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Insurance Program Finds its Niche Through strong leadership, Olivet is producing some of the industry’s brightest leaders.

From the President’s desk


Olivet College continues to grow and prosper in ways we could not have imagined a few years ago. On a beautiful Saturday afternoon, May 19, it gave me great pleasure to congratulate so many students as they walked across the stage at commencement. I am sure this new group of alumni will do remarkable things with their lives, as so many of our graduates before them have done. Many of you have been truly dedicated to this college and its students. You understand that a commitment to excellence requires resources to take action and move forward. Independent colleges such as Olivet need strong alumni and friends support. On behalf of the students, faculty and staff, I would like to thank all of Olivet’s donors who have recently made contributions to the college. As usual, many activities are planned on campus this summer. Thanks to the support of several alumni and foundations, we hope to start several building projects. We plan on breaking ground on our new events center and apartment-style housing, and install an outdoor track and visitor stands at the Cutler Athletic Complex. We are also planning renovations to the Mott Academic Center, including the auditorium and science labs. These projects will be started only when the required amount of funds are raised. This type of fiscal responsibility has become a part of the ongoing operation of Olivet College. I am also very excited to report Don Tuski ’85, Ph.D. with graduating senior Ann Marie Keisic another strong year for the college in terms of academic and athletic achievement. The Board of Trustees approved new majors in financial planning and special education. In athletics, we had two Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association championship teams this year. The women’s golf team won the league and placed ninth nationally, and the men’s swimming and diving team won the MIAA for a second year in a row. As you can see, the college is excelling in a number of areas. In order to keep the momentum going, we need your continued support. If you have not made a donation to the Olivet College Annual Scholarship Fund this fiscal year, please do so by June 30.

David T. Hayhow, Chair, Okemos George F. Francis III, Vice Chair, Southfield The Hon. Judge Denise Page Hood, Vice Chair, Detroit David E. Hathaway, J.D., Secretary, Ada Stanley Dole, Treasurer, Grand Rapids

Thank you and have a great summer!

Don Tuski ’85, Ph.D. Olivet College Mission Statement The mission of Olivet College is to make available to a diverse campus community, an education which will enrich lives intellectually, morally and spiritually. Having gained these qualities through the educational experiences at Olivet, our hope is that our graduates will embody the Divine art and science of doing good to others, as stated by the founding fathers of Olivet College in 1844.


MEMBERS G. Asenath Andrews ’72, Detroit Thomas Burke ’82, Carmel, Ind. James W. Butler III, East Lansing Priscilla Upton Byrns, St. Joseph Dennis Daugherty ’70, Mattawan Robert Ewigleben, Albion Jamey T. Fitzpatrick ’86, Grand Ledge Rod Hathaway ’81, Wayland William N. Healy ’79, Brighton Sharon R. Hobbs, Ph.D., East Lansing Timothy Hodge ’83, D.O., Holt Thomas Hoisington, Lansing Kennard A. Kinzler, Bloomfield Hills Jeff Koch ’90, New York City Thomas E. Kolassa ’69, Battle Creek Robert M. Lawrence ’57, Grosse Ile Dean Lewis ’55, Kalamazoo Fritz Lewis, Middleville William Middlebrooks, West Bloomfield Martin L. Mitchell ’73, Ed.D., Coldwater Tom Nesbitt ’63, White Lake Don Oderkirk ’64, Watervliet The Rev. Don Olsen, Ph.D., Waukegan, Ill. George Pyne III ’65, Milford, Mass. The Rev. Nancy Barto Rohde ’65, Petoskey Samuel H. Thomas, Ann Arbor Karen Van Hentenryck ’81, South Lyon

TRUSTEE SPOTLIGHT Name: Thomas Kolassa ’69 Hometown: Coldwater Now lives in: Battle Creek; Also has homes in Marco Island, Fla., and Lake Tahoe, Nev. Occupation: Senior Vice President of HUB International Midwest in Battle Creek; Owner/Entrepreneur Infinisource Inc. Responsibilities: Chartered Life Underwriter and a Chartered Financial Consultant Community involvement: Chairperson of the Binder Park Zoo Board of Directors, member of the Starr Commonwealth Board of Trustees and director of Southern Michigan Bank & Trust. Former board member of the Battle Creek Rotary Club and Battle Creek Y Center. Off-the-clock hobbies: Golf, cycling

SHIPHERD’S RECORD Shipherd’s Record is named in memory of “Father” John J. Shipherd, who established Olivet College in 1844. The magazine is published twice annually for Olivet alumni and friends.

MAGAZINE STAFF Jerry Rashid Assistant Vice President for College Relations Shannon Tiernan Director of College Relations and Special Events Pam Rutyna College Relations Specialist Bruce Snyder Director of Publications and Web Services


Insurance Program Finds its Niche


In his Father’s Footsteps

Marty (Mason) Jennings ’67 Director of Alumni Relations Geoff Henson Sports Information Director Contributors Jackie Bounds Linda Jo Scott Levi Yockey, senior Send comments or suggestions to: Office of College Relations Olivet College Olivet, MI 49076 (269) 749-7657 Send change of address notices to: Olivet College Development Office Olivet, MI 49076 (269) 749-7625

CAMPUS ADMINISTRATION Don Tuski ’85, Ph.D., President Barb Spencer, Executive Assistant to the President Larry Colvin, Vice President for Administration Norma Curtis, Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs Mark DeRuiter, Vice President and CFO Lynn Ward Gray, Associate Vice President for Diversity and Community Affairs Linda Logan, Ph.D., Vice President and Dean for Student Life Jerry Rashid, Assistant Vice President for College Relations Tom Shaw ’88, Director of Athletics Larry Vallar ’84, Vice President for Enrollment Management Mark Veich, Vice President for Institutional Advancement

Since its founding in 1980, Olivet’s Insurance Program has continued to prosper – in-and outside the classroom.

Bill Ballagh ’88, has successfully followed his father into the insurance business.


Keeping Life in Perspective


Building a Strong Reputation


A Good Business Mind

2 24 26 29

Barb Cook ’95: wife, mother and agribusiness underwriter.

For Lennie Morgan ’89, nothing is more important than reputation.

By using common sense, Jeff Lamb ’92 has excelled in insurance.

Around the Square Development Comet Athletics Class Notes

Several of Olivet’s 2007 graduates acknowledge family and friends during commencement On the Cover: Charles M. Trubac, a founding member of Olivet’s Insurance Program and a former regional vice president for State Farm Insurance Company, is flanked by Mike Hubbel, director of the Insurance Program and professor of insurance and risk management, and Carol Breed ’98, associate professor of business and insurance. OLIVET



Around THE SQUARE Shipherd’s Record wins PRSA Pinnacle Award Shipherd’s Record, Olivet College’s alumni magazine, was recently recognized by the Central Michigan Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (CMPRSA) with a Pinnacle Award in the chapter’s 2007 PACE Awards magazines category. The PACE Awards are presented each year as midMichigan’s highest honor of public relations activities. These awards are given to public relations practitioners who have shown exemplary professional skill, creativity and resourcefulness. Each year, CMPRSA invites institutions, for-profit and non-profit organizations, companies and government agencies in Clinton, Eaton, Genesee,

Gratiot, Ingham, Jackson, Livingston and Shiawassee counties to submit public relations campaigns and individual tactic elements for judging by a group of peers. The submissions must meet the highest standards of performance in the profession. Shipherd’s Record is produced by Olivet’s Office of College Relations, which includes Jerry Rashid, assistant vice president for college relations; Bruce Snyder, director of publications and web services; Shannon Tiernan, director of college relations and special events; Marty Jennings, director of alumni relations; Pam Rutyna, college relations specialist; and Geoff Henson, sports information director.

Olivet celebrates its founding On Feb. 14, Olivet College paid tribute to its founders in the Olivet Congregational Church. However, the presentation delved deeper than remembering when Father Shipherd ventured to the top of the hill and had his vision of providing an education to all, regardless of race, gender or financial means. Founders’ Day and Church Relations Day guest speaker Joseph Elder, Ph.D., reminded the audience of Olivet’s Joseph Elder, Ph.D. founding mission of peace and tolerance. Elder, a professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, gave his presentation on the rising problem of religious intolerance and what steps Americans can take to overcome it. Elder, a




native of Tehran, who has also lived in Afghanistan, is an advocate for ecumenism and the topic of his address was “Interfaith Dialog in the 21st Century.” He has been very active in the religious community and has participated in the Parliament of The World’s Religions. At this event, representatives from every world religion convene to discuss how the world may attain religious tolerance. “As this country gets more and more religiously diverse, we have to gain more and more tolerance,” said Elder. “I hope that the bell that tolled that morning was a sign of the end of religious intolerance,” said Elder, about the religious parliament convening.

Virginia Tech memorial On April 20, more than 60 Olivet students, faculty, staff and Board of Trustees members participated in a nationwide memorial service related to the tragic events at Virginia Tech. The event included several readings by students and employees, as well as ringing of the College Square bell for each victim.

Financial workshop

Trustee member Bill Middlebrooks (left), organized an on-campus financial literacy workshop for Olivet’s students in April. The workshop, which featured Don Ferguson, director of minority dealer development, relationship marketing and diversity at GMAC Financial Services, was sponsored by the Office of Student Life.

Black History Month An image from “Hateful Things,” a collection of art from the Jim Crow Museum Traveling Art Exhibit, that was displayed in the Olivet College Art Gallery Feb. 14-28. David Pilgrim, Ph.D., chief diversity officer at Ferris State University and founder and curator of the Jim Crow Museum, spoke to the campus community about “The Resurgence of Racist Imagery in Popular Culture.”

2007 graduates get one last botany lesson Approximately 180 graduates were recognized during Olivet College’s commencement ceremony Saturday, May 19. The keynote address was given by Maria Davis, Ph.D., professor of biology and recipient of the 2007 Livingston Professorship award, which is the highest teaching honor awarded to a full-time, tenured faculty member at Olivet. The following are some highlights of Davis’ address: “When my faculty colleagues heard that I would be making today’s address, some had suggestions about what I should say. The best piece of advice I received was to keep it short and funny—just like me! As a Livingston Professor, I have been recognized for my teaching. So, today I will share one final lesson before you leave—a botany lesson. “Your botany lesson today begins with a children’s song, which tells about how carrots are really roots, celery is really a stem, broccoli is really a flower, and so forth. But what really struck me was the last line:

six plant parts that plants and people need. “We have more in common with plants than we may know: Our roots anchor us and supply us with good things we can use in our life; make sure your roots grow in good places; help others take root in good places, too. Our stems support us, connect us to our roots and let our let our leaves flourish. Be thankful for your support system, and be part of a support system for others. Our leaves (our talents and abilities) allow us to convert energy and effort into Maria Davis, Ph.D., 2007 commencement speaker good things, but they must continue to be And finally, we must pass on our hope nurtured so they can grow throughout our and investment in the future, to leave lives. Never stop learning. Help others something for the next generation and for develop their talents and abilities. the future of the whole planet.” Our flower moments need to be celebrated. Celebrate your own achievements and those of others. The fruits of our labors should be both savored and shared. Use your time, energy and talents to help make the world a better place, not just for yourself but for Olivet College celebrated Martin your global family. Luther King Jr. Day Monday, Jan. 15, by holding a series of activities, including a bell ringing and reflection in the College Square and several guest speakers throughout the afternoon. Baldemar “We are fundamentally different in Velasquez, founder and president of the terms of things that are important to us Farm Labor Organizing Committee at our core,” she said. “There’s social, (FLOC), was the keynote speaker. cultural and hormonal wiring that Velasquez shared with the audience differentiates us.” experiences from his youth. Whether it According to DeBoer, everything is was the shanties his family lived in or the a competition to men. “At blatant disrespect they had to endure, the end of the day, it’s all Velasquez said that each moment about oneness and being prepared him for what he had become. alone at the top,” she said. Velasquez created the FLOC, which However, with emphasized human rights and fought for women, life is an extended those who were exploited for the benefit of family reunion. “We others. Because of his involvement with define ourselves and our the FLOC, Velasquez was invited by self-esteem by Martin Luther King Jr., to attend a relationships—who they discussion on a “poor people’s campaign.” are with and how healthy It was King’s final campaign. those relationships are.” Almost a decade later, in 1978, Regardless of how Velasquez kicked off a strike in the men or women treat Midwest against Campbell’s Soup competition, DeBoer believes that what Company. More than 2,000 workers quit matters most is how men and women picking tomatoes until their demands were choose to respond to situations. “We met. After eight years, Velasquez, the naturally respond to situations in certain workers and other labor rights ways, but we have a choice of how to representatives sat down to discuss their behave,” she said. “And it’s beneficial demands with Campbell’s. This was the that both sexes learn how each gender largest migrant worker strike in United responds if they want to survive in the States history. athletic and job world.”

DeBoer addresses gender and competition Kathleen DeBoer, a former coach and athletic administrator at the University of Kentucky, spoke as part of Olivet College’s Lecture and Symposium Series Wednesday, March 21. The event was sponsored in part by the college’s Betsy Dole Women’s Resource Center. With 23 years of experience in intercollegiate athletics, serving as a coach, administrator and fundraiser, DeBoer has seen a wide variety of competition. Years of observations and research led her to write “Gender and Competition: How Kathleen DeBoer Men and Women Approach Work and Play Differently.” During her presentation, DeBoer discussed how men and women approach competition – both on- and off-the-court. Examining differences in values and fears, conversations, behaviors and psychological adjustments, she defined how genders differ in both competitive work and athletic environments.

Equality emphasized

Students IN THE NEWS Donald A. Morris Award recipients

John Wilterding and Natalie Iacopelli

Jeff Iciek and Cynthia Noyes

The Donald A. Morris Awards are presented annually to five seniors with the highest grade point averages in their class and whose entire baccalaureate was at Olivet College. The 2007 recipients are Natalie Iacopelli of Southgate; Jeff Iciek of Allegan; Stephanie Smith of Waldron; Therese Wood of Bellevue; and Janet (Stam) Zeaiter of Holland.

Leah Knapp and Stephanie Smith

Laura Barlond-Maas and Therese Wood

Each recipient was asked to select a professor whom they deemed most influential in their academic achievement. Iacopelli, a biology and chemistry major, chose John Wilterding, Ph.D., associate professor of biochemistry; Iciek, a sociology major and a mathematics minor, chose Cynthia Noyes, J.D., associate professor of sociology and anthropology; Smith, an environmental science and biology major,

Nicole Babcock, a junior from Three Rivers and a journalism and mass communications and sports/recreation management double major, and Eleni Mitropoulos, a senior from Bronson and personal interest major, were recently awarded Michigan Press Foundation scholarship awards. Kristin Bloomquist, a senior from Holt, was awarded the All-Area Diving Coach of the Year award for Mason High School’s girl’s swimming team and Second Team All-Area Diving Coach of the Year award for Mason’s boy’s swimming team. These awards are voted on by the coaches in the school’s specific zone of the Michigan Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association. From there, the awards become a part of the Lansing State Journal Dream Team. Jaysen Brandt, a senior from Sterling Heights, was recently given an award from the Michigan State University Section of the American Chemical Society. This award is given to outstanding graduating students in chemical sciences. Amber Terberg, a senior from Vermontville, received the Commitment to Service Award at the Michigan Campus Compact Outstanding Student Service Awards ceremony in April. 4



Carol Breed and Janet (Stam) Zeaiter

chose Leah Knapp, D.V.M., professor of biology; Wood, an English major, chose Laura Barlond-Maas, associate professor of English; and Zeaiter, an insurance and risk management and marketing management major, chose Carol Breed, J.D., associate professor of business and insurance. The Donald A. Morris Awards are named after a former president of the college, who served from 1977-92. Four insurance students were selected for the nationally competitive National Association of Professional Surplus Lines Office Ltd. (NAPSLO) Summer Internship program. Only 14 college students from across the country were chosen for this program. Olivet students selected include: Ashley Euper, a junior from Clio; Josh Hart, a senior from Gaylord; Andrew Lansang, a junior from Rock Springs, Wyo.; and Eric Quinn, a junior from Port Huron.

Ashurina Chamoun served as the senior class speaker at commencement May 19.

Three journalism and mass communication students attended the seventh annual Sports Career Fair at the Palace of Auburn Hills in February. Sophomores Justin Christian, from Lansing, Igor Rasula, from Serbia, and John Shull, from Hazel Park, joined hundreds of student and professional job seekers as they visited with more than 30 professional and collegiate sports organizations and entertainment companies.

Bethany Leonard, a senior from Grand Ledge, has been accepted into the fall graduate semester at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine. She will be one of a handful of students in an “experiential education” program focusing on non-fiction documentaries. Nine instrumental music students performed in the Intercollegiate Honor Band at Adrian College in February. The band was comprised of students nominated by conductors from Albion, Alma, Calvin, Hillsdale, Hope and Olivet colleges, as well as Cornerstone, Grand Valley State and Spring Arbor universities. Jeananne Nichols, D.M.A., director of instrumental studies and assistant professor of music, nominated the

following students: Annie Bahling, a sophomore from Lachine, on horn; Jesse Barber, a freshman from Vandalia, on trumpet; Bryan Borders, a senior from Battle Creek, on trombone; Melanie Engels, a junior from Battle Creek, on alto saxophone; Celeste Gruber, a freshman from South Haven, on clarinet; Katelyn Harmon, a freshman from Augusta, on euphonium; Anne Marie Keisic, a senior from Sterling Heights, on flute; Michael Ryan, a senior from Eastpointe, on tuba; and Blake Walters, a freshman from Olivet, on alto saxophone. In March, Engels and senior Bryan Borders, who plays the trombone, performed in the Small College Intercollegiate Band at the College Band Directors National Association conference at the University of Michigan’s Hill Auditorium. The 80-member band was comprised of students from small colleges across the United States. Eunice Oladele, a senior from Nigeria, has been accepted as one of about 50 students at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism, which is located in midtown Manhattan.

