Enriching the Student Experience
Project Goal – $15,925,000
Olivet College’s one-of-a-kind educational experience offers not just the degree, but the moral example to become the great citizens and leaders so many of this generation aspire to. The college is committed first and foremost to providing an academic and co-curricular experience that prepares students to take on the world’s most complex challenges.
New Student & Collegiate Center - $11,000,000
Currently, the Olivet campus lacks a central space where students can converge in a vibrant social setting. The new Student and Collegiate Center will create an exciting, inclusive place for Olivet’s diverse student body – whose academic, residential, co-curricular and athletic paths might not otherwise cross – to intermingle.
The center will be constructed on the current site of MacKay Gymnasium and will seamlessly connect to the Upton Recreation Center. This location is central to the campus, faces the College Square and is a short distance from Mott Academic Center, and would serve as a convenient meeting location for students. The classic identity of the college will be maintained through Georgian revival-style architecture, consistent with the look of both the college’s newest and most historic facilities.
Designed to provide ample opportunities for students to work, study and spend time together, the new center will include
- a spirit shop;
- late-night dining facilities;
- gaming and casual seating areas;
- WOCR radio and The Echo student newspaper offices; and,
- highly functional work and entertainment spaces equipped with modern technology and resources.
A multipurpose space supporting up to 350 guests is also included in the design, and will provide a place to host conferences, events and formal functions.
When completed, the new Collegiate Center will serve as the central hub of a strong and vibrant campus life for the Olivet College students of the future.
Mott Academic Center Renovations - $1,550,000
As the primary learning facility on campus, the Mott Academic Center requires critical updates to ensure its place in providing a contemporary liberal arts education. Renovations to improve lab and classroom space, which have been ongoing for the past few years, will continue in order to enhance flexibility and technology, while the creation of additional social spaces will allow students to interact on a broader level.
One such plan is to transform the Barker Cawood Lounge, currently an underutilized space on the building’s main floor, into a Starbucks coffee shop. When completed in the spring of 2018, this contemporary café will allow students to meet, study and engage naturally in a much more desirable environment.
Outside enhancements will completely modernize the building’s façade, creating an inviting point of entry for students and faculty. Remodeled doorways will open to an accessible entrance that meets new walkways, patios and seating areas, while fresh landscaping will add to the building’s outer beauty.
Olivet College values the educational interactions supported by small class sizes and inviting spaces that allow students to collaborate. Continued renovations and decisions about placement of academic programs, faculty offices and classrooms will intentionally reinforce the college’s commitment to the full breadth of a contemporary liberal arts education that prepares future leaders.
Academic Program Expansion & Enhancement - $450,000
In order to help our students develop as the next generation of responsible leaders, Olivet College must provide them with abundant opportunities to engage with their peers and professors both socially and academically. The college has and will continue to invest campaign support into start-up funds for new participation opportunities for students.
In recent years, Olivet College’s music program has undeniably hit some high notes. As the college works toward offering more performing arts opportunities, initiatives such as the resurrection of the athletic and marching bands, revitalization of the gospel choir, the initiation of the exclusive Gear Recital Series, planned renovations to Upton Conservatory, and addition of the Olivet College Talent Scholarship are making Olivet a popular destination for students who want to continue pursuing music as part of their whole college experience. Music students are choosing Olivet College because they want to be part of something more.
Gruen Engagement Center - $825,000
Beloved faculty members like Fred Gruen, Ph.D., former chemistry professor, helped establish the relationships-based educational experience Olivet College is known for. Gruen had the exceptional ability of engaging students in learning outside the classroom, often entertaining them at his home on Yale Street. Research consistently indicates that outside-of-the-classroom student/faculty interaction has multiple, positive outcomes for both the student and the institution. These include improved retention and academic performance, personal and intellectual development, educational aspirations and overall satisfaction.
The legendary home of Dr. Gruen will soon be restored to its original glory and serve as the nucleus of relationships-based education once again at Olivet College. As part of the college’s Master Plan, the Gruen Engagement Center will serve as a place where today’s students and faculty can collaborate in a social setting, while also serving as a lodging and hospitality space for visitors such as professors-in-residence, campus speakers and special guests.
Hosford History Center & Lawrence Archive - $1,400,000
Built by Oramel Hosford, one of Olivet College’s founders, the Hosford House is believed to be the oldest residence in the city of Olivet and one of the college’s most historic structures. As such, the Hosford House will continue to occupy a prominent location and function on campus.
The Hosford House is being transformed into a historical center. Preserving the building’s classic structure, which is remarkably intact, the college plans to remove the home’s current garage (built in the 1970s) and incorporate an atrium and new addition that blends the historic identity of the house with contemporary feel and functionality. A museum featuring a vast collection of photographs, documents and materials from the Olivet College Archives will allow these precious items to be studied and enjoyed by students and guests, while lounge and study spaces and an a la carte café are intended to create an inviting atmosphere for both research and socializing.
The climate-controlled, fire proof addition will be the new home of the Olivet College Archives, with documents and items safely catalogued and stored within. This addition is also designed to be accessible via elevator. The upstairs rooms will serve as offices for the processing and digitizing of archival material, and will also provide additional meeting space for the campus.
The Roznowski Learning Commons at Burrage Library - $700,000
Thanks to a lead gift from Steve ’82 and Melinda (Strother) ’82 Roznowski, the ground level of Burrage Library has been transformed to provide a complete social learning experience for Olivet College students. Equipped with updated technology, state-of-the-art study resources, Comet Café and meeting rooms, The Roznowski Learning Commons, which opened in the fall of 2015, merges the social and intellectual interests of Olivet College students in an environment that infuses presentation, research and learning technologies into a contemporary space.