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Laura Fox, second from left, with other members of the Archives Student Research Team.

College is a new chapter in the student journey which includes many exciting firsts and a few intimidating tasks. At Olivet College, students don’t have to worry about opportunities to get involved, finding a place to fit in or discovering their passion. With more than 45 clubs, DIII athletics, Greek life, intramural sports and much more, there’s something for every Comet, even first-year students.

History and sociology and anthropology major, Laura Fox, is a great example of how Comets can get involved early in their college journey. She plays the trumpet for the Marching Comets and in the Wind Ensemble, is a member of the Global Citizen Honors Program, joined the OC Archives student research team, belongs to The League of Extraordinary Historians and is even helping Gamma Iota Sigma, the College’s professional insurance fraternity, expand to include non-insurance majors.

Learn more about Laura:

I’m from the small town of DeWitt right outside of Lansing. When I visited Olivet, I fell in love with the strong sense of community and the closeness between both students and staff. One of my biggest goals for college was to become involved on campus and build relationships, and after getting a feel for Olivet’s campus, I knew that I could do that and more.

My decision to attend Olivet was driven through my early introductions to director of bands, Jeremy Duby, and archivist and history professor, Dr. Nikki Magie. On my first visit to Olivet, I had a personal meeting with Mr. Duby about college marching band opportunities. I thought my time in band would end when I reached college, but after meeting with Mr. Duby and learning about Olivet’s growing band program and its scholarship opportunities, I was excited to be a part of marching band at the collegiate level. Right after I met with Mr. Duby, I had another personal meeting with Dr. Magie who told me about the history program and the newly renovated Hosford House. After learning that I could work as a student researcher at the Hosford History Center and Lawrence Archives, when most students don’t even go inside of an archive until graduate school, I just had to come here.

Since that first visit, I’ve gotten involved on campus in a number of ways. I play the trumpet for the Marching Comets and in the Wind Ensemble. Band has been a great way for me to get connected outside of my majors and enjoy music, which is a high-interest area for me. Whether we’re playing pop tunes at sporting events or looking at classic musical literature, band has provided me with another way to learn more about music and build friendships across campus.

I am also part of the Global Citizen Honors Program (GCHP). I am hoping to become a college professor and go on to graduate school, so when I heard about Olivet’s honors program and its Oxford study abroad opportunities, I signed onto the program as quickly as I could. GCHP is another benefit of attending Olivet as it has allowed me to grow academically and further my professional opportunities.

Working in the College Archives is one of my favorite things to do on campus. Olivet’s history is so unique and has yet to be totally uncovered. With our College’s early admission of women and minorities alone, it’s fascinating being part of a team that protects and discovers the College’s past achievements and students. Part of the reason why I’m so passionate about history is that it allows us to see all of the revolutionary and life-changing actions and decisions that have been made to bring us to where we are today.

Laura presenting her research at the 2020 Founders Day celebration.

The Hosford History Center and Lawrence Archives is a warm and friendly work environment, and being able to pursue my passions in such a great space has been a dream come true. History has always been a deep interest of mine and being able to experience it through the research of primary documents has been incredible. I remember being so excited my first time walking into our document storage facility. Seeing history in a different light has benefited me and shown me a new level of history outside the classroom.

In addition to my work with the Archives, I am a member of The League of Extraordinary Historians, our history club on campus. All history majors are automatically members, and we meet every Wednesday to discuss our history-themed trips, fundraisers and the program. Being around others who enjoy history as I do has been a wonderful experience. It allows us all to share our love of the field and help each other grow within it.

I’m also excited to be exploring new interests. Given the high number of insurance majors on campus, it’s no surprise that the majority of my friends have ended up in the insurance and risk management program. At the end of last semester, they convinced me to join Gamma Iota Sigma to help them achieve diversity and inclusion as a non-major. I’m looking forward to learning something new and participating in the cross-industry networking that Gamma is known for.

The friendships that I’ve made at Olivet through my involvement have been so life-changing. I feel like I’ve found some incredibly close friends, and I feel so very at home here because of them. It was exciting (and a bit nerve-wracking) to be the only person from DeWitt to come to Olivet, but I quickly forgot about my concern after getting here and meeting so many new people. I feel like I have grown so much in my first year, and I am excited to see what the rest of my time at Olivet holds.

My advice to future Comets: don’t worry about living in a dorm; it’s actually a lot of fun. Being able to see your friends in a matter of minutes is something I had never thought of before living in the dorm but has been great for building my friendships and making memories.

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

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