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Matt Bennett serves Olivet College as a maintenance tradesperson, specializing in plumbing systems. He has been a member of the OC family for nine years and notes that the connections he has made with other staff and faculty will last a lifetime. In addition to his formal role, Matt also helped secure the College to host the Calhoun County Special Olympics Track and Field Day. He is especially passionate about serving as a partner to the Special Olympics (SO) and an advocate for individuals with special needs.

What brought you to OC, and why do you love OC?

My dad is a 1969 alumnus, and my wife and brother-in-law also attended OC. I love the community of Olivet. I really enjoy helping the students of OC in any way I can and, hopefully, having a positive impact on their lives.

What is your favorite memory from your time at OC?

Wow, I have lots of great memories over the past nine years. A few standouts include hosting the Special Olympics, attending graduation to see our students off, tailgating at football games and attending mud bogs with fellow “work folks.”

Why are you passionate about volunteering and getting involved with the Special Olympics?

Most communities have limited options for individuals with special needs. Over the past several years, I have attended many different SO events to proudly cheer on my daughter. I highly recommend that everyone volunteer at events like this — it’s life-changing. I am extremely proud to be a part of a college community and a community as a whole that takes great pride in providing opportunities for those who come from all walks of life, no matter their race, religion, gender, sexual preference or physical or mental capabilities.

What goals do you have?

My goal is to be the best father I can be. Also, I have a goal to try to make a positive impact on all people who I interact with. I am an avid hunter, so I also have several personal goals there.

What’s the average day in your role, or some of the unique things you are responsible for?

Every day brings something new. Even though my role includes all plumbing-related tasks, it’s always different. Plumbing is always hidden out of sight, which affords me the opportunity to see a side of campus most never will. From the bell tower on top of the church to the tunnels under the pool, it’s always an adventure.

Why do you encourage students to attend OC?

The close-knit campus. My sister attended a large out-of-state university and she once asked me what would be the draw for a student to attend OC, a place very different from her college experience. The best answer to that is that students are not just a number here. Our staff and faculty truly care about our students’ well-being, not only in the classroom or as a member of a sports team, but as a person. I believe we judge our success on the quality of students we turn out, not how many seats we fill in any given classroom. I feel that’s a very important aspect of our campus.

What is an interesting or little-known fact about yourself?

Here are a few: I was raised in Gainesville, Florida, until my high school days. I have identical twin daughters and both have been diagnosed in the autism spectrum, but they couldn’t be more different from one another. I once received a city recognition for citizenship because I assisted the Gainesville police in apprehending a burglar.

Learn more about Olivet College by contacting the Office of Admissions at 800-456-7189 or admissions@olivetcollege.edu.

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