Eunice Oladele

Faculty AND STAFF Mike Hubbel, professor of insurance and risk management and director of the insurance program, conducted seminars for professionals at Arch Insurance Group in New York City last November and in Chicago in January. He also presented a seminar to the Argonaut Insurance Group in San Antonio last December. Mike Hubbel

Rev. Julie Kilmer, Ph.D., director of the Betsy Dole Women’s Resource Center and associate professor of women’s studies and religion, published an article titled, “Gender, Sexuality and Religion,” in the “Feminist Theory Syllabi Collection 2006.” She also presented a Rev. Julie Kilmer, Ph.D. workshop at the Love of Leadership Conference in Lansing, and presented her paper titled “Academic Freedom and the Pursuit of Happiness: (Re)claiming the Rights of Liberal Educators,” at the American Academy of Religion in Washington, D.C. Last October, Craig Korpela, adjunct instructor of interdisciplinary studies, earned a doctorate from Western Michigan University. The title of his dissertation was “The Cover-up is More Damaging than the Sin: Sexual Scandals at the Cabinet and Sub-cabinet Level.”

In March, more than 150 students attended a forum to discuss issues on campus. The forum was led by Board of Trustees member Bill Middlebrooks and student government president Courtney Mich, a junior from Bay City.

Susanne Lewis, assistant professor of chemistry, gave a presentation titled “Experiences and Reflections of a new Instructor Using POGIL (Process Oriented Guide Inquiry Learning),” at the 233rd American Chemical Society’s national meeting in Chicago in March.

Deanna Richard, assistant professor of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Sport, and head women’s basketball coach, was inducted into Deanna Richard Oakland University’s Athletic Hall of Fame in April. John Rybicki served as Olivet’s poet-inresidence for the 2007 Intensive Learning Term (ILT). The Humanities Department received almost 50 applications for the new Sandburg-Auden-Stein Residency, which was named after poets who visited Olivet in the ’30s and ’40s. During the college’s ILT session, which was held April 24 until May 18, Rybicki lived on campus and taught a poetry writing class. He also hosted two public events including a reading of his work and a stand-alone discussion on a subject of his choice. Joanne Williams, assistant professor of journalism and mass communications and theatre, was elected vice president of the Michigan Collegiate Press Association’s (MCPA) Board of Directors at its annual meeting in February in Grand Rapids. Williams, who was serving as an at-large director representing Division III schools, will be serving a two-year term, Joanne Williams which leads to a two-year term as board president. The MCPA represents collegiate press members of the Michigan Press Association.




Insurance Program Fi BY PAM RUTYNA


harles M. Trubac, a former regional vice president for State Farm Insurance Company, once wrote, “There is no way we can borrow money to build a home, factory or an office building without the necessary property and liability coverage. One cannot drive a car without liability or no-fault insurance. People cannot be employed without worker’s compensation. And we cannot feel secure in life without adequate amounts of life and health protection.” With this in mind, Trubac, with the help of the college and fellow representatives of the insurance industry, set out to develop an Insurance and Risk Management (IRM) program at Olivet College. More than two and a half decades later, the program has increased from just a few students majoring in the field in the ’80s to more than 100 IRM majors today.

The history The IRM program originally began because of interest between Olivet students and industry representatives. In November 1979, the college held an Insurance Career Day, where professionals discussed the business with interested students. While the undergraduates were impressed with the insurance field, the representatives were so impressed with the caliber of the Olivet students that they decided to create an insurance education program at the college. “We wanted to begin teaching insurance courses because we needed to train people for this business,” said Trubac, who is an Olivet Board of Trustees Emeriti member. “I became interested in promoting insurance education because I believed there should be a better understanding of the important mission and tradition of insurance, regardless of your major.” These business leaders, along with Trubac, formed an insurance council, which focused on curriculum development and fundraising. They eventually became known as the Insurance Program Advisory Committee. Insurance courses first became available at Olivet in the fall of 1980 and were taught by insurance professionals.

Charles M. Trubac 6



nds its Niche The next year, insurance became a concentration in the business administration major. Throughout the ’80s, the program grew under the leadership of its directors, John Homer, Ph.D., who is now chair of the Business Administration Department and professor of economics, Claire Stevens, J.D., an adjunct instructor, and Mike Hubbel, who is the program’s current director and professor of insurance and risk management. In 1986, the program began offering off-site learning opportunities, including an annual spring trip to tour insurance organizations in Chicago and Toronto. Gamma Iota Sigma (GIS), the national insurance and risk management

Insurance Program Director Mike Hubbel (standing, center) and several students gather for one of the first Gamma Iota Sigma meetings in 1986. Also pictured are (from left) Darlene Roberts ’88; Terry King ’87; Tina (McDonald) ’88 Biggs; Craig Bruder ’91; and Luciana (Zolinierek) ’87 King.

professional society, chartered the Alpha Alpha chapter at Olivet the same year. That winter, Hubbel proposed a Center for Insurance in the new addition of the Burrage Library. Two years later, the Center for Insurance kicked off and later became the home of the Michigan Insurance Hall of Fame, which was established in 1994. In 1989, more alumni became involved with the Insurance Program Advisory Committee, which strengthened the connection between the insurance industry and the college.

In 1993, under the direction of Janet Holstine, the program began offering evening courses for the Insurance Institute’s general insurance series and the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) program. Hubbel returned to direct the program in 1995 and began holding senior seminars as well as the first insurance Intensive Learning Term, a three-week program conducted in New York City. Carol (Barrick) Breed ’98, J.D., who was a student at the time, developed the ethics and presentations course. After earning a Juris Doctorate, Breed joined the Olivet faculty in 2001 as an associate professor of insurance and risk management. In 2004, a new insurance and risk management major was approved, which featured the first internship requirement at Olivet, as well as an expanded curriculum in finance and insurance. and a new course in insurance negotiations and persuasive presentations. The program reached a milestone, when, in 2005, more than 100 students declared insurance and risk management as a major. Beginning this fall, the program will offer a new option to students — a financial planning major. “There has been incredible growth in this program through the years,” said Trubac, who is now retired from the insurance industry. “When we started in the late ’70s and early ’80s, we were counting students on the fingers of one or two hands. Now there are more than 100 students interested in this field. Mike and Carol deserve much credit for this tremendous growth.”

The program today Today, Hubbel and Breed, along with the IRM program administrator, Marie Steele, continue to shape the program and the students who are involved. With only 50 schools in the United States and seven in the Great Lakes region offering an insurance major, Olivet is regarded as having one of the best programs and some of the brightest students in the country.

“For the past three years, our students have earned the top insurance scholarship in the country,” said Hubbel. “Also, each summer, we usually have two or three students chosen for the National Association of Professional Surplus Lines Offices internship program, which only takes approximately 10 students from around the country.” The success of the program all begins with recruitment, which is primarily done by students in Olivet’s chapter of GIS. “Our students do a great job recruiting externally,” said Hubbel.

“I became interested in promoting insurance education because I believed there should be a better understanding of the important mission and tradition of insurance, regardless of your major.” - Charles M. Trubac

While Olivet is the only IRM program at a four-year school in Michigan, four community colleges in the state have begun teaching insurance classes, from which the college is able to recruit. In addition, last December, the faculty approved a transfer agreement that encourages students graduating from the business and insurance program at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario, to transfer to Olivet to complete their four-year degree. There has been tremendous growth in the past five years alone, as the program has gone from 40 students with a declared insurance major in 2002-03 to 123 students in 2006-07. “When Carol joined the program in 2001, we were able to expand and branch out into new directions,” said Hubbel. continued on pg. 8 SHIPHERD’S



Insurance Program Finds its Niche continued from pg. 7

Today, the program not only educates students in the classroom, it also takes them into the industry, where they are able to learn from professionals, while networking at the same time. This experiential learning process includes job shadows, risk management case studies and tours, seminars in Chicago and Toronto, and Intensive Learning Terms in New York City and London.

Senior James Lile was the president of GIS during the 2006-07 academic year.

Insurance students are also required to complete a three-credit internship before graduating. While only one internship is required, most of the students try to complete at least one a summer. This is an experience Breed believes enhances the students even more. “The internships make them even better students,” she said. “Afterward, they have a different attitude. They are more professional and, better yet, more employable.” While IRM prides itself on its internship programs, Hubbel and Breed also bring in professionals to speak during the seminar class each week. These speakers are from all areas of the business including actuaries, agents, claims adjusters, underwriters, corporate risk managers and insurance company senior management officers. This year, speakers included Pete Miller, chief executive officer of the American Institute for CPCU and Insurance Institute of America. Miller’s presentation was significant to the students since a large number of them will try to earn certain designations, such as CPCU, before graduating. “We offer these

she said. “GIS is the bridge between the designation classes to the students who are curricular and co-curricular aspects of the interested in taking the tests before program. It is the vehicle that takes the graduation,” said Breed. “While they are curriculum out of the classroom.” difficult to obtain, some of our students will A few years ago, when the earn two or three program began to increase, the designations before leaders of GIS at the time leaving Olivet.” decided to break the seminar While students up into smaller groups. Today, may opt to earn each of the groups has a leader these designations and work on various projects before graduation, for the IRM program, they are encouraged including an employer’s fair to keep up their and several conferences across studies at Olivet. the country. Last December, the According to senior James faculty approved a Lile, president of GIS for the new requirement for 2006-07 year, members are insurance majors that The Insurance Program often eligible for thousands of dollars states they must brings industry leaders into the in scholarships from insurance have a 3.0 or better classroom to speak, including Pete Miller, CEO of the American companies as well as job and grade point average Institute for CPCU. internship opportunities. “We overall in order to publish a resume book take 300- and 400annually,” he said. “This year, we printed level insurance courses. and mailed more than 200 resume books “We try to build a culture,” said to insurance companies.” Breed. “We want students to take With the knowledge students learn in academics seriously. Once they feel the classroom and the experience they gain comfortable with the basic insurance from participating in internships, there is principles, they usually want to get nearly a 100 percent job placement after involved in classes and discussions.” graduation. Gamma Iota Sigma “We don’t have many students who graduate without finding a job first,” said Hubbel and Breed work hard to set Hubbel. “It’s rare that they don’t find jobs students up for success before they leave because the degree is so focused and they Olivet. But ultimately it’s up to students as get so much experience here.” to how much they want to succeed. And While the IRM program has every year, Hubbel and Breed are expanded since its inception, and Hubbel pleasantly surprised by the dedication the and Breed plan to grow it even more in the students put into their major. Away from future, they do hope one thing stays the the classroom, many of the insurance and same—the caliber of the students. After risk management majors spend their time all, that’s one of the reasons the insurance working with the Olivet chapter of GIS. council originally created the program. “GIS is a student-run organization “These students in the IRM program that is a huge component of the program,” are trustworthy and responsible adults, said Hubbel. “The leaders in GIS run the who want to portray that professional student seminar on Wednesday, while image even before they graduate,” said Carol and I advise them. It focuses on Breed. “It’s one thing to teach the ideas group collaboration and involves every and principles we do, it’s another that these member of the seminar.” students actually follow it and listen to our According to Breed, she and Hubbel advice. We always look forward to seeing participate in the seminar approximately 5 where their ambition leads them.” to 10 percent of the time, which is usually when they are monitoring the grading process. “GIS is truly The Olivet Plan,”

In his Father’s Footsteps BY PAM RUTYNA


hen Bill Ballagh began attending Olivet College, he had no intentions of following in his father’s footsteps. After all, his father was a State Farm insurance agent, and Ballagh wasn’t interested in that line of work. Little did he know that four years later he would accept a position with the State Farm regional office.

Away from his insurance business, Bill Ballagh ’88 (right) enjoys spending time with his family, which includes (from left): Daniel, 6; Skeeter, 11; wife Annette, holding Joey, 2; and Amanda, 13.

“I never thought about going into the insurance business when I first came to Olivet,” said Ballagh, a 1988 alumnus. “But at the urging of my father, I took a few of the basic insurance courses to satisfy my business requirement.” After taking two courses—statistics, and property, casualty and underwriting— and enjoying them, Ballagh decided to pursue a degree in business administration with an emphasis in insurance. With the insurance program in its infancy at that time, Ballagh looked for guidance from Charles Trubac, who was a regional vice president with State Farm and heavily involved with the program, and Mike Hubbel, who is director of the program and professor of insurance and risk management. He also began meeting people, whom he stills considers his friends today, and became one of the first members of Gamma Iota Sigma (GIS), the insurance program’s international professional collegiate society. Through his connections, Ballagh interned with State Farm during college and when he graduated, accepted a position with its regional office in Marshall. “When I graduated, I had several job offers, so it was nice to have a choice,” he said. “What’s nice about the program is that there are a lot of opportunities to network. Mike brought in several speakers who worked in the industry, and those people became good contacts later on.” Ballagh first worked at the regional office with as many as 20 Olivet graduates at one time. From there, he became an agent in Livonia in 1993, and moved to his current office in Chelsea in 1996.

With his busy workload, Ballagh is grateful to have the assistance of his wife, Annette, at home, and his staff at the office. “Annette makes sure everything runs smoothly at home with our four children, ages 2 to 13,” said Ballagh. “This helps me to be as successful as I can be in my business.” Ballagh is also appreciative of Olivet for teaching him how to balance his life. “At Olivet, I played golf for two years, basketball for three and I worked in the business office for four,” he said. “That really taught me how to balance my life and has come in handy when raising a family and working in my own business.” Ballagh’s also thankful to Olivet for giving him a chance to meet people he’ll be friends with for the rest of his life. While he speaks with some of them daily, the others he sees at least once a year when he participates in GIS’s annual golf outing. Ballagh shows his appreciation to Olivet by giving back to the college whenever he can. “He’s always thinking of Olivet when he hears about opportunities for us,” said Hubbel. “He’s given several major distributions of office furniture and is a member of our Insurance Program Advisory Committee, which gives guidance on curriculum, fundraising, recruiting, internships and placement.” By giving back, it’s Ballagh’s way of paying tribute to the college he believes played a part in making his career what it is today. “I believe it’s important to recognize that when you can, alumni should donate to Olivet. I feel an attachment to coach Gary Morrison, (Olivet’s men’s golf coach and former men’s basketball coach), for giving me the chance to play sports in college. I may not have had that chance at another school. “I also feel indebted to Mike for everything he did for me. He has been just as responsible for my career as anyone else and I am truly grateful.”




Keeping Life in Perspective BY SHANNON TIERNAN


ost college freshmen rank their highest achievements as earning their drivers license, graduating from high school and setting out from home on their own for the first time. When Barb Cook was a freshman, her highest achievements were nurturing a good marriage, raising six children and being a successful insurance agent. Cook graduated from Olivet College in 1995 as a non-traditional student. She had already carved out a career for herself when she decided to go to college to earn a degree in insurance. “Being an insurance agent was fascinating and interesting, but it wasn’t worth my time away from the kids,” said Cook. “I only needed to put in 18 months to earn a college degree, so I decided to go for it.” Cook made the most of her time at Olivet, becoming actively involved with Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honor society, and Gamma Iota Sigma, a professional society for students interested in insurance and risk management. She also took part in the college’s risk analysis with Aon. She said the people she met and the activities she participated in left a lasting impression. “It was really intense; the good thing was, through me, my kids learned how to study while in college,” she added with a laugh. “I was still able to be involved with them, but not as much as I would have had I not gone to college. It was an adjustment for everyone, but it worked out great”. “My time at Olivet was busy. The people were wonderful, and I loved my fellow students. It was a great environment.”

Cook worked with Citizens and Cook credits her ability to keep life Auto Owners insurance before settling in perspective on her experience. down with Michigan Millers Insurance. “Time management is really She’s an agribusiness underwriter for important; sometimes I’m on top of it, grain elevators and fertilizer companies. other times I react,” she said. “I’ve always “I like underwriting; it’s interesting and I been busy; it’s just my personality – learn a lot about the companies we work that’s just how I was made.” with,” she said. “I use my accounting skills every day, which is something I didn’t think I’d ever use.” Believing it’s important to give back to the college, Cook takes time out of her hectic life to teach a financial planning night class at Olivet. “I love teaching; I’ve taught insurance classes on my lunch hour for Michigan Millers and Auto Owners, so this was a natural transition,” she said. Along with working full time, raising a family and teaching a class at the college, Cook is finding time to earn a master’s of science and insurance management degree online from Boston University. Fortunately, the classes she took to earn a Charter Property Casualty Underwriters Barb Cook ’95 certification were applied toward a master’s degree, leaving her with only 32 “My time at Olivet was credits left. “I have three busy. The people were more classes after this wonderful, and I loved my semester and I’ll be done,” she said. fellow students. It was a

great environment.” - Barb Cook ’95





eonard “Lennie” Morgan ’89, went from someone who used to think insurance was a small State Farm office on a corner block in his hometown of Eaton Rapids, to someone who has climbed to the top of the industry. Morgan is senior vice president for Willis of Michigan, Inc., part of the London-based Willis Group Holdings, Ltd., one of the world’s leading risk management and insurance intermediaries. Morgan manages the insurance construction practice for Willis, which includes some of the largest contractors in the Midwest, and works with individual construction projects, such as the MGM Grand Casino in Detroit. He also directs insurance and benefits for large companies and recently revamped a Canadian workers’ compensation program. “The insurance business seems large, but at this level there are only 10-15 companies involved, so name and reputation are important,” said Morgan. “Reputation is more important than winning the deal; bridges burned cannot be rebuilt.” That valuable lesson is something he learned during his college years. Morgan went to Olivet College in 1985 to study accounting, but what he really enjoyed was an insurance class taught by Mike Hubbel, who at the time, was a first-year professor. Hubbel took Morgan under his wing and promised him a summer job working in finance for an insurance company. The job went well and Morgan changed his major to insurance to take more of Hubbel’s classes. He became involved as a charter member of Gamma Iota Sigma, the insurance program’s international professional collegiate society. Morgan also served as chairman of the Gamma Iota Sigma National Convention for insurance in 1988. Morgan admits that he was skeptical about how his liberal arts education would compare with young graduates from big universities. “I was pleasantly surprised at how prepared I was from my insurance internships combined with a well-rounded liberal arts experience from Olivet,” he said. “I was ready to work when I graduated. As time has gone by, I feel that I have surpassed many colleagues who graduated from larger schools.”

