175 Voices of Olivet
This fall at Homecoming 2018, Olivet College will launch its 175th anniversary celebration, continuing through Commencement 2019. During these 175 years, OC has continuously strived to teach students the divine art and science of doing good to others, guided by the mission of our founding fathers. The institution recognizes it is the people – from Father John Shipherd, to the faculty and staff who serve students today, generations of alumni, the Class of 2018 and even new students who have only just joined the campus community – that make Olivet College a special place. In honor of our 175th anniversary, we present 175 voices of Olivet College.
Sometimes the days were dark with deepest sorrow, and sometimes they were edged with light and hope. if ever the foundations of a college were laid in tears and labor, sacrifice and glimmering hope, it was at Olivet.
Reuben HatchFirst President of Olivet College from 1845 to 1846
It does seem sixty-one years since I walked down to receive my degree at the Olivet Congregational Church on June 2. I remember playing basketball for the college, working in the ‘galley’ at nearly every meal and then off to class. I fell in love with the campus when I first arrived, having never been to the campus before coming to the college. Dr. Speare had come to preach at my Congregational church in Mattawan, Michigan and told me the story of the college. I came to honor and value the faculty that set me on the road to a lifelong love of reading, thinking about my world and what part I might play in those years ahead of me. All of us of the era of the 1950s will remember the names of our outstanding and caring faculty and the leadership of the college, names like Boucher, Scott, Blakney, Copps, Gruen, Newcomer, the Hanson’s, Thomas, Schons, Kindell, Mitchell and McCollough among others. Each of them adding to my growth and the growth of all of us in intellect and spirit. At this point in time, I have served for 61 years as a clergyman in the United Church of Christ – a career for which Olivet helped me prepare. Someday, my ashes shall return to the sacred ground behind Dole Hall and I’ll be home again and where two of the women I have loved are also interred.
Donald N. Nichols '57
OC was the place and time in my life where I was given the chance to find my career. I was somewhat a difficult fit, but my instructors saw something in me that I had never seen. I was spurred on to work hard and to see what is possible in life. I really loved my time there in the 70s and appreciate it even more in my retired years. Who knew that even today OC would be in my heart and life?
Dave Macqueen '75Alumnus and Instrumental Department Volunteer
I was a small town girl so Olivet College was a great fit for me. I loved all of my classes except maybe freshman English. However, I was lead to become a writer and have had a number of articles published in national magazines.
I had always planned to be a teacher and that was the path that I followed at Olivet. However, life can take you in different directions. When I married and moved to Kirksville, Missouri with my husband, Robert C. Clark, D.O. ex’73, there were no teaching jobs available locally that paid enough to eat on a regular basis. Missouri didn’t have consolidated school districts at the time with very low tax base, so I went to work as a bank teller and made more money! I have spent my life in business ever since.
Some of my greatest gifts from Olivet are my husband and my dear roommate, Janet Adamski ’73, with whom I have stayed in touch over these many years. Bob and I live in Concord, California, very far from family and friends, but some relationships are simply meant to last a lifetime!
Patricia Adams Clark '73
Olivet College is a place where we define ourselves by who we include, rather than who we exclude. It’s a place where the people, the unique contributions that each one brings to our community, and the relationships we build with one another defines us, as a community and as a college.
Steven M. Corey, Ph.D.Olivet College President
We know that Olivet is a good college because we have seen scores of her graduates, all of whom are making good; we have talked to hundreds of her friends, and all of them are loyal; we have seen young men and women come here and in a short time catch a new vision and receive a new inspiration. We believe in Olivet, the college of opportunity; the college where students get individual attention; the college where lifelong friendships are formed; the college where Christian character is manifested and where Christian idealism is inculcated. Come to Olivet if you want to go to a good college.
Paul F. VoelkerOlivet College President 1920-1925
I will always remember how much Olivet College felt like a big family. Professors were very helpful and you could get assistance very easily when needed. Throughout my years at Olivet, I never felt lost or out of place due to the people around campus. Whether it was professors remembering my name, having a class with a familiar face, or coming together within clubs and organizations, there was always someone you could go to.
BreAnne Rudlaff '18
Olivet might have a small campus, but nothing is too big at OC. I’m very thankful for the resources that are here, especially student life opportunities and advisers who will help you with anything. I know the more I take advantage of now will help me in my next steps of life, and there are chances to grow in many ways. There is truly something for everyone at Olivet College.
I have always felt that Olivet College is a special place. I think God created OC for a unique purpose – a place where diversity is embraced and a greater understanding is created. What continues to make Olivet special is that there are so many people who are willing to devote their life’s work to educating students and ensuring the growth of the institution.
Mike Fales ’75assistant professor of interdisciplinary studies and religion, director of service learning and campus ministries, Olivet College