Helen Macqueen ’14 has focused her career on the study of roots, but not the kind of roots that plants grow; roots as in the historical traditions and lessons that ground organizations. Her own roots trace back to Olivet College where she studied sociology and anthropology and developed her passion for museum studies and archival work. Even a branch of Helen’s family tree even spans to Olivet College as she is the daughter of alumnus Dave Macqueen ’75.
“I initially looked at Olivet because my father is an alumnus,” Helen said. “He told me about all of the opportunities that he had at Olivet and it sounded like it would be a good fit for me. After learning more about the College, I felt that I could get the individualized learning that I needed to pursue my career. I also came to Olivet because I wanted to continue to be a part of a band program, and while the band program at Olivet was quite small when I started, it was a steadfast pillar for me throughout my entire time at Olivet.”
In addition to her academic studies and participating in the Marching Band, Helen was also a resident adviser (RA) and a member of the National Organization for Women, Omicron Delta Kappa and the Hosford Society of Scholars. However, it was Helen’s experience as a resident adviser that solidified her connection to Olivet College.
“I don’t think I realized the full potential of all that Olivet had to offer me until I became an RA,” Helen said. “When I started in the program, I made so many friends and really connected with the College on a deeper level. I knew that I was where I was meant to be. My experiences taught me the value of hard work, responsibility and fun. Being a Comet also helped to instill in me the value of supporting and connecting with my community. The people around you help shape who you are, and I had so many great people around me at Olivet.”
Helen credits Cynthia Noyes, J.D., chair of the Social Science Department and professor of sociology and anthropology, with helping her discover her true passion through individualized attention. After graduating from OC, Helen earned a master’s degree in museum studies from George Washington University.
“Olivet is a place where you have the opportunity to grow and try new things,” Helen said. “The professors and staff are there to support you in your endeavors. Olivet helped provide me with the education and experience I need to achieve my goals. I also had a lot of fun and met lifelong friends.”
Today, Helen works as a staff archivist with History Factory where she helps large corporations manage their historical collections. She hopes to continue to manage and preserve historical collections so they can be cherished and experienced into the future. Despite living in Virginia, Helen stays closely connected to Olivet College.
“I am currently a part of the Class Captain’s program with Olivet. I am working with Beth Romeo ’12, senior director of annual giving and alumni engagement, and other alumni to help support Olivet in any way that we can,” Helen said. “I also keep in touch with Olivet through my father, who continues to work closely with the Olivet College Marching Comets.
“I think that alumni have a real opportunity to shape the experiences of current students. I know there are so many of us who love the experiences that we had at Olivet and remaining connected to the school can help us create new memories while fostering the growth and experiences of the current students. For me, Olivet is so much more than a college; it was and still is a place that feels like home.”
Learn more about Olivet College by contacting the Office of Admission at 269-749-7635 or firstname.lastname@example.org.