On February 24, 1844, Reverend “Father” John J. Shipherd and 39 other men and women arrived at their new home in Michigan from Oberlin, Ohio. It was upon this hill 175 years ago that Olivet College was founded.
From its inception, the college’s leaders believed an education should be available to anyone regardless of gender, race or financial means. The basis of Olivet’s guiding principle was established by the founders when they wrote, “We wish simply to do good to our students, by placing in their hands the means of intellectual, moral and spiritual improvement, and to teach them the divine art and science of doing good to others.”
The story of Olivet College is one of compelling vision and rich tradition. Over the years, Olivet College has cultivated a community devoted to student learning, growth and development. We value diversity and inclusion built on trust, participation and a sense of pride. These ideals shaped the Olivet family we know today, and will continue to carry us into the future.
Olivet College means many things to alumni, faculty, staff, board members, donors and friends. But, what we all agree on is that Olivet College means opportunity. We relished the unique opportunity to have relationships outside of the classroom with professors who became both mentor and friend. Our confidence soared when we were encouraged to take advantage of leadership opportunities in the classroom, as part of an athletic team and through extracurricular activities. The small campus provided the opportunity for us to become lifelong friends with fellow students from different walks of life. The moral example instilled in us created opportunity to lead change responsibly in our communities and beyond. Olivet College is more than an education; it’s an opportunity.
As we celebrate this significant milestone in our history, let us continue to live by the Olivet College values and by our motto, Pro Christo et Humanitate. Let us honor the generations of Olivetians who came before us, and work together to ensure an impressive future for those who come after us.
On February 24, 2019, we will officially mark our terquasquicentennial (175th anniversary). We are celebrating with a yearlong series of programs and activities that tie into the college’s rich history and long-standing ideals, and we invite you to join us.
Join us as we celebrate our beloved Olivet College that has transformed hearts and minds and ignited change for the past 175 years.
Happy terquasquicentennial, Olivet College!
Donald Tuski ’85, Ph.D., Committee Chair
Former Olivet College President
Charles Blackman ’46, Ph.D., Honorary Chair
Board of Trustee Emeritus
Audra Carson ’87
Pamela Heos ’77
Board of Trustees Ex-Officio and Alumni Board Chair
Timothy Hodge ’83, DO
Board of Trustees
Craig Jenkins ’08
Alumni Board Member