Morgan credits the personal attention and training opportunities he experienced at Olivet that prepared him for the future. “Mike and other professors instilled a strong work ethic and sense of professionalism,” said Morgan. “Mike wore a suit and tie everyday to ‘dress the part and feel the part’ as he led by example for his students.” As a way of giving back to his alma mater, Morgan returns to campus each year to share his work experiences with insurance and risk management classes. “I remind students that the insurance industry BY JACKIE BOUNDS is a people business,” said Leonard Morgan ’89 Morgan. “Deals are made by Last year, Morgan along with several relationships as opposed to best price. other alumni, including Jason Conkin ’97 There is a lot of money to be made, but it and Kevin Pollard ’95, initiated an Olivet boils down to ethics. Your reputation will College Insurance Alumni Network. The speak volumes about your business. network was created to provide a forum to “Students need to learn socialization exchange insurance market information skills and be motivated to meet and greet exclusively for the members of the group. clients. A knack for negotiation, keen “Basically, the network is available to networking skills and understanding the assist Olivet insurance alumni in the technical aspects of the business are also field,” Morgan said. “We are a group of crucial for success in this industry. The 15 to 20 people lending services to help insurance business is booming and Olivet others succeed.” has an excellent program with about a 99 The network is another example of percent job placement rate.” how personal relationships provide a He recommends Olivet to his clients’ purposeful future in the insurance children, as well as his own family. His industry. nephew, Alex, is a sophomore in the insurance program.

Building a Strong Reputation




A Good


eff Lamb was in his freshman year at Olivet College before deciding his fate. Lamb, a 1992 graduate who came to Olivet to play golf, was taking accounting and business courses when he decided to enroll in an insurance class. “I was a business major taking sales, marketing and finance classes,” he said. After taking the insurance class he was hooked and immediately became involved with the college’s successful Gamma Iota Sigma (GIS) chapter, the international organization for students interested in the insurance industry.

To say that GIS helped jump-start his career is an understatement. While at Olivet, he took advantage of the numerous opportunities the organization offered and became the first GIS member to receive the Gamma Iota Sigma Grand Chapter Leadership Award. “It was the first award of its type given to an individual for contributions at the national level,” said Mike Hubbel, director of the Insurance Program, adding the award was created specifically to honor Lamb’s contributions. According to Lamb, Olivet’s chapter of GIS works tirelessly to build its members’ confidence and serves as a networking tool. He added that Olivet typically ranks in the top two to three chapters in the nation, excelling in areas such as public relations, membership development, chapter management and alumni relations. The college’s organization typically ranks up there with powerhouse institutions such as Ohio State, Georgia State and Florida State universities, to name a few. “It’s very unusual to have graduates who speak the language, understand the industry and have national accreditation when they graduate,” he said of Olivet’s insurance students. “The better the program, the higher quality student the college will attract. The program has definitely gone out and recruited some of the best and brightest students.” While in college, Lamb was named the Joseph Blade Scholar by the National Association of Professional Surplus Lines Offices (NAPSLO); a competitive award given to the top NAPSLO intern, which earned him a three-week internship at Lloyd’s of London, the world’s leading specialty insurance provider. Drawn to the dynamics of risk management, Lamb decided to pursue a career in that field. His first job out of college, he was responsible for insuring Yo-Yo Ma, James Taylor and Mark and Donnie Wahlberg. “This is a common sense industry – you need to be smart,” he said. “I try to only insure what I understand. You have to have a good education and training, a good business mind. Make sure you’re doing the right things at the right times to stay ahead.”


This philosophy has worked well for Lamb. Today, he’s the national director of business development for the Markel Corporation, responsible for cultivating broker relationships, identifying new business opportunities and scouting new employees. Markel insures things most other insurance companies wouldn’t touch: wave runners, yachts, invasive medical products and catastrophe insurance for areas susceptible to earthquakes and hurricanes, for example. He finds the business exciting. “Insurance gets a bad rap because most people think its door-to-door salesmen selling life insurance or auto insurance,” said Lamb. “Insurance is a very dynamic industry because you have to analyze a variety of businesses and organizations. You need to understand the operations, financial statements and risk exposures that face these organizations.” Even though his work keeps him busy, Lamb volunteers to serve as a member of the national GIS Executive Committee. He remains involved with Olivet’s chapter, as well; participating in the organization’s annual golf outing and sitting on a panel discussion at the “Extreme Risk Takers” Surplus Lines Insurance Symposium Olivet’s chapter coordinates. Lamb donates his time and resources because he feels he owes a lot to Olivet and the college’s insurance program. “I feel very fortunate that I had a support structure during my college experience at Olivet,” he said. “It is rewarding to give back and share some of my life experiences with the young leaders of tomorrow. “There are advantages to having an education with a liberal arts foundation. This is an invaluable educational experience that allows graduates to form core values, build a family and spiritual life and give them the necessary skills to excel in whatever career path they choose. And as the insurance program gains momentum, the skies the limit.”

“IRU only takes a few students each When Janet (Stam) Zeaiter first set year and places them with two host foot on Olivet College’s campus, she had companies a summer,” she said. “That one thing on her mind—swimming. Four summer, I worked with Aon Re in years later, she’s graduating with a different Chicago for a month. mindset; one that I then moved to includes a new job in Minneapolis for the Richmond, Va., and rest of the summer her new husband, and worked with John Ahmad, a 2005 B. Collins Associates alumnus. Inc. Afterwards, I had “I first came to to write an allOlivet on a recruiting inclusive paper for trip for the swim IRU detailing each team,” said Zeaiter, internship and what who is double I learned.” majoring in insurance Last summer, and risk management, Zeaiter was one of and marketing. “On two students from that visit, I met with Olivet to receive an Carol Breed, opportunity with the (associate professor National Association of business and of Professional insurance). The Surplus Lines Office enthusiasm she had Janet (Stam) Zeaiter is one of Olivet’s for the insurance Ltd. (NAPSLO). 2007 top five graduating seniors. program piqued my “NAPSLO took interest.” nine students from Zeaiter, a native of Holland, quickly around the country and placed us with became involved on campus, swimming for two host businesses,” said Zeaiter. “One the first two years of college, and then was an insurance company and one was a becoming a resident assistant for five wholesale broker.” semesters. She also joined Gamma Iota Both of Zeaiter’s internships last Sigma (GIS), the insurance program’s summer were in Boston. She first international professional collegiate society, interned at the First State Management and has served as treasurer for the past Group, and finished her summer with two years. Boston Insurance Brokerage, where she “I like how the insurance program is found her niche. driven by GIS students,” said Zeaiter. “I “After my last internship, I decided believe GIS is the heart of the program. I wanted to go into specialty insurance,” We have opportunities for networking and said Zeaiter. “I like the freedom that career development and we take trips to comes with that type of insurance.” meet with industry leaders.” Last fall, Zeaiter looked at the Although Zeaiter was active during various companies that carry specialty the school year, she also chose to enhance insurance. She pursued a position with her career development during the the Markel Corporation, a holding summer. Each year, she completed an company for nine specialty companies, internship with a different insurance headquartered in Richmond, Va. She’ll company. The summer before her join the company this summer. But she sophomore year, she worked in the sales won’t move there alone. As it turns out, and marketing departments with Universal the insurance company her husband Insurance Services in Grand Rapids. works for also has a branch in Richmond. Going into her junior year, Zeaiter was “I’m excited to see what the future offered a national internship from the holds,” said Zeaiter. “I believe Olivet and Intermediaries and Reinsurance the insurance program have truly Underwriters Association (IRU). prepared me for life after college.” SHIPHERD’S



Meet the Academic Marcus Darden, Mathematics and Computer Science Department Marcus Darden is keeping a secret. Software he helped develop beat such computer giants as Microsoft and IBM for the 2004 Pocket PC Magazine Best Software Awards. The software, which allows the user to program on their pocket PC devices or desktop computer, is coined “the easiest way to program Windows CE devices” by NS BASIC Corporation. Marcus Darden But this is all in a day’s work for Darden, who earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the University of Michigan (U of M), respectively. “When I was at MIT, I was always programming my computer to help me do

my homework,” said Darden. “Actually, I spent more time programming my computer than doing my homework.” After earning his first master’s from U of M, Darden began taking classes toward a master’s of computer science. Before he was finished, though, he left Ann Arbor to move back to mid-Michigan to begin a career. While playing in a number of bands and bartending at the Harrison Road House in East Lansing, Darden began working at Dwight Rich Middle School in Lansing as a math teacher. A few years later Charlie Wilson, associate dean for academic affairs and assistant professor of education, as well as a longtime friend of Darden’s father, mentioned to Darden that a job was available at the college. He applied and was hired. Today, Darden is serving as the Mathematics and Computer Science Department chair, assistant professor of computer science and director of information technology management.

“I was a professor the first year and department chair the next,” he said. “It takes a unique kind of person to develop software and teach others how to do it too. People who are good at programming still have to be able to work with people.” Darden hasn’t given up his passion of playing in a rock ‘n’ roll band, though. In fact, he played 11 different gigs in 30 days last summer. He’s also a house flipper. Darden finds comfort at the computer. “In 2000, I started buying, fixing and renting houses,” said Darden. “I have four rental houses – two in Lansing, one in East Lansing and one in Olivet. My parents help out too; it’s a good business.”

John Homer, Business Administration Department In 1979, John Homer, Ph.D., was sitting in his office in Western Michigan University’s East Hall where he taught in the school’s Management Department. His co-worker told him that there was an economics position opening at Olivet. Homer met with the department chair and was hired as associate professor of economics. Six job titles later, Homer was recently appointed chair of Olivet’s Business Administration Department. After John Homer, Ph.D. 28 years at the college, it’s the culmination of an extraordinary career. “The students really keep you motivated,” said Homer. “You’re able to see first hand their involvement in the learning process, and that’s really why I find it interesting.” 14 14



Homer’s specialization is in resource economics, international trade and economic development. When he’s not in the classroom, he passes his spare time coaching and gardening. During World War II, he had a victory garden with his father, which they used at the time to help reduce pressure on the public food supply. Remembering how much he liked it, he started a garden at his home in Olivet. “Every year I try something new; I can really contemplate things when I’m in my garden,” said Homer. “I also like bringing the vegetables into work. But now it’s gotten to the point where I’ve trapped myself. In January, someone asked me about green beans.” Homer said that he is looking for a cabin in northern Michigan that he and his older kids could purchase. “If we find something we like, the garden might go away,” he added with a chuckle. Homer also spends a significant amount of time coaching various athletic teams for the Olivet Community Schools.

When his son was playing pee-wee football, he noticed coaches weren’t playing kids at practice or during games. “I decided if I wanted to do something about it, I better coach. So I did for six years,” he added. He also volunteers to coach long jump for Olivet middle and high school students. “It’s really a way to be around the kids,” he said. “My last child graduates from high school Homer in his garden. this year, but there are these other kids who I have been coaching since they were in middle school. They tell me I can’t stop until they’re through.”

Department Chairs Don Rowe, Liberal Arts Core Department For the past 38 years, Don Rowe, professor of art, has been teaching Olivet students how to interpret what they see and create it on their canvas. But for the past two years, he has also been involved on campus as chair of the Liberal Arts Core Department. “The Liberal Arts Core used to be named the general education Don Rowe program,” said Rowe. “Since I pushed for the name change, I ultimately became the chair.” Rowe earned a bachelor’s degree from the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, and a master’s of fine art degree from the University of Hartford in Hartford, Conn. Shortly after, he joined the faculty at Olivet College.

Much of his career has been dedicated to teaching and mentoring young artists. But while he still advises art majors, Rowe believes it’s important that the entire student body at the college receive a liberal arts education, which is why he is an advocate and spokesperson for the Liberal Arts Core Department. “Liberal Rowe assists a student during a arts is a very painting class. important kind of higher education,” he said.

“It’s unique to colleges the size of Olivet and it’s what the smaller schools do best. We have specialized degrees, but in order for the students to graduate, they must complete between 47 and 51 credits of liberal arts courses. “The business world wants people who can think and write and who are bright. In order to do that, Olivet needs to have both the various majors and the liberal arts core program.” Away from the college, Rowe spends his time traveling in the summers with his wife, Susan, often documenting his travels on canvas. This past year, he spent time in the Upper Peninsula and Minnesota.

Tom Sampson, Education Department Tom Sampson, Ph.D., chair of the Education Department, was the first in his family to earn a high school diploma. This was a priority for his parents, who both left school in the 10th grade. “They were very adamant that I graduate,” he said. “The importance they put on education had an impact on me. I thought if this is something so important to them, maybe I should look into majoring in education.” He graduated from Eastern Tom Sampson, Ph.D. Michigan University (EMU) with a bachelor’s degree in education. Shortly thereafter, Sampson was drafted and fought in the Vietnam War. When he returned to the United States in 1970, he was determined to use the G.I. bill to continue his education.

“I paid for all of my master’s degree and half of my doctorate with the G.I. bill,” he said. “I wanted to use it because I earned it.” With a master’s in special education from EMU and a Ph.D. in education from Michigan State University, Sampson went on to hold such titles as special education teacher, coordinator of training for the Michigan Department of Education, coordinator for health and physical education for Ann Arbor Public Schools, assistant principal at Lansing Everett High School and assistant principal and principal at the Marvin Beekman Center in Lansing. “When I was the principal, I decided to retire, but I thought, ‘What do you want to do now?” he said. “I began to consider teaching at a small liberal arts college.” At first, Sampson began as an adjunct instructor at Olivet. He slowly worked his way back into teaching and in September 2006, accepted the position

of director of the college’s Master of Arts in Teaching program and in January 2007, he became chair of the Education Department. “I always said after I retired that if I found something that I liked, I would go back to it full-time,” he said. “And at Olivet, I have.”

Sampson with sons, Anthony (middle) and Jesse on a recent vacation.




Setting High Standards BY GEOFF HENSON


livet College senior Stephanie Smith grew up on her family’s 12-acre strawberry and 1,500head pig farm in rural Hillsdale County. As a part of a project she started while a member of CamdenFrontier High School’s FFA Chapter, she is owner-operator for one acre of the strawberry patch and 20 pigs. When Smith wasn’t busy on the farm, she found time to play basketball with her older brother, Aaron. “We had a nice court at home,” she said. “During the summer, we had a contest of who would be the first one to make 15,000 Stephanie Smith baskets.” All of that practice paid off for Smith. Not only did she have a stellar high school basketball career, she was valedictorian of her class. On the hardwood, she was a four-year letterwinner, and as a senior, she was an All-Area and All-State selection. Smith was also named the Southern Central Athletic Association Most Valuable Player. Luckily for Olivet, Smith decided to bring her strong work ethic and outstanding basketball skills to campus,




where she continued to excel in the classroom and on the court. She earned one of Olivet’s 2007 Donald A. Morris Awards, which are presented each year to the top five graduating seniors and graduated with a 4.0 grade point average in biology and environmental science. Outside the classroom, she was a founding member and president of Olivet’s chapter of the StudentAthlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). She also served as president of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association’s SAAC. “Stephanie’s overall dedication had a tremendous impact not only in the women’s basketball program, but the college as a whole,” said Head Women’s Basketball Coach Deanna Richard. “She was one of the most coachable players in our program. Stephanie has also set a very high standard for future student-athletes.” Smith has no doubt left her mark at Olivet. She earned 2007 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America secondteam honors and is also the all-time leader

in three-pointers made (201) and attempted (589), while her .341 threepoint percentage is third all-time. During her outstanding four-year career at Olivet, Smith made 201 three-pointers, 84 twopoint baskets and 71 free throws for 842 points, which ranks ninth all-time. She connected on 61 three-point baskets in 2006-07, which was one short of tying the single-season record. “I just wish that I would have made two more three-pointers,” joked Smith. “I would have liked to break the singleseason record. However, I worked hard every day just to get better. I never set goals of breaking three-point records.” Smith is taking classes this summer toward a master’s degree from Smith finished her career the Crop and as Olivet’s all-time leader Soil Science in three-pointers made Department with 201. at Michigan State University (MSU). Her research will focus primarily on biofuel crops and renewable energy. According to Smith, she is both excited and apprehensive about attending graduate school. “I am not worried at all about taking classes and doing research this summer at MSU,” said Smith. “The thing that concerns me the most is being away from the farm because I have never been away from it during the summer.”

