Pamela Heos ’77 carries Olivet College with her wherever she goes. After all, every car she’s owned since 1974 has been emblazoned with Olivet license plate frames and decals. The Distinguished Alumni Award recipient is proud of her alma mater, and she wants everyone to know it.
This fall, Heos will be recognized at Homecoming for this prestigious award. Established in 1958, the award is the highest honor presented to alumni. These alumni are honored for living out the College’s vision, mission and values as well as making positive contributions to their profession and community.
Heos has made nothing but positive contributions to her community, especially the College community. She has served on the Alumni Association Board since 1985 and was elected president of the Board in 2013, serving through May of this year. She has served on the Board of Trustees since 2013 as an ex officio member and was recently elected as a full board member. Additionally, she was a member of the 175th-year anniversary celebration committee. Heos firmly believes that every alumnus should contribute in some way to the College.
“It is my core belief that each alumnus of our beloved institution should serve in some way — whether it is financially, whether it is actual hands-on work, recruiting new students, mentoring our students, helping with job placement, hiring our recent graduates or attending alumni events and Homecoming,” Heos said. “There is something each and every alumnus can do to continue to grow and perpetuate the reputation and rich history of Olivet College. We have so much to be proud of and we have all benefited from this great institution in many ways. It is time to give back and serve and not just be a taker. Olivet College has lived for over 175 years because of alumni and their support, and it needs to continue and thrive.”
A Fine Education
Heos received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in art and architectural history from Olivet College in 1977. She was accepted to both an Ivy League school and a larger university, but she chose Olivet because it was the right fit for her. She began her professional career as a docent and volunteer for the Indianapolis Museum of Art and assistant director of the Indianapolis Art Center. After attending Butler University for their Master of Fine Arts program in interior design, she became an interior designer for a commercial architectural firm in Indianapolis for 18 years. When Olivet College called her in 2003 to come back and serve the College, she jumped at the opportunity and began a new career path in alumni and development work. After working as a major gift officer at Olivet for several years, an opportunity arose at Cooley Law School in Lansing. For the last 14 years, Heos has served there as the director of alumni and donor relations.
Not only did her Olivet College education prepare her for the workforce, but it also provided a model for her personal life.
“Olivet College molded me into the person I am today,” Heos said. “I learned the ‘divine art and science of doing good for others,’ as our founders so eloquently expressed in our mission statement in 1844. Olivet College is who we were then and as we are today. And I hope to live up to that example as I go through life.”
From This Hilltop
Heos is immensely grateful and incredibly modest when she speaks of the award.
“I am deeply humbled and honored to receive this award from my fellow alumni,” Heos said. “I am not a person who has accomplished great things as so many past recipients have. I am just a person who found a niche at Olivet College, was mentored by a great friend and professor, William Whitney, and learned my potential and strengths. His encouragement and ability to see something in me gave me the confidence and tools I needed. I have always been involved at Olivet College through the Alumni Association Board, organizing alumni events, answering the call and honor to work for the College and ultimately serving the Board of Trustees. I have only missed five Homecomings in 42 years! My love for Olivet College speaks for itself and I plan to remain committed and dedicated to its continued growth and success.”
Above all, Heos cherishes the morals and values the College has instilled in her over the years, as a student and as an alumna.
“As you go through life and your daily routines, if a person can remember to treat everyone with respect, dignity and kindness, the world will be a much better place,” Heos said. “Those are the core values we take with us from this beautiful hilltop.”
On Oct. 11, Heos will be honored alongside Audra Carson ’87 and Richard Penhallegon ’63 at the Homecoming Alumni Awards Celebration and Reunion Dinner. Check out the full Homecoming schedule and purchase tickets to attend.
To learn more about this year’s Homecoming, contact Samantha Pearl ’00 at firstname.lastname@example.org or 269-749-7644.