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Olivet College is pleased to announce the presentation of two resolutions this May. On May 17, Ray Loeschner, Ph.D., president from 1970 to 1977, was announced as president emeritus at the College’s Board of Trustees meeting. On May 18, Charles Blackman, Ph.D., ’46 was presented the degree Doctor of Humane Letters Honoris Cause at the College’s Commencement ceremony.

“On behalf of the College and Board of Trustees, I am very pleased to honor these two respected leaders,” said Olivet College President Steven M. Corey, Ph.D. “As we close out the 175th anniversary of the College, we want to recognize leaders like Dr. Loeschner and Dr. Blackman who have helped the College prosper and grow to reach this momentous occasion. Both Dr. Loeschner and Dr. Blackman exemplify the College’s mission and core values through their dedication to education, leadership and community responsibility.”

Ray Loeschner, Ph.D.

In 1970, Ray Loeschner, Ph.D., was appointed the 19th president of Olivet College, a post he held until 1977. He is renowned for leading the College through challenging times and improving the College’s competitive edge, strengthening academic programs and revitalizing the athletic and music programs during his tenure.

The resolution notes that President Emeritus Loeschner was instrumental in securing funding and building several buildings on campus; spearheading the Student Exchange Tuition Program; growing enrollment to more than 900 students, an all-time high; and obtaining a Faculty Development grant from the Kellogg Foundation. He also established the Begole‐Brownell Lecture Series, Professional Semester Program, CORE and pre‐law curriculum, a debate team, the College’s first FM radio station and two honor societies.

President emeritus status is reserved to honor a retired president who has provided outstanding and distinguished service to the College by going beyond the normal duties and responsibilities of the appointment. The honor recognizes that the individual demonstrated a strong commitment to individual and social responsibility, vision and leadership. 

Charles Blackman, Ph.D., ’46

Charles Blackman, Ph.D., graduated from Olivet College in 1946 with a bachelor’s degree in secondary education with a concentration in social science. After graduating, Blackman taught at the middle school level in North Muskegon and later spent 35 years at the Michigan State University College of Education before retiring in 1991.

Blackman has served on a number of committees at Olivet College, including the Academic Committee, three Presidential Search Committees, the Executive Committee and Presidential Assessment Committee. He is a current member of the Student Learning and Development Committee, formerly known as the Academic Committee, a member of the Trustee Bylaws Review Committee and honorary chair of the 175th Commemoration Committee. Blackman was a past president of the Olivet College Alumni Association and currently serves as a trustee emeritus.

The resolution commends Blackman for dedicating his life’s work to making positive change in education in both K-12 and higher education, specifically as an exemplary role model for leading positive change for Olivet College. He has demonstrated a commitment to championing a liberal arts education for students and for providing vision, leadership and action in support for facilities and scholarships.

Olivet College awards honorary degrees for the purpose of honoring those who exemplify the ideals of the College through their significant achievements and contributions to society. Honorees are recognized as persons of accomplishment who demonstrate the College’s vision of “Education for Individual and Social Responsibility” through outstanding leadership in education, business, public service or other appropriate societal sectors.

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

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