International Bonds BY LEVI YOCKEY, SENIOR


magine growing up in a city being heavily bombed, leaving buildings that are hundreds of years old in shambles. In the midst of this war-torn situation, family and friends rally together and create an unbreakable bond. Now imagine leaving these strong bonds behind to pursue higher education in another country. It takes courage to leave one’s country, much less one’s family, and travel around the world for that education. For Olivet College sophomore Igor Rasula, 20, it is the life he has come to accept. Rasula grew up in Belgrade, Serbia, but left to finish his senior year of high school at Portage Northern High School, where he was a member of the swim team. “The scholastics were the same as in Serbia, but I was going to school with people of different races, religions and sexual orientations,” said Rasula. “It was a big culture shock.” In his native country, Rasula was educated by a tutorial school system, which emphasized self-education with guidance from the instructor. “Back in Serbia you’d just have a few books for your exam and you’d have to pass it the first time in a semester,” he said. “When I came to the United States, it was hard to go to school every day. Since the city I live in Serbia has 2 million people, I would miss a few days of school every week either for swimming practice or other activities.” While at Portage Northern, he was recruited by several National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II and III schools for swimming, but chose Olivet because of the academic scholarships he was offered by the college. He also liked the size of the school. “Being at a small school is better for doing schoolwork,” said Rasula. “I like the small town atmosphere too because it does not harbor the major distractions that colleges in larger cities sometimes do.”

Coming to the United States was important for Rasula because he believed that the education he would receive here would be better than the one back home. He has earned a cumulative grade point average of 3.58 as a journalism and mass communications major and will graduate after only three years, instead of the typical four. Olivet has also allowed him to experience co-curricular activities that he might not have experienced in Serbia. For example, Rasula competed on the swim team for a year before he branched out and became the production manager for The Echo, the campus newspaper. “The United States educational system is better organized, plus it’s easier to study and gain knowledge,” said Rasula. He also likes the teaching method incorporated at Olivet. “You get practical, handson experience in the field you want to pursue here. For me, that practical experience has been with The Echo,” he said. While Rasula is enjoying his college days at Olivet, being so far from home sometimes has its downfalls. Although he is an only child, Rasula’s parents aren’t the only family that he misses while at Olivet. “I’m a part of a brotherhood, about 15 guys, and we got through the difficult times together,” said Rasula. “Even though we are not blood related, we consider ourselves family.” Although it’s hard to be away from his family and friends, Rasula Igor Rasula

understands that this type of education is not provided to everyone, and he is thankful to his parents and Olivet for the opportunity. After graduation, he plans on returning to Serbia and would like to work at the management level of public relations. He wants to share what he’s learned at Olivet with those in his field in Serbia. But while Rasula continues to look toward the future, he is fully aware of the past and how he came to Olivet. “I know that swimming opened up so many doors for me,” he said. “After graduation, I plan to go back to my old swim club in Serbia, and make it the best it can be, so that others might have the same opportunities I did.”

As one of Olivet College’s alumni, you know how special the college is. Your education at Olivet was supported by the generosity of others. Now, you can return the favor by making a gift to the Olivet College Annual Scholarship Fund. This is a great opportunity to make a major difference in the lives of current and future students. When you give, you provide essential scholarship dollars that allow Olivet to meet some of the demonstrated need for all enrolled students. Your support helps to create an environment in which ideas thrive and creativity flourishes. Your gifts truly make a difference for Olivet students. Please support deserving students with your gift to the Olivet College Annual Scholarship Fund. To make a gift: Visit and click on “Make a Gift” to make a secure gift online. Call the Office of Institutional Advancement at (800) 456-7189 and use your credit card to give by phone. Write a check payable to Olivet College and mail it to: Olivet College Annual Scholarship Fund 320 S. Main St. Olivet, MI 49076

Thank you for supporting the students of Olivet College. Ellington Fields, a junior computer science major from East Lansing, is one of the many students who benefit from the Olivet College Annual Scholarship Fund.

Leaving Behind Four Sacred Mountains BY SHANNON TIERNAN


t takes a strong individual to buck a long-standing tradition. But Olivet College senior Terra Curley, a fullblooded Navajo from Arizona, did just that. According to Navajo teachings, tribe members should never leave the vicinity of the “Four Sacred Mountains” for fear they will never return. Though she doesn’t put much stock in these traditions, the four mountains, which include the San Francisco Peaks, Mount Taylor, Mount Blanca and Mount Hesperus, kept her collegiate career landlocked for a few years. “I originally ended up going to college in Colorado,” said Curley. “I knew that wasn’t really for me, so I kept praying about my future.” One night, Curley had a dream she was going to school in Michigan. And out of the blue, she received admissions information from Olivet. She applied and was accepted. “I didn’t know a thing about the college; hadn’t seen it, hadn’t been here, nothing. “I just said ‘Lord, if this is where you want me to be, you’ll have to make a way.’ The next thing I knew, my stuff was packed, my parents had taken leave from work and we were driving out here.”

Basing her decision to attend Olivet on a dream and a prayer, she has never regretted making this leap of faith. “Coming here has given me strength,” she said. “It’s taught me how I want to live my life.” Curley, majoring in criminal justice, would like to attend law school or be accepted into the FBI program after graduation. “I was originally going to major in premed, then decided to pursue forensics instead,” she said. “I’m fascinated with the law and the criminal justice system.” Curley has used her college experience to help influence Terra Curley children on her reservation. Last year, she was invited by her former school district to speak about pursuing education beyond high school. “I want to help kids think about their future,”

she said of the experience. “Education is so important, and some of their families don’t put much emphasis on it.” She was invited back this past spring break to talk with students about the affects of methamphetamine use. “Every time I went home I’d read articles in the newspaper about people making or selling meth,” she said. “Most of the students had heard about the drug, some had actually seen it. All of them were surprised about what it could do to their bodies and how continued use could make them look. It is definitely a message that needs to be told.” As if she’s being called back by the Navajo’s traditions, Curley plans to return to Arizona upon graduation. “This is only the beginning for me, so I have to continue my journey and see what God has in store.”

Living Life to the Fullest BY PAM RUTYNA


enior Sara Townsend is the first to admit that she doesn’t take life for granted. In fact, she thinks it’s pretty special. As a 12-year-old, Townsend, an Alpena native, complained of a stomach ache, which landed her at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., two months later. “I was diagnosed in Alpena, but since I progressed so rapidly they did not have the means to care for Sara Townsend me,” she said.

“Once they realized how sick I was, they had me airlifted to the Mayo Clinic.” Townsend was diagnosed with a severe case of Crohn’s Disease, which is a chronic (ongoing) disorder that causes inflammation of the digestive or gastrointestinal tract. Eleven years and four surgeries later, Townsend credits technology for saving her life. From advancements in medicine and medical tools to new lessinvasive procedures, Townsend believes she’s alive today because of the medical care she’s received. However, her positive attitude might have attributed to her survival as well. “We all go through struggles in life,” said Townsend. “This is my struggle. I didn’t have a choice. When I was diagnosed, I either had to sink or swim, and I chose to swim.”

This mentality has helped her live life to the fullest, including her days at Olivet College. Townsend, who is majoring in journalism and mass communications, is a photographer and reporter for The Echo, the college’s newspaper, and has been involved with the women’s soccer team the past two years. Townsend’s family has also played a huge part in her recovery. Her grandfather was diagnosed with polio when he was 15 and walked with a cane his entire adult life. Today, he sits in a wheelchair. “My grandpa has lived most of his life with a disability,” she said. “And I admire him. He’s taught me that it’s not just that we live, but how we live that matters.” SHIPHERD’S



Remembering Dr. Speare BY LINDA JO SCOTT


hen Edward Phelps Speare and wife, Patricia, came to Olivet College in 1949, they could hardly have imagined that they would stay 45 years, raise five children in this tiny Midwestern town, and leave an incredible half-century’s legacy, which will never be forgotten. The Speares touched almost every aspect of life in Olivet. Ed taught 30 different biology courses to thousands

of students, many of whom went on to have successful careers in science. They were active members of the Olivet Congregational Church, Ed being famous for his lay sermons; his willingness to haul turkeys from ladies’ kitchens to the church basement for the annual turkey supper; and his many roles on committees and even in church maintenance. Patricia played the cello and organ in church and conducted the choir for a time.

1921 - 2006

Ed was one of the athletic department’s best fans, going to thousands of games and encouraging his students to give their best, not only in the classroom, but also on the wrestling mat, football field and basketball court. Patricia also served as women’s tennis coach for some years. Ed was a thrifty fellow—and a collector extraordinaire. Whether it was nuts and bolts in his basement or fish eggs, algae or fungi specimens in his lab, Ed organized everything in labeled cigar boxes, mayonnaise jars and recycled manila folders—whatever was needed. Born with a trouble-shooter’s mind, Ed knew how machines worked—and knew what to do with them when they didn’t work. Maintenance people at the college often consulted him about repair jobs, as well as landscaping problems. And Ed kept the Victorian family home in Olivet as well as two big old cottages at Popham Beach, Maine, in pristine condition. Ed regularly submitted his poems and fables to the Garfield Lake Review, Olivet’s literary magazine. Two especially touching poems, (see column at right) which he wrote shortly before his death, exemplify his natural sense of verse—and his mingling of biology with genuine human feelings. Even after he retired, Ed still collected mosses and fungi and carefully studied them. He always kept several card tables set up with orange juice cans filled with sharp pencils, piles of scrap paper and his beloved specimens. And he continued to write poems, as well. Shortly after Ed’s death, on All Saints’ Day, 2006, Patricia and four of the five children and several grandchildren gathered on the front steps of their beloved Popham cottage, read the two poems about day lilies, reminisced about just what a marvelous husband, father, teacher and friend Ed really was, and finally spread his ashes there on the beach.

Day Lillies 1 With morning’s sun, its rays Full cast, My life began — no duties asked. Thus, like the lily, fragrance mixed, I too must keep the schedule fixed. Note thee well, the lilies fair Their blossoms keep in daylight rare. The lily proud frets not the closing Of the day, but rejoices in the Thought that petals bright hath Made the meadow fair. The transcribed disk with phalanx Strong, eternal time doth keep, Noting neither day or night Nor sadness of the days in flight.

What they’re saying about Dr. Speare Remembered as Olivet College’s number one fan, Dr. Edward Speare was a revered member of the Olivet staff and family during his tenure from 1950-94. A mentor to his students, Speare’s presence was left behind after he retired from Olivet. His influence has left a lasting impact on Olivet alumni, whether they were students of his or not, and he is still remembered on campus through awards and scholarships dedicated in his name. Following Dr. Speare’s death Nov. 1, 2006, a multitude of letters, filled with love and fond memories of him have flooded the Office of Alumni Relations. Whether it was as a biology professor, typography

Roy Schreck ’56 - I couldn’t have graduated without Dr. Edward Speare’s helping hand. Abraham Lincoln said, “Whatever I am, I owe to my mother.” I say “Whatever I have become, I owe to my parents and Dr. Edward Speare.” He had his love spread throughout in multitudinous forms. I can still see him yelling along the sidelines for our Olivet football team. He was our school’s best cheerleader. I went on to teach for 35 years in public school, life science and history, including 15 years instructing at the college level, where they bestowed to me an honorary Ph.D. We love him forever more!

Dick Sattler, Linda Jo Scott, Charlotte (Whitney) Stevens, Patricia Speare, Andrew Leat, Katie Heafield ’63 and Nancy Hanson

Dave Thompson ’56 - Dr. Edward Phelps Speare was an icon. I first met him in the fall of 1952 and my life was forever changed. Funny how you can look back at all the people who have made an impression on your life, yet can so quickly pick out the most significant one. Ed Speare was that person to me. Humorous, scholarly, dedicated, curious, caring, inspiring, even fatherly when needed, he was more than just a cheerleader for the Olivet Comets, he was a genuine cheerleader for life - yours, mine and certainly hundreds of others, too! He was just that kind of a person.

So I, whose quota of that time which God hath metered out, must mark The day’s retreat — oh, one by one by one. For each of us a part of time must mold, Framed by day, and night grown cold. Oh, who shall now my memory keep When darkness falls And lilies sleep?

Day Lillies 2 How shall I greet the morning light? With petals rare — that shunned the night? Oh! Look upon my lady fair, And with thy beauty stand and stare. For she wouldst upon thee smile, And favor life as most worthwhile. But hurry now — thy petals spread And gaze upon the one I wed.

teacher or one of the most exuberant fans at Olivet sporting events, Dr. Speare will be forever remembered. Allen Ratzlaff ’51 - I believe I was one of Dr. Speare’s first “lab assistants” (if not the first). In addition to his warmth, enthusiasm and ability to make learning exciting and enjoyable, the one thing I remember about the lab experience was that it made me forever unable to tolerate peanut butter on my morning toast! In those days, lab supplies were in very short supply and since we needed specimen jars, it fell on me to procure them by scavenging the local landfill for Skippy peanut butter jars. I was then given the “opportunity” to wash and sterilize them for later lab use. I still vividly remember the odor of rancid peanut butter on my hands and clothes. In spite of it all, it is a fond remembrance of a special man and teacher.

Virginia (Dohring) Adler ’65 and Richard and Bette Fleming

Richard Mitchell ’57 - I have a very personal and, in some ways, most unusual memory of Edward Speare. When I was a freshman in my first year catching for the Olivet baseball team, I went through several games when I couldn’t hit my hat size. People will remember how much Ed liked sports and often came to practice. During batting practice, he came up and told me I was dropping my back

Patricia and Ed Speare pictured in 2004 SHIPHERD’S

continued on pg. 22 RECORD


What they’re saying about Dr. Speare continued from pg. 21 shoulder—advice that I needed and which remained with me my four years. I made all-MIAA as a freshman and again as a senior and hit better than .300 for my career. All thanks to Ed Speare. I trust he is enjoying a game somewhere.

Peter Fuller ’66, Ph.D., Sarah (Davis) Fuller ’67 - Any student of Dr. Speare’s can recall the “Q & A” portion of classes he’d ask a question and those of us who were prepared (we thought) waved our arms, ready to demonstrate our Bill Feddeler ’62, Ph.D. knowledge. The The story that comes to lucky person mind has to do with the would give an way he would handle answer, followed students (like me) who by another would question him about question and a statement he had made answer and a during lecture. His Alex Speare ’79, Francis Petersen ’69 third, and response was, “Please and Carola Speare sometimes a explain so I can learn, too.” fourth. By this He said this in a time, those of us still quiet were grateful respectful way that you realized he truly to have been ignored. After walking respected your opinion - right or wrong. I further out onto the limb, knowing there used this during my lifetime teaching was no help available, Dr. Speare would biology with fine results. Dr. Speare was a let the hapless student off the hook with fine example of an educator. “that’s not entirely true” or something David Prior ’65, Ph.D. - Dr. Speare similar. While this process was was above all else, a passionate and embarrassing, it did serve to teach us all to demanding teacher. He always expected think through questions and answers, to us to have read the text in preparation for be sure of facts, to be deliberate when lecture and to read beyond the text for making decisions and to move ahead in depth of understanding. In his courses, our studies with a solid foundation. He the “suggested was one of readings” were our most actually “expected admired and readings.” Dr. respected Speare demanded friends - and multiple levels of one we understanding of remember biological with great principles. He affection. stimulated an Dr. S. Jon understanding of Rupright ’68 overarching - Dr. Speare principles and the instilled a Jeff Jackson ’63, Art Greenstone ’64, Sue (Richardson) systematic desire to Finch ’66, Gayther ’62 and Carole Meyers, Katie Heafield ’63 application of and Dick Sattler. learn about those principles to nature and problem solving. biology. I was awed by his teaching style He, along with the other science faculty, and how he would talk us through a created an environment that stimulated problem until we reached the correct creativity and discovery. As a dedicated answer. His joy in teaching empowered member of the Olivet family, he truly me. I became a biology major, and exemplified the title “teacher.” eventually pre-med. At graduation, he presented me with “Gray’s Anatomy.” I used it through medical school and still do 22



today. I have copied his teaching style with my medical students and resident physicians. I will always remember his gentle smile and ways. George F. Boxwell ’73, D.O. - I have very fond memories of Olivet and my time as a student. Dr. Speare was a very good professor and was one of many that prepared me well to attend Osteopathic Medical School. As an academic physician, I often think of the techniques that Dr. Speare used in class to engage the students and I try to use those techniques in my teaching. Dr. Scott Cobel ’74 - He was one of my three principle professors (Fleming, Gruen and Speare). Dr. Speare occasionally would stick something outlandish in a take home quiz. He knew there wouldn’t be any specific answer, but that we would search high and low to try to find the correct answer. After one such trial in which we had to find what Art Greenstone ’64 “picture” meant amongst some other botany terms, no one could find any answer that seemed botanically oriented. Afterwards, I asked him and he said, “but you sure learned a lot looking, didn’t you?” He was right. Dr. Dave Byrens ’80 - Dr Speare’s classes typically were my toughest at Olivet. At first, I didn’t understand his approach, but with time, I realized that his goal was to push us a little harder as he wanted to help us begin to learn what it was to do independent learning. Fritz Lewis, Board of Trustee member and former employee - He was, and remains, my hero. Note: To read more comments about Dr. Speare, please visit and click on alumni.

