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Byron Atwater’s Olivet College Experience

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I honestly didn’t know how important Olivet College was to me until last week. I finally realized I was done being a student at Olivet, and I didn’t know if I should be happy or sad because, over these past four years, I have made a ton of connections with my peers. Not to say they will be gone from my life, but it will never be the same.

I’m glad I came to Olivet because, after high school, I wasn’t even going to attempt to go to school again, but a little motivation from family and another chance at football led me to this diamond in the rough. When I first came to Olivet, I was like any other football player, just here so I could play—passing classes just so I could play. It was all about playing the sport I love. But I wasn’t going to settle with just being an athlete. I realized if I’m going to be here, I will leave my stamp.

In my sophomore year, I pledged to my Fraternity, Alpha Xi Omega, better known as ELITE. Joining ELITE was probably the best thing I could have done here because I have a place to come back to and call home on campus. I had the opportunity to join a brotherhood and support system, and I am now the support system for many brothers coming behind me.

Olivet has given me a ton of opportunities and lifelong friendships, from playing football, joining Greek life, volunteer work and support from some amazing people on the staff. I want to give a special thanks to professors Laura Barlond-Maas, KayDee Perry and Nick Juday for helping me during my time here as a student. You kept me on the road to success and treated me like family.

I’ll always remember and cherish these memories because Olivet is a family, and we went through a lot, starting at Move In Day, to our experiences with Covid 19, to now graduating and getting ready to find our paths in the big world ahead of us. I’m proud of everyone in this room and can’t wait to keep the journey going as an alumnus.

Learn more about Olivet College by contacting the Office of Admission at 269-749-7635 or admissions@olivetcollege.edu. 

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