Page 1





Olivet College has finished another successful year. We opened The Cutler Event Center, Kolassa Track and Gillette Student Village, as well as more new Smart Classrooms and science labs. In addition, we created several new academic programs including a concentration in musical theatre, and minors in religious studies and ethics, and insurance claims investigation. New majors under way include actuarial science, information technology, computer science education and writing. Revisions were also made to the general education part of The Olivet Plan and an emotionally impaired special education certificate was passed to go along with our existing learning impaired designation. Our faculty accomplished a tremendous amount of work this year, which will provide our students with more choices while preserving our strong liberal arts core. None of this would have been possible without the generous support of our alumni and friends! While we have been very successful on a number of fronts, Olivet College is still challenged with staying Donald L. Tuski ’85, Ph.D. affordable and paying for deferred maintenance. In addition, while the college has not incurred much new debt, we are in the process of paying off money borrowed in the past. Therefore, Olivet still needs strong alumni support. I realize that for many this is difficult, but participation at any level or amount is greatly appreciated. The college is focusing on several critical needs ranging from unrestricted giving in our Annual Fund, which supports many of our student scholarships, to much needed Shipherd Hall staircase renovations, which you can read more about on page 38. Our M. Gorton Riethmiller Art Building project is also a top priority. Due to the gracious lead gift of Charles ’46, Ph.D., and the Rev. Dr. Peggy (Riethmiller) Blackman, along with the great support of the Kresge Foundation, we are within $1 million of our $3.7 million goal for this initiative. We hope to start construction next spring, but only if we have raised enough to pay for the entire building in advance, plus fund an endowment for the facility’s long term up-keep. As you will read in this issue of Shipherd’s Record, Olivet College has a rich tradition in the arts and we plan to build upon this tradition with the new Riethmiller Art Building.


Donald L. Tuski ’85, Ph.D.

We hope you’ll enjoy reading the latest issue of Shipherd’s Record. It’s packed with features on our alumni artists, students, curriculum, building projects and other news from Olivet College. During this challenging financial time, the college strives to control the rising costs of printing and mailing Shipherd’s Record. The magazine is our most efficient method of communicating with alumni and keeping you informed of all of the great things happening at Olivet. However, we still aren’t reaching many of our alumni – and that results in missed opportunities for you and decreased giving to the college. Please help us continue to produce Shipherd’s Record with a gift to Olivet College. As little as $25 will help offset the costs of the magazine and ensure that you’ll continue to receive all of the latest news from campus. Your contributions to Shipherd’s Record will continue to grow in a restricted account and serve the college well.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES OFFICERS David T. Hayhow, Chair, Okemos The Hon. Judge Denise Page Hood, Vice Chair, Detroit William Middlebrooks, Vice Chair, West Bloomfield Robert M. Lawrence ’57, Secretary, Grosse Ile Stanley Dole, Treasurer, Grand Rapids MEMBERS G. Asenath Andrews ’72, Detroit Sandy Aranyos ’68, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Thomas Burke ’82, Carmel, Ind. Priscilla Upton Byrns, St. Joseph Dennis Daugherty ’70, Mattawan Robert Ewigleben, Albion Jamey T. Fitzpatrick ’86, Grand Ledge George F. Francis III, Southfield Rich Hamann ’85, Kalamazoo David E. Hathaway, J.D., Ada Rod Hathaway ’81, Wayland William N. Healy ’79, Brighton Barbara Hill, Southfield Sharon R. Hobbs, Ph.D., East Lansing Timothy Hodge ’83, D.O., Holt Thomas Hoisington, Lansing Jeff Koch ’90, New York, N.Y. Thomas E. Kolassa ’69, Battle Creek Dean Lewis ’55, J.D., Kalamazoo Jeff Mathie ’88, Olivet Charles McPhail ’64, Houston, Texas Tom Nesbitt ’63, White Lake George Pyne III ’65, Milford, Mass. The Rev. Nancy Barto Rohde ’65, Petoskey Karen Van Hentenryck ’81, South Lyon

TRUSTEE SPOTLIGHT DAVID HAYHOW Hometown: Pontiac Now lives in: Okemos Education: Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Michigan State University (MSU) Former Occupation: Founded and managed Publicom Inc., public relations and marketing firm Community Involvement: Leadership positions with a number of non-profit organizations including MBI International, MSU’s University Corporate Research Park and MSU’s Journalism Professional Advisory Council Hobbies: Family, fishing and golf



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 Managing Editor Molly (Reed) Goaley ’05 Graphic Design/Art Direction Bruce Snyder Alumni Relations Marty (Mason) Jennings ’67 Sports Information Geoff Henson


Olivet College has been offering art courses since 1847, making it one of the oldest majors on campus. Featured in this issue of Shipherd’s Record are just a few alumni artists who have made visual art at Olivet a tradition worth keeping. They include: Janet Almstadt-Davison ’67, Steve Yamin ’68, Douglas Semivan ’71, Mike Dorsey ’77, Amy (Gardner) Dean ’92, Frank Corl ’94, Steve Harrington ’96 and Salina (Kalnins) Hyder ’97.