The Hosfords’ Place in Olivet’s History BY MARTY (MASON) JENNINGS ’67


built there so young people could come to Olivet to learn. Jillson also spoke of Oramel’s character. When three chapels had been built and were destroyed by fire, Oramel proclaimed, “I am almost discouraged.” And another church was built. The Hosford House, which Oramel and Abigail built in 1849, was once known as “Twin Oaks.” The house is the oldest original structure on campus and was home to the Hosford family for 90 years. The building eventually became home to several of the college’s presidents. It is now called the Hosford/ Global Cultures Center, as it serves as the residence for many of the college’s international students. For the Hosfords, education, like life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, was a basic human right. Because of the Hosfords, Shipherds and their followers, the principles for Olivet include belief in the E D equality of all persons; a commitment to free inquiry; a dedication to the form of Christian education that “practices hospitality” toward students of all faiths; and a special interest in the education of the poor. The individuals G associated with these quests worked to make the world a better place, “Pro Christo et Humanitate.”

illiam Hosford, originally a Vermont farmer, joined Father John J. Shipherd in his opportunity to serve God. Together, they established Oberlin College and then Olivet College. After Father Shipherd’s death in September 1844, the Hosfords were among the few remaining to open the college. William’s son, Oramel, realized that Father Shipherd had given him the opportunity to become something other than an impoverished, semi-literate farmer. He had learned from Father Shipherd that education should be open to all. Oramel was Olivet’s first professor and became the first superintendent of public instruction for the state of Michigan in the 1860s and implemented free K-12 education and the position of superintendent of schools. He also served as pastor of the Olivet Congregational Church and was on the Olivet College Board of Trustees for 46 years. His wife, Abigail, founded the Soronian Society, the first women’s literary society in the United States, and she was the principal of the Ladies’ Department. Marjorie Jillson, C great-great granddaughter of William Hosford, recently shared stories about her relatives in Olivet. Some of Jillson’s fondest childhood days were when she spent summers visiting grandma Mary Hosford Noble at the Hosford House.

According to Jillson, as a little girl, Mary had a collection of dolls and had tea parties in a shaded area near the Hosford House. One day, workmen began digging up her play area, which would become Parsons Hall (where Blair Hall is now located). Oramel took his daughter aside, explaining that a residence hall was to be

A. William Hosford (1791-1870), one of the original founders of Oberlin and Olivet colleges. Father of Oramel Hosford. Wife, Linda Ellis (1795-1856), and William had seven children.

C. Elizabeth Lee Hosford Keyes (1849-1911), older daughter of Oramel and Abigail Hosford, wife of George Keyes.

F. Marjorie Noble Osborn ’05 (1882-1981), older daughter of Mary Hosford and E. Stanley Noble.

D. The Hosfords: Mary Helena, Abigail Allen (1824-1897), Oramel (1820-1893) and Elizabeth Lee.

G. Marjorie Jillson, 7, grandmother Mary Hosford Noble and Frances Jillson, 12.

B. Mary Helena Hosford Noble (1854-1939), younger daughter of Oramel and Abigail and wife of E. Stanley Noble.




E. Helen Noble Jillson ’10 (1887-1988), younger daughter of Mary Hosford and E. Stanley Noble, holding daughter Frances Hosford Jillson.




Development NEWS Now is the time to make an investment in the college’s future President Don Tuski ’85, Ph.D., and I have had numerous meetings throughout the academic year related to attracting outside investors to Olivet College. Board members, faculty, staff, students, alumni and parents often share their visions of how Olivet should look in the future and how those visions would be Mark Veich consistent with or differ from the Olivet of today. It is time to begin envisioning the directions we need and want to take, and then look at the hurtles involved in getting there. All of Olivet’s constituents share a

strong sense of mission, but how will we deliver on that educational and institutional mission in the future? Most agree when Olivet makes significant capital investments on-campus, off-campus investments will follow. I am happy to report we have raised enough funds to begin making several on campus improvements. Now we need to find constituents to invest off-campus, as well. We have several student housing opportunities available, a strong need for a fast-food restaurant, as well as a hotel and conference center. We believe that investments in the Olivet College community will attract and retain students while improving local industry. These investments will help ensure the college is here for another 163 years. Clearly, it is not easy to predict the future, but an investment will afford us the opportunity

to think as imaginatively as we can about the future of the institution. We need to build upon the college’s distinctive strengths to offer an even stronger model of responsible leadership to undergraduate education. We hope to solicit more responses from across all of our constituencies by year’s end. This article is just one medium to communicate opportunities here in Olivet. We will continue to identify individuals and companies interested in investing in the Olivet College community and it is my hope that you will share your ideas and personal plans for our future. If you are interested in investing in the college community, or maybe you know someone that is in a position to make investments, please call me at (269) 7497535 or President Tuski at 749-7642 to discuss your ideas or plans for Olivet.

Olivet College awarded DaimlerChrysler Minority Retention Grant

Women’s Board members Ponja (Davenport) Vahs ’03 (left), administrative assistant to the vice president for institutional advancement, and Joanne Williams, assistant professor of journalism and mass communications and theatre, display one of the new throws.

Historic throw reissued The Women’s Board of Olivet College has reissuing its historic Olivet College throw. The new version, slightly larger than the old, also features a new label for the Presidents’ House, now the Hance House. The Women’s Board of Olivet College, through its fundraising efforts, including the throws and the Oak Chest Thrift Shop, has raised more than $500,000 in scholarships for Olivet students since 1935. 24



This winter, Olivet College received The system was implemented in 2005 a $10,000 grant from DaimlerChrysler to with the aid of a DaimlerChrysler grant to implement an academic advising and help identify and support at-risk minority counseling program. Titled the “Early students who were new to Olivet. Due to Warning System,” its success, Olivet has the program is for institutionalized the freshman or transfer program and it has minority students been extended to who may be deemed all at-risk and at-risk due to their probationary students. high school grade The grant was point average and coordinated by the SAT/ACT scores. Michigan Colleges The program Foundation (MCF). involves early The MCF was identification of atincorporated in 1949 to Academic Counselor Diana Boatwright assists risk students to solicit financial support a student in the Comet Learning and Student inform them about from the private sector Success Center the support services on behalf of available at the college’s Comet Learning independent, four-year, liberal arts colleges and Student Success (C.L.A.S.S.) Center. in Michigan. Each of the 14 participating The early warning system also involves institutions are accredited by the North having students meet every two weeks Central Association of Colleges and with an academic counselor to review their Schools. academic progress and sending progress reports to their course instructors.

W.K. Kellogg Foundation grant helps provide diversity training workshops Last fall, Olivet College received a $150,000 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, which enabled the college to partner with the National Resource Center for the Healing of Racism (NRCHR) and provide diversity training workshops for Olivet’s firstyear students. All incoming students are required to attend a twoday NRCHR Don Tuski ’85, Ph.D.

workshop and participate in the follow-up discussions. Each workshop includes 25 students and two facilitators. “Since the NRCHR ultimately focuses on the ‘oneness of humankind’ and Olivet College focuses on celebrating ‘both the wealth of human diversity and the bond of human similarity,’ a great amount of positive change can be developed,” said Olivet President Don Tuski ’85, Ph.D. “Our goal with this project is to create an even more open and honest campus culture based on trust and understanding of race. This will lead to the development of the oneness of humankind as the NRCHR suggests.”

Factors in making a planned gift to Olivet One very important aspect of planning for the future is to take time to consider your overall financial and estate plans. Many people never make a will or estate plan, and that’s a problem because so many good things can come out of the planning process — not the least of which is your own peace of mind. If you are ready to consider making or reviewing your estate plan, consider using the four “P’s” as a simple guide. Before going to visit your attorney and/or other professional advisor, take time to list the following: PEOPLE: Who are all the people in your life who depend on you or whom you might want to remember in your plans? Your spouse, children, grandchildren, other relatives, friends and loved ones might come to mind. PROPERTY: What are the various properties you own that together make up your estate? List real estate, insurance, annuities, mortgages held, automobiles, furniture, etc. Make a note of the cost of each, the estimated current value and any income or debt involved. PLANS: How would you like to match your properties to the people you have listed? Be sure to include any plans you have to remember your charitable interests, such as Olivet College.

PLANNERS: Who are the people you will need to talk with to complete your plan? Remember to list your attorney, insurance agent, broker, trust officer, certified financial planner and perhaps others. Once you have been through this process, you are ready to put it all together. We at Olivet College would be most honored to be a part of your future plans. If you would like more information about us, or if we can help in any way, please feel free to call Ed Heator ’80, development director, at (269) 749-6691 or e-mail

Double your gift You may be able to double, or even triple, the amount of your gift to Olivet College at no additional cost to you. Many corporations match their employee’s gifts to non-profit and charitable organizations, such as Olivet College. These matching gift programs are part of many corporate giving initiatives, both to extend the reach of corporate giving and to encourage employees to be actively involved in supporting their communities. Check with your personnel or human resources office to see if your company matches gifts or if it provides information on how to process a matching gift.

The workshops began this spring for first-year freshmen. As part of the grant, some students and college employees were trained to become facilitators for Olivet as well as other colleges. During the workshop, facilitators lead discussions where participants can share honest feelings and experiences about racism. The facilitators also provide information about the oneness of humankind and information about our culture and history. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation was established in 1930 “to help people help themselves through the practical application of knowledge and resources to improve their quality of life and that of future generations.”

Grant awarded for pool In April, Olivet College received a $150,000 grant from the Frederick S. Upton Foundation in St. Joseph, which will enable the college to renovate and upgrade its Frederick S. Upton Center pool. The grant will provide the college $50,000 each year for three years. The Upton Center pool and adjacent locker rooms were built in 1980. During the three-year renovation, the college plans to modernize the locker rooms and showers, as well as replace the pool’s drain system. The facility will also receive a state-of-the-art timing scoreboard system. The college’s men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs have seen tremendous success during the past few years, including the men’s program winning the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association swimming and diving championships the last two seasons.

To learn more about giving to Olivet College, visit

Make a Gift SHIPHERD‘S



Comet ATHLETICS Gr aham Bounces Back Graham BY GEOFF HENSON


great basketball player knows how to bounce back from any situation that comes along, whether it is on- or off-the-court. Olivet College senior Audrey Graham is one of those players, as she’s been through two life-changing events during the last five years. As a senior at Lakeview High School in Battle Creek, Graham signed a national letter of intent to continue her academic and athletic career at Western Michigan University (WMU). “My goal in high school was to get a scholarship and play basketball at the Division I level,” says Graham, a 2002 Michigan High School Athletic Association All-State selection. “I worked hard during high school to get that scholarship.” Two months into her freshman season at WMU, Graham learned she was pregnant. She withdrew from WMU and gave up the goal of playing basketball at the Division I level. A healthy baby girl, Brazyll, was born June 13, 2003. She then had to make a decision on whether to go back to WMU or stay closer to home and play at Kellogg Community College (KCC). “I was welcomed to come back and play at WMU,” says Graham. “I also knew that going back to WMU would be a huge time commitment. Ultimately, I decided to attend KCC since it was close to home and I would be able to take care of Brazyll.” In her first year at KCC, Graham and the Bruins started the year with a perfect 11-0 record. However, during the 12th game, Graham tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee, which forced her to miss the remainder of the season. She rehabbed the knee and was able to come back stronger than ever during her sophomore season, leading KCC to the Michigan Community College Athletic Association (MCCAA) Championship




and the MCCAA scoring title at 21 points per game (ppg). For her efforts, she was selected as the MCCAA Player of the Year and earned first-team All-MCCAA, AllRegion and first-team National Junior College Athletic Association All-American honors. As her career at KCC came to a close, Graham was looking to transfer to a fouryear school and was unsure if she wanted to continue her basketball career. During the summer, she decided to attend Olivet rather than Albion College. “I had a great visit at Olivet,” said Graham. “Once I met the players on the team at Olivet, I knew I would fit in. They were a lot of fun and I also liked Coach (Deanna) Richard.” During her first season (2005-06) at Olivet, Graham made an immediate impact on the team and in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA), leading the team and league in scoring at 17.7 ppg. She also broke the college’s single-season records for points (479), field goals made (162), field goals attempted (398), free throws made (126) and free throws attempted (157). For her efforts, Graham earned first-team AllMIAA honors. This past season, Graham continued to be an impact player. She was first on the team in scoring (19.1 ppg), field goals made (168), field goals attempted (361), free throws made (97), free throws attempted (127) and steals (57). Graham also became the first Olivet player in 16 years to earn back-to-back first-team All-MIAA honors. In just two seasons at Olivet, Graham ranks seventh on the all-time scoring list with 938 points. She is also among the career leaders in field goal percentage

Audrey Graham

(43.5 percent, 4th), free throws made (223, 2nd) and free throw percentage (78.5 percent, 1st). Graham scored in double figures in 42-of-49 games played, including 24 games with more than 20 points. Her career single-game high was 35 points versus Kalamazoo College Feb. 17, 2007. “All that I wanted to do was help the program,” says Graham. “I accomplished way more than I thought or expected. I never thought that I could come in and break all of these records.” “Audrey is a leader by example,” said Richard. “She raised our level of play with her experience and scoring mentality. When the ball was in Audrey’s hand, I knew she could make something happen.” Upon graduation, Graham would like to be able to continue her basketball career somewhere overseas or maybe even attend a couple WNBA camps. Despite the situations she has overcome in the past and any she will encounter in the future, Graham is a humble person. “I would like to thank God,” said Graham. “Without Him I would not have been able to overcome these situations. He brought me through it all.”

Vanderhyde excels on mat despite injured left knee BY GEOFF HENSON Twenty-four days after surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee, Kyle Vanderhyde, a sophomore from Sparta, was back on the wrestling mats competing at the 2007 NCAA Division III Midwest Regional Meet Feb. 17. Not only did he finish in first-place at 174 pounds, but he did it in impressive fashion. In four matches, Vanderhyde did not surrender an offensive point, outscoring his opponents, 33-8. By virtue of winning the regional championship, Vanderhyde advanced to the NCAA Division III National Championships at Loras (Iowa) College March 2-3. For his superior effort during the season, Vanderhyde was rewarded with the third seed in his weight class. He wrestled his way to a runner-up finish even though his opponents immediately attacked his bum knee. On his way to the championship match, he won three matches, including a come-from-behind 8-5 victory in the semifinals against the No. 2 seed. “Kyle’s an impressive young man,” said Head Coach Todd Hibbs. “He never allowed the surgery, the rehab, or wrestling at less than 100 percent at regionals or nationals bother him. Most others wouldn’t even try to get ready for those two meets after a late-January surgery. Kyle did, and he was the second-best wrestler at 174. That’s very impressive.”

Kyle Vanderhyde

Wrestling notes Joining Vanderhyde at the national championships were Ken Andrews, a senior from Swartz Creek, and Daron Cruickshank, a junior from Inkster. Competing in the 157-pound weight class, Andrews lost his first round match, bounced back to pin his opponent in the first round of the consolation bracket and was pinned in the next round. At 184 pounds, Cruickshank lost his two matches. The last time the Comets qualified at least three wrestlers for nationals was 2001, when they also had three representatives.

Earlier in the season, the Comets competed at the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA)/Cliff Keen National Duals at the University of Northern Iowa Jan. 13-14. The annual invitation-only event features the top 16 schools at the NCAA Division I, II and III along with NJCAA and NAIA levels. Olivet, which was the 13th seed, posted a 2-3 record and placed eighth among the Division III teams. Jeff Wright Vanderhyde won all five of his matches and was selected as the NCAA Division III Most Outstanding Wrestler. Vanderhyde along with Jeff Wright, a senior from Escanaba, were recipients of the NWCA Scholar All-American award. Vanderhyde carries a 3.75 GPA. Wright, who received the honor for the third straight year, has a 3.45 GPA and was fourth in the 197-pound weight class at the Midwest Regional Meet. The Comets also received the 2006-07 NWCA Scholar Team Award after posting a team GPA of 3.345, which ranked fourth among NCAA Division III schools.

Women’s golf team places ninth at NCAA Division III Championships The Olivet College women’s golf team finished in ninth-place at the 2007 NCAA Division III National Championships May 8-11 at the El Campeon Golf Course at the Mission Inn Resort in Howey-in-the-Hills, Fla. The Comets carded a four-round total of 1,370 strokes, only one stroke behind eighth-place Middlebury (Vt.) College. Kristy Latimer, a senior from Battle Creek, tied for 30th-place in the player standings, finishing with 334 (87-87-8080) strokes. Lindsay Pipkin, a senior from White Lake, was next with 337 (85-86-83-83) strokes, followed by Trisha McKim, a sophomore from

Bill Maas ’89

Lindsay Pipkin

DeWitt, 350 (89-90-86-85); Megan Rimmel, a freshman from Ithaca, 361 (101-89-81-90); and Stephanie Nicolai, a senior from Shelbyville, 385 (91-96-92-106).

At a dinner prior to the championships, Pipkin was recognized for being named to the National Golf Coaches Association Division III All-Great Lakes Region team. Olivet advanced to the national championships by virtue of receiving the MIAA’s automatic bid. The Comets won a three-round league playoff this spring. Their three-round total was 1,019 strokes, 36 strokes better than runner-up Tri-State (Ind.) University. The Comets are coached by Bill Maas ’89.




