstacles on his path, including age restrictions and rigorous testing.
Several outstanding alumni were honored with Distinguished Alumni Awards during Stay at Home-coming as well, including Asenath Andrews ’73, Alan Nagy ’68, Dr. John DeGarmo ’93, David Macqueen ’75 and Christine Pedder ’11.
Stay Connected through Shipherd’s Record
Olivet College publishes Shipherd’s Record, an engaging and informative alumni magazine, twice annually. View the recent winter issue here to read more special features and highlights on the OC campus, students, alumni and more.