Comet ATHLETICS Stubbs retires from coaching; Taber named replacement BY GEOFF HENSON

Dave Stubbs, Olivet College’s head men’s and women’s swimming and diving coach, announced his retirement, effective May 1. Jake Taber, an assistant swimming coach at Hope College, has replaced Stubbs. “I had five great years at Olivet College,” said Stubbs. “It is time for me to move Dave Stubbs on. It is also the right thing to do at this time for the future of the program. I have strong relationships with the athletes I am leaving behind and that is the thing I will miss the most.” Stubbs, who led Olivet to back-toback Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) championships in men’s swimming and diving, is credited with reviving the Comets’ programs during his five-year tenure. On the men’s side, he leaves Olivet with a 23-10 overall record and 16-7 league mark. He helped produce 11 All-MIAA performers, seven individual and one relay team league champions, four national qualifiers and 14 MIAA Academic Honor Roll recipients. Three of his student-athletes were named

to the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) Individual Academic Honor Roll. He guided the women to a record of 23-19 overall and 13-15 in the MIAA. Under his watch, there were four AllMIAA performers, two conference champions, two national qualifiers, 34 MIAA Academic Honor Roll recipients and two CSCAA Individual Academic Honor Roll honorees. The women’s program also earned three MIAA Team GPA awards and two CSCAA Academic All-American team awards. “Dave Stubbs deserves enormous credit for what he accomplished in just five years with the Comet swimming and diving programs,” said Athletic Director Tom Shaw ’88. “He put the programs on the map and did it with outstanding student-athletes who excelled in both the classroom and the pool. We will miss his dedication to the swimming and diving programs and the Olivet College campus community. “With Jake Taber, we have an upand-coming coach with a very bright future. I am confident he will continue to enhance both of our programs.” Taber has spent the last three years at Hope, serving as an assistant men’s and

women’s swimming coach and admissions representative. His coaching duties included managing the recruiting efforts for both programs, assisting with training and development, as well as planning and meet management. “This is a unique opportunity as I step into an established program,” said Taber. “I am looking forward to taking the next step in my life. There is a solid foundation of returning swimmers thanks to Coach Stubbs. Also, I am encouraged by the commitment shown to the programs by President Tuski.” Taber earned a Jake Taber bachelor’s degree in 2004 from Hope, where he was a four-year letterwinner on the swimming and diving team. He helped Hope capture the 2004 MIAA championship and was on two freestyle relay teams that competed at the 2004 NCAA Division III National Championships. A native of Battle Creek, Taber starred at Lakeview High School, where he swam for Stubbs.

2006 Athletic Hall of Fame inductees Julie (Davis) Kubiak and Dominic Livedoti were inducted into the Olivet College Athletic Hall of Fame last fall. Kubiak, a 1992 graduate, was a fouryear letterwinner on the women’s basketball team. She earned first-team All-Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) honors twice during her career. As a sophomore, she scored 385 points, which ranks fifth all-time at Olivet for a single-season. Kubiak also ranks among the top five all-time at Olivet in points (986), field goal attempts (940), field goals made (410), field goal percentage (48.9) and rebounds (524). She earned a master’s degree from 28



Western Michigan University in 2001 and is a senior therapist/exercise physiologist at the Physicians Center of Physical Medicine in Portage. She lives in Kalamazoo with husband, Bob ’82, Olivet’s assistant head football coach, and daughter, Mikaela, 8. Livedoti, who graduated in 1965, was a four-year varsity letterwinner in baseball. He was first-team All-MIAA selection in 1962, 1964 and 1965. During the 1965 season, Livedoti helped the Comets win the MIAA championship. He also earned first-team All-MIAA honors in 1964 as a member of the football team. Livedoti still holds the single-game record with 223 receiving yards. In 1988, Livedoti returned

to Olivet as the head football and baseball coach. From 1988-92, the football team went 21-21-3. Julie (Davis) ’92 Kubiak and From 1988- Dominic Livedoti ’65 93, the baseball team held a record of 65-110. Livedoti returned again to Olivet in 2002 as the assistant head coach/defensive coordinator for the football team. In 2004, he was promoted to head coach. He lives in Charlotte with wife, Liz (Walker), who is also a 1965 Olivet graduate.

Comet News and Notes Olivet College finished fourth in the 2006-07 MIAA Commissioner’s Cup Standings with 116 points, only one point less than last year’s school-record point total. The men tied for fourth and women were fifth in their respective MIAA All-Sports Standings.

Stacey Stickney

In women’s soccer, Stacey Stickney, a senior from St. Joseph, became a four-time All-MIAA performer. She was a first-team selection in 2005 and 2007, and a second-team selection in 2004 and 2006.

The football team finished the 2007 season with a 6-4 overall record and tied for second-place in the MIAA with a 5-2 mark. Ryan Adams, a senior from Hastings, and DeRan Thomas, a junior from Detroit, earned All-MIAA honors for the DeRan Thomas second straight year. Both were first- team selections in 2006 and second-team selections in 2005. The men’s swimming and diving team captured its second straight MIAA championship in 2007. The Comets scored 536.5 points to beat Hope College by a mere nine points. Olivet was led by diver Shawn Bergman, a sophomore from Chelsea, who won the one- and threemeter diving competitions. For his efforts, he was named the MIAA Most Valuable Diver. In addition, Dustin Meisner, a junior from Temperance, became a three-time MIAA champion in the 200-yard breaststroke. Bergman and Meisner represented the Comets at the 2007 NCAA Division III National Championships. Bergman did not place in either diving competition. Meisner earned honorable mention All-American honors with a 16th-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke.

The women’s basketball team posted a 12-12 overall record and was fifth in the MIAA with a 9-7 mark. The nine MIAA wins were the most in school history for a single-season. Audrey Graham, a senior from Battle Creek, was named to the 2006-07 All-Great Lakes Region first-team. (Read more about Graham on page 26.) Stephanie Smith, a senior from Waldron, ended a stellar four-year career as the Comets’ all-time leader in threepointers made (201) and attempted (589). (Read more about Smith on page 16.) In baseball, Chris Shelhart, a senior from Rolling Meadows, Ill., finished his career as Olivet’s all-time leader in nearly every offensive category, including batting average (.385), hits (183), runs scored (122), doubles (38), home runs (19), RBI (109), total bases (292) and slugging Chris Shelhart percentage (.615). The softball team had a 20-12 overall record and was fifth in the MIAA with an 8-8 mark. Olivet has won at least 20 games for the third consecutive season. Kacey Darling, a sophomore from Hartford, hit her 10th career home run to become the Comets’ all-time leader. The women’s tennis team broke the school record with 10 wins during the 2007 season and finished in sixth-place in the MIAA standings. Rachel Vilums, a senior from Hudsonville, ends her fouryear career as the winningest player in school history, posting a 43-28 record in singles play and a 40-32 mark in doubles play. Jare Klein, who served as Olivet’s head wrestling coach for 33 years, received the “Lifetime Service to Wrestling” Award from the Michigan Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame Sunday, May 20. The award is given in recognition of years of dedication to the development of leadership and citizenship in young people through the sport of wrestling.

Olivet’s 2006-07 All-MIAA selections First-team Ryan Adams (football) Shawn Bergman* (men’s swimming and diving) Nathan Busscher (men’s swimming and diving) Yury Bylina (men’s swimming and diving) Audrey Graham (women’s basketball) Nate Hughes (football) Ryan Key (men’s swimming and diving) Joe Kiss (men’s golf) Ken Lackscheide (football) Kristy Latimer** (women’s golf) Nick McIntosh (baseball) Trisha McKim (women’s golf) Stephanie Nicolai (women’s golf) Dustin Meisner (men’s swimming and diving) Lindsay Pipkin (women’s golf) Kacie Rosecrants (softball) Chris Shelhart (baseball) Stacey Stickney (women’s soccer) DeRan Thomas (football) DeShaun Warren (football) * named MIAA’s Most Valuable Diver ** named MIAA’s Most Valuable Golfer Second-team Cori Barrera (women’s soccer) Amy Brackenwagen (women’s basketball) James Boyd (football) Jeff Cooper (men’s basketball) Corey Evans (men’s soccer) Brock Gleadall (men’s golf) Kevin Hagan (men’s soccer) Justin Lesansky (men’s golf) Christina Luna (softball) Marc Miller (football) Carl Mulder (football) Amanda Sanders (women’s golf) Stephanie Smith (women’s basketball) Rachel Vilums (women’s tennis) Brandon Way (men’s basketball)

ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District IV selections

Ryan Adams (second-team football) Shannah Fisher (second-team women’s soccer) Ann Marie Keisic (first-team women’s soccer) Ken Lackscheide (second-team football) Nick McIntosh (first-team baseball) Dustin Meisner (first-team men’s at-large) Jessica Petkus (third-team volleyball) Stephanie Smith (first-team women’s basketball)

ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America® selections

Stephanie Smith (third-team women’s basketball) SHIPHERD’S



Class NOTES From the Office of Alumni Relations I have met with successful managers, devoted salespersons, motivated educators, goal-oriented community leaders, inspired artists – all, in their own way, contributing to the well being of mankind. I have consistently found that among their cares in life, Olivetians have a deep love for their alma mater. I am committed to helping you reconnect with Olivet. For our GOLD (graduates of the last decade) alumni, the first social will be on June 29 in Lake Marty Jennings ’67 Orion and a winetasting tour will follow in the fall. A motor coach trip to Chicago for all alumni is planned for September. On April 21-22, hundreds of you “came back” for a glorious spring weekend to celebrate the life of Dr. Ed Speare. For his wife, Patricia, it was a very heartwarming time to reconnect with so many friends and alumni. This type of gathering is what makes Olivet so very special – honoring a professor who served the college for 44 years. Beginning this summer, exciting building projects will be taking place on campus. I encourage all of you to return for the 2007 Homecoming celebration Saturday, Oct. 20. Please continue to support our alma mater by attending alumni socials, volunteering and contributing to the annual scholarship fund or your desired cause. Remember, no length of time or size of gift is ever too small. Your letters, e-mails and phone calls are very important to me. I want to hear your suggestions for socials, Homecoming and trips. Olivet is your alma mater, and I want what is best for you as an alum. Please stay in touch by contacting me at (269) 749-7644 or via e-mail at Or please stop by Dole Hall to say hello. Don’t forget to submit your Class Notes!

1920s Frances (Friend) Collins ’28 celebrated her 100th birthday Feb. 20. She enjoyed a second celebration Feb. 24, at the River Walk in Elk Rapids with 16 friends and family members, including her daughter and son-inlaw, Nancy ’57 and Jack ’56 Fieldman, from Florida. Frances is a member of Sigma Beta.

1930s Larida (Scott) Petersen ’31 celebrated her 97th birthday Jan. 23, 2007, with Mildred (Towsley) Parrot ’32. George ’38 and “Toni” (Olsen) ’39 Krepps celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary Oct. 26, 2006, with their family.

Ken Thatcher ’47 recently celebrated two golden anniversaries. It was 50 years ago that he and wife, Barbara, first began visiting the Glen Lake area. And it was 50 years ago that they bought a 1947 Cadillac at an estate sale. His blue-black Cadillac limousine was the star attraction in the 2006 Glen Arbor Fourth of July parade and has been in almost every parade there for the last 20 years.

1950s Art Stratemeyer ’51 is serving a congregation in Illinois on a part-time basis. For 14 years, he has been an Annuitant Visitor for the United Church of Christ Pension Boards in the greater Chicago area; he visits 48 retired clergy-wives and widows. Art served many years as minister of Christian education in Missouri, Iowa and Illinois. He and wife, Alice, have four children and five grandchildren. They enjoy traveling to Elderhostels across the country. E-mail Art at


1940s Betty (Pugh) Henning ’42 is living in Indiana. She wants friends to know her name is not correct in the alumni directory (Pugh not Tugh). Her late husband was Robert Henning ’42. Loel (Burket) Shuler ’43 wrote an essay titled “Maybe Our Times Were the Best Times” about the era when Joseph Brewer was Olivet’s president, 1934-44. It appeared in the January 2007 ETC the Quarterly Review of General Semantics. E-mail Loel at

George Gullen III ’61, Ph.D., retired in 1999 from teaching mathematics and statistics at Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn. His father, George E. Gullen, Jr., received an honorary degree of humane letters from Olivet College in 1972. At the time, he was the vice president of Wayne State University (WSU) and later became president. George III earned his Ph.D. in 1977 from WSU. Earlier his dad served on Olivet’s Board of Trustees. George volunteers at Comerica Park, promoting Detroit Tiger Fantasy Camps. He and wife, Judith, are members of the Seaway Chorale and are members of the Southern Great Lakes Symphony Board of Directors; George

2007 Homecoming - Save the date! Oct. 20 Honored Guests: Dan and Emily Byrens Alumni Choir Sigma Beta’s 100-Year Celebration Garfield Lake Review Reunion African-American All-Classes Social Class Reunions – 1947, 1957, 1967, 1977 Football game vs Tri-State

Lansing Holiday Social - Hosted by: Jamey Fitzpatrick ’86, Steve Hummer ’86 and Doug Ripley ’86

Mike Stahly ’93, Chuck Millbrook ’76, Kim Millbrook ’03, Anne Stahly

Jamey ’86 and Nicole Fitzpatrick, Steve St. Amant ’78

“Doc Choc” Patrick Fields, Charlotte Wilks, Kim Millbrook ’03

is also the treasurer. Other family members who attended Olivet are his sisters, Nancy Scheffler ex’60 and Gail Barker ’64, and son, Mike Gullen ’96. E-mail George at Ron Evans ex’62 and wife, Mary Beth, have been married for 46 years and are living in the Sierra Foothills in rural Columbia, Calif. He and his family left Michigan in 1982 and resided on Maui, Hawaii for 14 years. Ron retired five years ago, having worked as a floor manager for True Value Hardware. E-mail Ron at

Mohammed Waheed-Zaman Rana ’64, Ph.D., is the 2007 winner of the Malachi Award for Interfaith Relations, recognizing his efforts in establishing ties between the greater interfaith community and the Islamic congregations in St. Louis. Since 1968, he has taught on the faculty of St. Louis University Medical School and is a professor in the Department of Anatomy. E-mail Mohammed at Mike Cronmiller ’65, Ph.D., is retired from teaching biology for 35 years at the Monroe Community College in Rochester, NY. Mike was awarded the Chancellor Award, an annual achievement given to a New York state college professor. He also chaired the department for nine years and taught anatomy and physiology for most of his career. As an adjunct, he taught at Nazareth College and the University of Rochester as an exchange teacher. E-mail Mike at Wolfgang (Peter) Mieder ’65, Ph.D., is a professor of German and folklore at the University of Vermont. Peter has written or edited more than 150 books on proverbs with titles like Garden of Wisdom: A Collection of Plant Proverbs, “No Struggle, No Progress.” E-mail Peter at Sandy (Sarnes) Wallen ex’66 is living in Maine. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and a master’s from the University of Arizona. Sandy is retired from retail and now does volunteer work. Sandy and husband, Bill, have two sons and two grandchildren. E-mail Sandy at

Larry Gaskins ’64 (left), and Angelo Sachperoglou ex’64

Larry Gaskins ’64 and wife, Marilyn, docked in Athens while on a Mediterranean cruise March 21, where they visited with Angelo Sachperoglou ex’64, and wife, Mirella. With Angelo as the perfect guide, they toured the city with stops at the Acropolis and Parthenon. E-mail the Gaskins at and Angelo at

Kathy Needham ’67 has an endowed scholarship in her name at Madonna University, established by her Gerontology Student Association. She was also bestowed the title of professor emeritus and appointed by former Gov. James Blanchard as a Commissioner of Aging for the State of Michigan, serving for more than 10 years. Kathy retired from teaching in 1999. E-mail Kathy at




Class NOTES Joan (Peterson) Littman ’67 is the director of student teaching and an adjunct professor at Marygrove College in Detroit. E-mail Joan at Bob Wilks ex’67 spent two weeks in India during the summer of 2005. He produced a documentary film about returning to India after having been in the Peace Corps there from 1968-70. E-mail Bob at Bela ’68 and Irma (Thomas) Krusac ’69, who live in Georgia, took a cruise to Alaska in September 2006, a trip that Irma won for being one of the top salespersons for a national distributor of glyconutrients. Irma retired from teaching in Irma (Thomas) ’69 and 2006 after 20 Bela ’68 Krusac years of service. Bela is in his 36th year of teaching and is teaching keyboarding and computer applications to middle school students by day and teaches one night a week at Coosa Valley Technical College in Rome, Ga. Bela has also been coaching golf at Ashworth Middle School for the past 18 years. They have a daughter, Sara, and a son, Ryan, and two granddaughters. E-mail the Krusacs at Marjorie “Peggy” (Bivona) Lazenby ’68 is living in Mastic, N.Y. She retired from teaching in Clarkston, taught in New York and worked for the Head Start program in Shirley, N.Y. Jean (Van Steenis) Alexander ex’68 is retired from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, and as an office manager for a general surgeon. She and husband, James, have traveled throughout the United States, England and Scotland. E-mail Jean at




Brian Benner ’69 was recently awarded Board Certification as a trial lawyer from the American Board of Trial Advocates. Brian’s law office is Benner, Bilicki & Foran in Farmington Hills. E-mail Brian at Bill Potts ’69 created a CD titled, “Tenor Classics”, which was both a spiritual journey and an artistic endeavor for him. E-mail Bill and wife, Noralee (Carrier) Potts ex’70, at and, respectively.

1970s Doug Blake ’70 retired from Ford in 2004 after 33 years. He volunteers at The Henry Ford Museum and is helping to build a habitat home. E-mail Doug at Bruce Redner ’73 has been appointed to the pastoral care staff of the St. John of God Hospice in Murdock, Western Australia. E-mail Bruce at Judge B. Pennie Millender ’74 is the Wayne County 36th District Court judge. The Millender Center in Detroit was named after her father in honor of the many political contributions he made to the city.

Mike Fales ’75

Mike Fales ’75 earned a master in divinity degree May 5 from Earlham School of Religion, which is part of Earlham College, located in Richmond, Ind. E-mail Mike at mfales@

Anna Goodwin ’75 is the Consumer Recovery Support Project regional field manager for the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Davenport, Iowa. She is establishing relationships with states and guiding them through recruitment, training and implementation of the new support groups for people with mental illness. E-mail Anna at

Mary A. (Hoekstra) Shuman ’75 provides personal counseling as a member of the career and counseling staff at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, where she has worked the last three years. Mary also has a private counseling practice. E-mail Mary at Jeff English ’76 is the new music and choir director at the Unity of Greater Lansing. He is also the choral director at East Lansing High School and music director at the Gate, a performing arts school in East Lansing. He and wife, Jennifer, have four children. E-mail Jeff at John Overley ’76 is the new superintendent for the Lawrence Public School District. He had been the principal for the school district for the last 12 years, as well as the assistant principal and athletic director. He and wife, Debra, have two daughters. Barron “Barry” Evans ’77 relocated last November from his job at Hallmark Cards in Kansas City to Philadelphia, where he is senior director of consumer multi-channel marketing at Merck & Co. E-mail Barry at Jeff Hatcher ’77, D.O., was recently a featured soloist with the Omaha Symphonic Choir and Omaha Symphony. The concert was held in celebration of the 100th anniversary of St. Cecilia’s Cathedral in Omaha. Jeff has been appointed to the faculty at the University of Nebraska Medical School in the Department of Family Medicine as clinical associate professor. E-mail Jeff at Randy Wiltse ’77 was recently promoted to vice president of the Business and Technology Integration Office at State Farm’s corporate headquarters in Bloomington, Ill. E-mail Randy at Kathy Ford ’78 and her band, “The Kathy Ford Band,” have been together for more than 20 years. When not in the band, she is a teacher consultant for special education in the Ingham County School District. E-mail Kathy at

Detroit Holiday Social Hosted by J. Robert Gillette ’63

Carolyn and Larry Hice ’68, Owen ’68 and Anne (Carlson) DuVall ’68 J. Robert Gillette ’63, Geri Pietrosante, Christina (Gillette) Higgins

William “Guy” Barast (formerly William L. Beilby) ’85 has been the development director of the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra since December 2005. He also oversees special events, writes funding appeal letters, coordinates all annual fund mailings and is the author of all of the orchestra’s government, corporate and private foundation grant applications. He lives in Ypsilanti with partner, Matthew Woods. E-mail Guy at Catherine (Page) Huggins ex’85 earned a master’s of business administration with an emphasis in marketing from the University of Iowa in December 2005. She serves as assistant vice president and director of corporate communications at Western & Southern Financial Group, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Cincinnati. Catherine and her husband, Jeff, live in Kentucky. E-mail Catherine at Mike Townsend ’85, a six-year employee for the city of Flint, was appointed budget director in January. He had been the budget and grants official for the Department of Community and Economic Development. He also serves as youth pastor at Divine Grace Ministries. E-mail Mike at

Mark and Liane Jensen, Carol ’58 and Ken Milner ’58

Mike O’Mara ’79 is the new superintendent of Lakewood Public Schools in Lake Odessa. He had been a teacher, coach, athletic director and, most recently, the high school principal. E-mail Mike at

1980s Kim Byrens ’81 performed earlier this year as Anna in “The King and I” at the Franke Center for the Arts in Marshall. E-mail Kim at Robert Stephan ’81 is the vice president of the Ann Arbor group of Chase, serving customers in Lenawee, Livingston, Jackson, Monroe and Washtenaw counties and Toledo, Ohio. He also serves on the Adrian Public Schools Board of Education.

Reggie LaGrand ’83 is the program director for the Greater Battle Creek Programming of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. He is responsible for program-related activities, including proposal review, site visits, research and evaluation. He helps to develop and maintain strategic relationships. Prior to joining the foundation, Reggie was the director of the Calhoun County Juvenile Home in Marshall. E-mail Reggie at John Johnson ’84 was recently promoted to president of Golden Limousine, Inc., in Ann Arbor. His wife, Beth (Green) Johnson ’84, teaches business at Wayne Memorial High School. They have three children, Mary, 14, Madeline, 12, and Christian, 8. Their nephew, Corey Green, is a senior at Olivet. Beth’s parents are Ann (Camburn) ’60 and Gary Green ’60, retired educators. E-mail the Johnsons at and, respectively.

Joyce L. Smith ’88 moved to Winchester, Va., where she is the music teacher at Apple Pie Ridge Elementary School. E-mail Joyce at Marcia ’89 and Jare Klein celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with a family dinner Feb. 23, 2007. They were married in South Bend, Ind. Jare Marcia ’89 and Jare Klein served as Olivet’s wrestling coach for 33 years (1968-2001). Marcia and Jare have five children and 11 grandchildren. E-mail the Kleins at




Class NOTES 1990s Julie Foster ’92 is working in career services at the University of Notre Dame. E-mail Julie at

Florida Alumni Socials Hosted by Jim ’70 and Liz (Kinsey) ’70 Moore, Tom ’69 and Gayle Kolassa and Sandy ’68 and Winifred Aranyos

Victor Celentino ’91 is an Ingham County Commissioner. He is also a sixth-grade special education teacher at Dwight Rich Middle School in the Lansing. E-mail Victor at Michael Lothschutz ’91 earned a master’s degree in administration with a concentration in leadership from Central Michigan University in December 2006. E-mail Michael at Tracy (Walkiewicz) Marini ’91 owns an event planning business, Eventfully-Yours, specializing in wedding coordination. She lives in Orlando with husband, John, and children, David, 4, and Sophia, 1. E-mail Tracy at

Tom Kolassa ’69, Joan Laimbeer

Adam ’95, and Sara Calderon ’04, Jim Moore ’70

Rob Dobson ’92 passed certification training with Microsoft to become a Microsoft Certified Software Asset Manager, a new Microsoft engineering certification. Rob and wife, Karla, live in Indiana with their twin boys and daughter. E-mail Rob at Steve Hettinga ’93 (’03 MAT) was recently named head men’s basketball coach of Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie. He was Olivet’s head coach for three years, then the head coach of the International Basketball League’s Grand Rapids Flight. He most recently served as head coach at MacMurray College in Jacksonville, Ill. Brian Hug ’94 has been named the assistant coach for the Las Vegas Gladiators of the Arena Football League. E-mail Brian at Brad Rauchfuss ’94 is the human resources manager for Kraft Foods at its Dover, Del., facility. He and wife, Kim (Bosman) ’93, have three children, Rachel, 8, Dean, 6, and Alexandra, 3. E-mail the Rauchfusses at




Sandy Aranyos ’68, Dan Matevia ’66, Andy Goldman ’70

Sonja (Campbell) Thorndyke ’94 and husband, Jed, recently renovated three cabins on Pine Lake, just south of Olivet, to use as rental units. Sonja is also employed full-time at Spartan Chassis in Charlotte. E-mail Sonja at Chris Gilliam ’95 is a physical education teacher and head football and track coach at Birch Run High School. His wife, Melinda (Reul) ’98, teaches physical education at Montrose Middle School. E-mail the Gilliams at and, respectively.

Kirk Olson ’95 is working on his doctorate in wildlife and fisheries conservation at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. He is studying the ecology and conservation of Mongolian gazelles in the grasslands of Mongolia, where he has traveled to since 1998. Sharon (Lavin) Blackman ’96 is in her 12th year teaching science classes at Fitzgerald High School in Warren. She has a daughter, Alexandra Grace, 5, whose father is Joseph DeVault ’94. Sharon is married to Steve Blackman, a Wayne County Deputy Sheriff. E-mail Sharon at or

Podcast Power Damir Soic ’96 lives in Zagreb, Croatia. He is the head of a brokerage department for an Austrian bank. E-mail Damir at Joseph Leahy ’97 was recently recognized as a finalist for Michigan’s Corrections Officer of the Year. He has worked for the Department of Corrections for nine years, serving most of the time at the Huron Valley Men’s Complex. Joe is also a professional bodybuilder who has won many titles and has qualified to compete for Mr. USA.

Findlay (Ohio) for four seasons, and taught and coached at South Fork after playing for Olivet from 1995-99, where she was a threetime first-team All-Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association selection and a four-time Most Valuable Player for the Comets. E-mail Crystal at

Shayla Blankenship ’98 was recently made a partner with Hensick, Blankenship & Associates, P.C., in Flint. The firm specializes in family law litigation. E-mail Shayla at Raymond Redner ’98 is in his second year of law school at the University of Notre Dame in Australia.

George Hill ’99, Judge Glenda Hatchett and Dr. Emma Epps, NABSE President

George Hill II ’99 was awarded the National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE) Teacher of the Year Award 2006-07 at the NABSE National Conference in Orlando in November 2006. In May, he received the High School Teacher of the Year Award, representing Ecorse Public Schools for 2007 for the Wayne County Regional Educational Service Agency. George is the director of vocal and instrumental music for Ecorse High School. E-mail George at Pam Gleave’s “photomicrography”

Pam Gleave ’99 is exhibiting some of her photographs at the Lansing Art Gallery. With the help of Susanne Lewis, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry at Olivet, Pam has created a project that combines art and chemistry with a process involving “photomicrography”- photographing through a microscope. The shapes are made from the re-crystallized chemicals, and the colors are made from light refracting off the crystals. E-mail Pam at Crystal Dye ’99 took over the women’s soccer program at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown in 2005, just two days before the team played its first official game in school history. In 2006, the team had a record of 12-3-1 and led NCAA Division II in scoring. Crystal was an assistant at the University of

Sarah Knapp ’99 moved to Yuma, Ariz., where she is teaching seventh-grade language arts and coaching the golf team at Crane Middle School. E-mail Sarah at

2000s Thomas Anderson ’00 is the personal lines account executive for Michigan Insurance Company. He and wife, Andrea, have two children, Ethan Quay, 4, and Peyton Ann, 2. E-mail Thomas at Erika Hinga ’01 is teaching language arts, history, life skills and math in level four special education at Three Rivers High School. E-mail Erika at

Scott Sigler’s second fiction novel “Ancestor” came out in print April 1. Sigler ’91, earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism while at Olivet College; is a member of Kappa Sigma; and was active on the wrestling team under coach and mentor Jare Klein. He reinvented book publishing Scott Sigler ’91 when he released “EarthCore” as the world’s first “podcast-only” novel. Podcasts are digital audio files that are automatically delivered to subscribers through the Internet. Released in 20 weekly episodes, “EarthCore” harkened back to the days of serialized radio fiction and picked up 10,000 subscribers along the way. His next podcast novel, “Ancestor,” drew 30,000 listeners and saw 700,000 episodes downloaded by fans. The buzz caused Sirius Satellite to pick up the novel, making it the first audio book serialized on the satellite network. Combined with Scott’s other two podcast novels, “Infection” and “The Rookie,” his fans have downloaded more than four million digital files of his fiction. The synopsis for “Ancestor” describes a story that is half Stephen King horror and Michael Crichton science. Sigler’s innovative use of technology puts him at the forefront of modern-day publishing, and has garnered brand-name exposure among hundreds of thousands of fiction fans and technology buffs. He has been covered in the New York Times, The Washington Post, MacWorld, The Book Standard, Business Week and on National Public Radio, CBC Radio Canada, CNet and the nationally syndicated radio show “The Dragon Page.” His book, “Ancestor,” immediately hit No.1 on’s horror and science fiction lists as well as No. 7 for all books. Sigler also landed a three-book deal with Crown Publishing. His first book, “Infested,” will be out in hardcover in summer of 2008. Sigler lives in San Francisco with his wife, Jody. He is the son of Carol (Chapman) ’65 and Irv Sigler ’65. E-mail Scott at SHIPHERD’S



Moore is undaunted by disability BY LINDA JO SCOTT When Richard Moore ’48, was born in Battle Creek in 1926, no one knew what cerebral palsy was, and people afflicted with this disease were called “spastics.” But Moore, who has suffered from cerebral palsy all of his life, has certainly never let this handicap interfere with his education, career or his positive outlook on life. After attending Ann J. Kellogg School in Battle Creek, where he pursued a college preparatory course of study, Moore came to Olivet College, where he majored in biology and chemistry, and minored in math and physics. Unable to write by hand, Moore had to communicate simply by speaking or typing. As he explains, this could complicate learning. “I can remember having to do long division without Richard Moore ’48 being able to see the whole problem at once,” he said. Because he was unable to serve in the armed services during World War II, Moore was one of few male students at the college. “The ratio was approximately 100 to 1,” he explains, commenting that those were “pretty nice odds.” Moore threw himself into college life, even joining the Adelphic Alpha Phi society. He recalls that there were three other students at the college with him who also suffered from cerebral palsy, and all four had great difficulty finding jobs when they were about to graduate. Moore still looks back with gratitude to Dean Robert Ramsay, who offered him a job as a biology teacher at the college—for the enormous salary of $900 for the 1948-49 school year. That one year of teaching at the college was a true turning point, for it was through that experience Moore decided he wanted to teach as a career. That decision, in turn, propelled him to pursue graduate work at Michigan State University (MSU) 36



in zoology. His main professor and advisor at MSU was not as sympathetic as his Olivet professors had been. When Moore asked him if he could have a graduate assistantship, he replied, “My students have to dissect frogs in their work in zoology, but they do not have to accept you as a teacher.” Undaunted, Moore went on to eventually obtain a teaching assistantship at MSU and earned a doctorate, comparing the bladders and the proximal urethras of domestic animals. As he commented, there were a few built-in problems in this particular area of research. “I’m only 5 feet 6 inches tall, and I could almost get lost while searching for a urinary bladder among the ‘innards’ of a dead cow or horse. Sheep, goats, hogs, cats and dogs were easier.” After earning a doctorate, Moore went on to pursue additional graduate work at the University of Minnesota and Baylor University College of Medicine. He had a successful teaching career at Harden-Simmons University, in Abilene, Texas; Albright College in Reading, Penn.; and, for 37 years, at McMurry University, also in Abilene. Now 81, Moore lives alone in a cabin near some of his former students in Iowa and leads an active life, reading the Wall Street Journal every day, listening to music, watching baseball games, bird watching in the summer, and riding his All-Terrain Vehicle. Sandra Land, the former student whom Moore lives near, remembers him as an inspirational teacher. “When you remember that he got these degrees in the days before tape recorders, computers or even ball point pens, it becomes even more obvious what he has accomplished,” she said. As further proof of Moore’s impact on his students, Land explains that he was honored by McMurry University with an endowed scholarship in biology by a former student who is now a medical doctor. Moore would enjoy hearing from classmates from the mid ’40s. Contact him at 4729 135th Street, Clinton, Iowa, 52732, or (563) 687-2698.

Brian Lorente ’01 is a singer and songwriter. With each sale of his debut album, “Six Strings & a Dream”, he donates $1 to the Mission of Hope Cancer Fund. His latest CD is “Out With the Boys”. E-mail Brian at Jed Berry ’02 was recently promoted to senior underwriter and officer for XL Reinsurance America, Inc., in Chicago. E-mail Jed at Dorian Cast ex’02 is an inspirational speaker/minister in Detroit. In November 2006, he spoke at the Third Annual Harambee (Swahilian for “let’s pull together”) Summit at Clarion University. Monique Colizzi ’02 (teacher’s certification) is teaching eighth-grade computer applications, high school personal computing and advanced Microsoft Office at the Maple Valley Jr./Sr. High School. E-mail Monique at Lisa (Chase) Lehman ’02 joined the college last November as an admissions representative. She is responsible for recruiting prospective students to Olivet as well as working with transfer students. Lehman’s background includes working as an admissions representative at Olivet from 200204. She also worked at a medical staffing company recruiting speech pathologists for schools and hospitals nationwide. E-mail Lisa at Michele (Mayberry) O’Neil ’02 is teaching social studies at Riverside Academy West in Dearborn. E-mail Michele at Andrew Peabody ’02 earned a master’s degree in elementary literacy and reading, graduating with high honors from Walden University. He is a kindergarten teacher for Maple Valley Public Schools. E-mail him at Ryan Gilreath ’04 earned a master’s degree in education leadership from Western University in April. His first master’s in education was earned at Olivet in 2005. Ryan is in his third year teaching social studies and physical education at Orion Alternative School in the Granville Public School District. E-mail Ryan at

BIRTHS Dave Anderson ’05 was recently selected as a regional educator of the year by the Michigan Association of Middle School Educators. He is an eighth-grade science teacher at Springport Middle School. Dave spent 22 years in the Coast Guard before attending Olivet. He has been involved in organizing a fundraiser to provide food and water for genocide victims in Sudan. E-mail Dave at

Chris Beaudoin ’87 and wife, Christine, a daughter, Elizabeth Suzanne, Dec. 12, 2006. She joins sisters Emma, 8, and Margaret, 7. E-mail Chris at Lisa (Barroso) Bachmann ’91 and husband, Jeffrey, a son, Dominic Joseph, Nov. 26, 2006. He joins sisters Isabella, 2, and Olivia, 1. E-mail Lisa at

April (Lewicki) Lazzaro ’97 and husband, Mark, a son, Luke Phillip, Jan. 21, 2007. E-mail April at Jason Fox ’99 and wife, Krista, a daughter, Ava Marshell, Nov. 30, 2006. She joins sister, Mackenzie Ann, 3. E-mail Jason at Scott Welden ’99 and wife, Mary, a son, Kahle Richard, April 2, 2007. He joins sister, Karle, 2. E-mail Scott at

Kelly (Murphy) Parker ’05 is teaching art at Kellogg Community College and the Art Center of Battle Creek. She also works with Flash, a home school group, teaching art in Battle Creek. E-mail Kelly at

Heather (Wubbe) ’91 and Preston Schoonover ’91, a daughter, McKenzie Porter, July 15, 2006. E-mail them at

Justin Barnes ’06 is the pastor of student ministries at the Sandy Lake Wesleyan Church in Pennsylvania. E-mail Justin at

Rob Dobson ’92 and wife, Karla, a daughter, Raigyn Mae, Oct. 18, 2006. She joins twin brothers, Gavin and Keegan, 4. E-mail Rob at

Conner Ethan Casarez

Marie Gouba ’06 is the music library specialist at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. E-mail Marie at Marie.Gouba

Kiki (Cook) Gleneski ’93 and husband, Pete, a son, Bennett Peter, June 14, 2006. He joins sister, Holly, 5, and brother, Nathan, 3. E-mail Kiki at

Melissa (Sobie) Casarez ’02 and husband, Jeremy, a son, Conner Ethan, Dec. 19, 2006. He joins brother, Antonio, 1. E-mail Melissa at

Katie Reed ’06 is teaching high school social studies and geography at St. Philip Catholic Central in Battle Creek. E-mail Katie at

Christine Gray-Garfield ’93 and husband, Christopher, adopted a son, Jonathan Michael. He joins three sisters, Jordyn, Emily and Nakiya. Jonathan’s godfather is Jerry Capps ’90. E-mail Christine at

Aimee (Villanueva) Reed ’02 and husband, Kevin, a son, Mason, March 11, 2006. E-mail Aimee at

FORMER EMPLOYEES AND FRIENDS Clark Hock (honorary doctorate, 1996) and wife, Miriam, celebrated 50 years of marriage Oct. 8, 2006. The celebration, paired with 50 years in the Christian ministry, was held at the United Church of Christ in Mercersburg, Penn., where Clark is serving as pastor. Mike Fales ’75, director of church relations at Olivet, was the guest preacher for the Sunday worship service. Richard and Martha Pewe celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary Dec. 15, 2006. Their five children and 12 grandchildren were present, along with other family members and friends. Two of their daughters, Trudy Mohre ’79 and Celia Kerr ’85 and her husband, Kim Kerr ’82, are Olivet graduates. Richard was the vice president for finance and the treasurer for the Board of Trustees for Olivet College from 1973-85.

Barbara (Kullik) Ritenburg ’93 and husband, Mike, a son, Mason, Aug. 4, 2006. E-mail Barbara at Chris ’95 and Melinda (Reul) Gilliam ’98, a daughter, Natalie, March 8, 2006. She joins sister Morgan, 6. E-mail the Gilliams at or Damir Soic ’96 and wife, Sabina, a son, Franco, Nov. 30, 2006. E-mail Damir at Christian ’96 and Laura (Schryer) ’98 von Allmen, a son, Luke Michael, Dec. 18, 2006. Luke is the great-grandson of Margaret (Berghorst) ’41 and Carl Wall ’42 and great-great nephew to Laura (Berghorst) Verplank ’38. E-mail the von Allmens at

Elizabeth Faith London

Jennifer (Dobbins) ’03 and Elliott London ’03, a daughter, Elizabeth Faith, Jan. 22, 2007. E-mail the Londons at




Olivet’s connection to President Ford BY MARTY (MASON) JENNINGS ’67


uring four days in January, President Gerald Ford’s family, including Tom Ford ’67 and Julie (Ford) Foster ’70, were reunited in Grand Rapids to pay their last respects and say good-bye to a president, husband, father, brother and uncle.

A portrait of President Ford

The family was amazed at the nation’s outpouring of sympathy for President Ford. “Uncle Jerry always said that he made decisions from his heart as well as the knowledge he was given,” said Foster. “He wanted whatever was best for our nation, not necessarily what was best for his political career.” Tom and Julie’s father, Thomas Ford, was a half-brother to President Ford. Tom and Julie’s fondest memories include Christmases at the Ford grandparents’ home in Grand Rapids. Other highlights




were Tom’s trips to Washington, D.C.— one as a Boy Scout and one when he was attending Walter Reed Medical Center taking a forensic dentistry course, and having dinner at the White House with Uncle Jerry and Aunt Betty. Tom also played in his uncle’s golf tournament in Beaver Creek, Colo., after his uncle left office. It was there he had the opportunity to meet many TV and movie celebrities, as well as well-known political figures. The Fords remained close through the years and Uncle Jerry was frequently willing to give Tom advice during his career. Even though President Ford and his family moved to the White House, nothing really changed for Julie and husband, Bob Foster ’70. Just walking the halls of the White House and the Oval Office where so many dignitaries had been, was of historic interest to Julie and Bob. Julie was also fortunate to attend the 1976 Republican Convention with her cousin, Susan. Trips to the family owned cottage in Holland on Lake Michigan stand out, as well. After Julie and Tom’s parents would leave, Tom would stay for a week or two. During that time, he would sail with Uncle Jerry, who seemed more like an older brother than an uncle. Today, Julie and Bob live in Scottsdale, Ariz., where they moved in 1997. Julie is retired after teaching for 28 years in Southfield. Bob is also retired, having sold his company, Nationwide Security, Inc., in 1996. When not playing golf, their time is spent in a competitive

shooting sport called cowboy action shooting, which has taken them to national competitions. They also enjoy spending time with their daughter, Carolyn, and grandson, Robbie, 5. E-mail the Fosters at Tom is a dental implant specialist in Orlando. Besides his private practice, he is a consultant, educator, lecturer and author. He is also able to use his forensic training in homicide cases, such as the Ted Bundy trial. His lecturing has taken him to six different continents. Tom has one son and two daughters. E-mail Tom at

Julie (Ford) ’70 and Bob Foster ’70

Back row from left: Tom Ford ’67, President Ford; front row from left: Tom’s children: Christine, Kimberly and Cameron

MARRIAGES Lowell Alumni Social Hosted by David ’56 and Jan Thompson

Brian Lorente ’01 and Keri Anguilm ’00, July 8, 2006, in Las Vegas. Brian’s sister, Toni Lorente ’99, and Tom Anderson ’00 were in the wedding party. E-mail Brian at Jedediah Berry ’02 and Janel Hutchinson, Oct. 21, 2006, at the Tropicana Island Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas. Other Olivetians in the wedding were Dominick Catinella ’03 and Tom Fisher ex’03. E-mail Jed at jedediah.berry

Cal Alterink, David Thompson ’56, Carol Frey ’02

Craig ’85, and Leslie (Walworth) ’85 Russell

Rod Hathaway ’81, Noel Dean ’91


Alumni Educators’ Day

June 22

Football Alumni Golf Outing

June 29

Buffalo Wild Wings in Lake Orion - graduates of the last decade (GOLD)

July 20

Athletic Dept. Alumni Golf Outing

July 21

Phi Alpha Pi Alumni Golf Fundraiser

Aug. 3

Detroit Tigers’ Alumni Fundraiser Baseball Game

Sept. 7

Traverse City Alumni Social in Lake Leelanau

Sept. 12

The Badibou Cultural Dance Troupe from The Gambia

Sept. 21-23 Alumni Trip to Chicago

STAY CONNECTED WITH OLIVET COLLEGE CLASS NOTES Turn yourself in for Shipherd’s Record Class Notes. Send your notes to the Office of Alumni Relations, 320 S. Main St., Olivet, MI 49076. You may also e-mail your information to

E-NEWSLETTER You don’t have to wait for Shipherd’s Record to stay up-to-date on what’s happening at Olivet College. Subscribe to Olivet’s free monthly E-newsletter. Developed with alumni and friends in mind, the E-newsletter contains news and notes about Olivet’s students, faculty, staff and alumni. This service is only available to those alumni and friends who subscribe, so sign up today by sending an e-mail to

Sept. 28

Athletic Hall of Fame Day

Oct. 20



Dec. 13

Detroit Holiday Social


Michele Mayberry ’02 and Paul O’Neil, June 23, 2006, at the Grecian Center in Southgate. E-mail Michele at Andy Boyd ’04 and Gennesis Kuhn ’05, Dec. 6, 2006, at Couples Swept Away Resort in Negril, Jamaica. Other Olivetians at the wedding were Dan Bonnell ’06, Libby Gibbons ’04, Staci Hawley ex’06, Kendra (Mesecar) Schwartz ex’02, and Ryan Schwartz ex’04. Tonja Hewitt ’04 and Mark Myers, Sept. 16, 2006. E-mail Tonja at Ahmad Zeaiter ’05 and Janet Stam ’07, Nov. 4, 2006, in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Molly Reed ’06 and Tim Goaley, Feb. 17, 2007, in St. Philip’s Catholic Church in Battle Creek. Sister, Katie ’06 and brother, Dan, an Olivet junior, were in the wedding. Molly’s dad, Phil Reed, is director of Olivet’s criminal justice program and assistant professor of criminal justice. E-mail Molly at





Dorothy (Brown) Snyder ’29, Jan. 12, 2007. Helen (Weatherwax) Bierstein ’32, July 11, 2006. Elizabeth (Chervenka) Vickery ’37, April 2006. Robert S. Winter, Jr. ’38, Oct. 29, 2006. Henry S. Feller, Jr. ’39, Feb. 8, 2006. Robert W. Jackson ’40, Jan. 7, 2007. Wilma (Clark) Harrison ’42, Nov. 2006. Harriet (Hamilton) Lyons ’43, March 19, 2007. She is survived by her husband, Tom Lyons ’44. Harriet was one of the Round Robins, Sigma sisters who have been writing letters since 1943. Donations in Harriet’s name may be sent to Olivet College for the Sigma Beta House Fund. Jane (Pearse) Owen ’43, Jan. 5, 2007. She is survived by daughter, Sally Owens ’74. Nancye (Skeffington) Stewart ’45, Dec. 23, 2003; husband, Robert Stewart ’47, Jan. 21, 2004. They are survived by a daughter and two sons, one is Robert R. Stewart ex’69. The Hon. Judge William Bledsoe ’52, Nov. 11, 2006. Seymore Stein ’52, April 5, 2006. James Craigie ’54, 2004. Harry Seith ’55, Jan. 23, 2006. Frederick Hatfield ex’56, Dec. 12, 2006. Allen Pell ’59, Nov. 27, 2006. He left an estate gift to Olivet College. Carol (Lee) Wilkins ’61, Nov. 27, 2006. John E. Foxwell ’62, Feb. 2007. The Hon. Judge William Bledsoe III ’52 passed away Nov. 10, 2006. In 1985, he was elected judge to the 30th District Court in Highland Park and served until his retirement in 2003. He earned a law degree from Wayne State University in 1955. Judge Bledsoe was a member of the Olivet College Board of Trustees, a founding member and first chairman of the Black United Fund of Michigan, president of the former Highland Park Community College Foundation and president of the Highland Park chapter of the NAACP. He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Wilma, and two sons and two grandsons.

Coral Yvonne Templar ’63, Nov. 7, 2006. She donated 72 signed books for Olivet’s library. Jim Davis ex’64, Feb. 11, 2007. Preston Ports ’64, Jan. 24, 2007. He is survived by his wife, Martie (Graham) ’65, a daughter, son and grandchildren. Donations in Preston’s memory may be sent to Olivet College. Coral Yvonne Wayne Smith ’64, Jan. 14, 2007. Templar ’63 Ed Donaldson ‘65, Feb. 3, 2007. He is survived by his wife, Diane (Duffy) ‘65, a daughter, two sons and grandchildren. Donations in Ed’s memory may be sent to the Edwin K. Donaldson Memorial Foundation at Olivet College. Janice (Wolford) Rana ’65, Dec. 22, 2006. She is survived by her husband, Mohammed Waheed-Zaman Rana ’64, Ph.D. Carol Ann (Cook) Brooks ’67, Jan. 21, 2007. John E. Hubbs ex’67, Dec. 5, 2006. Margie Coonrood ’69, Nov. 17, 2006. Marilyn Ranieri ’69, Jan. 28, 2007. Vern Ruhle ’75, Jan. 20, 2007. Robert Kropp ’84, April 17, 2007. Tom Joslyn ’84, Feb. 10, 2007. Shannon Emory ex’98, March 6, 2007. Kraig Foyteck ex’02, Oct. 30, 2006, in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

FORMER EMPLOYEES and FRIENDS Richard Chapman, April 14, 2007. His wife, Delores, was a secretary at Olivet College from 1983-93. Barbara Greenstone, Jan. 7, 2007, wife of Art Greenstone ’64. Rosemary Grimshaw, Sept. 2006, wife of Dr. Ford Grimshaw ’57. Joseph Kelly, Nov. 7, 2006. Joe coached soccer from 1986-90. He is survived by his wife, Joyce, daughters, Helen Kelly and Mary Sherwood ’91, and son, Joe Kelly ’93. Charles “Chuck” Ross, Jan. 31, 2007. He was a former professor and assistant coach at Olivet College. Harry L. Talley, Dec. 6, 2006. He was the business manager at Olivet College from 1965-68.

Alumni trip to Chicago

Sigma Beta celebrates 100 years!

Sept. 21-23, 2007 - $399 per person, double occupancy

To order 100th Anniversary Sigma Beta Shirts, contact Tammy Foster ’92, at (269) 749-9188 or e-mail

Motorcoach to Chicago, leaving from Lansing and Olivet, includes two nights at the Hilton, Northbrook, Ill., two breakfasts, “Spirit of Chicago” Dinner Cruise, one dinner, Lincolnshire Theatre to see “The Producers,” guided tour of Chicago, including tour of Frank Lloyd Wright’s home and studio, visit the John Hancock Observatory. For more information, contact Marty Jennings ’67 at (269) 749-7644 or

Remembering Vern Ruhle ’75 BY DON WINGER ’62


rom a shy farm boy in Coleman to a standout at Olivet College to a Major League pitcher to a respected pitching coach in the big leagues. That was the baseball legacy of Vern Ruhle, 55, who lost his battle with cancer on Saturday. With his death I have lost a good friend. It is a friendship that began nearly 40 years ago when Vern was a star pitcher for Coleman High School. It continued through his days as a student at Olivet, my alma mater, and on into his career as a pitcher for the Detroit Tigers and several other Major League teams. When I suggested that he attend Olivet, I thought it would be a place where he would fit nicely. He would have a chance to pitch college baseball while getting an education at a respected institution of higher learning. Never did I dream that he would get a chance to go to the major leagues and display his talents. It was only by happenstance that he did. As Vern Ruhle ’75 (left) accepting his diploma from John Skurski, a Olivet College president Ray B. Loeschner at scout for the Tiger Stadium in 1975. Detroit Tigers, told a Daily News reporter 30 years ago, a change in assignments shifted him from Western Michigan to Olivet, where he was told to scout a couple of MIAA teams. According to Skurski’s account, Vern wasn’t even on his radar screen. But he was so impressive in a relief performance that Skurski sent a report to head scout Bill LaJoie that here was someone with major league potential. The Tigers eventually followed up by choosing him in the 17th round of the draft in 1972. Two years later, he was pitching for the Tigers in September 1974. While he welcomed the opportunity to play professional baseball, he didn’t abandon his education. In 1975, I arranged for him to receive his diploma from the college president on the pitcher’s mound at Tiger Stadium. He was

dressed in his graduation cap and gown and good-naturedly took the ribbing from his teammates, who watched from the dugout. In 1975, he was named Detroit’s Rookie of the Year by the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association. Vern pitched for the Tigers through the 1977 season. Then he went to the Houston Astros, where he hurled for seven seasons before finishing his career with one season each in Cleveland and California. During his 13-year career he appeared in 327 games, 188 of those as a starter. His win-loss record was 67-88 with a very respectable earned run average of 3.73. He pitched 12 shutouts. When his playing days were over, Vern had a successful career as a pitching coach. He started at the college level with Cal-State Fullerton for one year, then went to the University of Oklahoma for five seasons. At the major league level, he tutored pitchers with Houston, beginning in 1997. He followed that with stints with the Philadelphia Phillies, the New York Mets and his latest club, the Cincinnati Reds. He also coached the Billings Mustangs in the minor leagues for one year. Vern never forgot our Vern Ruhle ’75 friendship. There were times during spring training in Florida when we would go out for dinner together. I would touch base with him by telephone many times. If I couldn’t reach him, he would always call back. When I first knew Vern as a high school student, he was shy and introverted. By the time he finished college, he was anything but shy. He was articulate and displayed an outgoing personality. The last time I talked to him, he was upbeat and determined to conquer his disease. Unfortunately, he lost the battle. Thankfully, the memories I have will not fade. I’ll always remember that smile he had and the times we had together talking baseball. To Vern, I say, rest in peace, friend. Rest in peace.

Reprinted from the Midland Daily News, Jan. 22, 2007. Don Winger ’62 is a former executive sports editor at the Midland Daily News.

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