Remembering Nez Perce



The M.Gorton Riethmiller Art Building


A New Direction in Retention


New Minors Enhance Curriculum


Welcoming Lansing’s Latino Students


Student Profiles

Foundation Relations and Special Events Shannon Tiernan Editorial: Jackie Bounds Michelle Erskine Katelyn Harmon Geoff Henson Christine Moulton Pam Rutyna Linda Jo Scott Mark Simon/ Send change of address notices to: Olivet College Development Office Olivet, MI 49076 (269) 749-7625


CAMPUS ADMINISTRATION President Donald L. Tuski ’85, Ph.D. Executive Assistant to the President Barb Spencer Vice President for Administration Larry Colvin Vice President and Dean for Academic Affairs Norma Curtis Vice President and CFO Bill Kurtz Director of Athletics Dominic Livedoti ’65 Vice President and Dean for Student Life Linda Logan, Ph.D. Vice President for Enrollment Management Larry Vallar ’84


A Tradition Worth Keeping: The History of Art at Olivet


Departments 2 Around the Square 4 Students in the News 5 Faculty and Staff News 38 Development 40 Comet Athletics 44 Class Notes





Around THE SQUARE Olivet Named to 2008 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll Olivet College was recently named to the 2008 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). Olivet was recognized from the highest levels of the federal government for its commitment to service and civic engagement on campus and nationwide. “Service has always been important to Olivet College,” said president Donald L. Tuski ’85, Ph.D. “In the past few years we have increased the emphasis both in the curriculum and co-curriculum and we are excited to be recognized for our efforts.” Honorees were chosen for the award based on selection factors including the scope, innovativeness and effectiveness of service projects; the percentage of students engaged in service activities;

and the extent to which the school offers academic service learning courses. The college is dedicated to providing course-based service learning that addresses community needs while instilling in students the ethic of Education for Individual and Social Responsibility. At least once during their undergraduate experience, students at Olivet are required to complete a threesemester hour service learning course offered by an academic department. Each service learning course requires students to spend a minimum of 40 hours serving the needs of the community. Such service is accompanied by reflection on that experience. Launched in 2006, the Honor Roll recognizes colleges and universities nationwide that support innovative and effective community service and service learning programs. The Honor Roll is a program of the CNCS and is sponsored by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation, the U.S. Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development.

Founders’ Day Observed

Lecture and Symposium Series

Olivet College commemorated its 165th year by celebrating Founders’ Day Wednesday, Feb. 18 in the Olivet Congregational Church. The program featured Olivet College President Donald L. Tuski, ’85, Ph.D., and the Rev. Mark Jensen, D.D. ’89. Jensen has served as senior minister of North Congregational Church in Farmington Hills since 1980. He is involved with numerous community boards and committees, and in 1999 was elected moderator of the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches. Jensen was elected to the Olivet College Board of Trustees in 1987 and was bestowed a Rev. Mark Jensen, D.D. ’89 Doctor of Divinity, honoris causa, from Olivet in 1989. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota, a Master of Divinity from Colgate Rochester Divinity School in Rochester, N.Y., and did Doctor of Ministry work at Andover Newton Theological School in Boston.

Olivet College hosted two speakers as part of the Lecture and Symposium Series during the spring 2009 semester. Paul Fusco, a professional photographer with Magnum Photos, spoke about his experience documenting Belarusian children sickened by radioactive fallout from the Chernobyl nuclear explosion in Ukraine. Fusco has produced important reportages on social issues in the United States, including the plight of destitute miners in Kentucky; Latino ghetto life in New York City; cultural experimentation in California; African-American life in the Mississippi delta; religious proselytizing in the South; and migrant laborers. He has also worked in England, Israel, Egypt, Japan, Southeast Asia, Brazil, Chile and Mexico, and has made an extended study of the Iran curtain countries, from northern Finland to Iran. Will Steger, who spoke in February, is a recognized authority for the Polar Regions, including Will Steger their environmental issues, and is an eyewitness to the effects of global warming. He led the first confirmed dogsled journey to the North Pole without resupply, a 1,600-mile traverse of Greenland, the first dogsled traverse of Antarctica and the first dogsled traverse of the Arctic Ocean in one season from Russia to Ellesmere Island in Canada.




Top Five Graduating Seniors Recognized at Honors Convocation

From left: Nancy Van Hoozier, Heather Michalsen, Michelle WoodhouseJackson, Greg Jarratt, Hans Morgan, Shannah Fisher, Jessica Petkus, Kirk Hendershott-Kraetzer, Joanne Williams and Nicole Babcock.

Olivet recognized the best of its student body at the annual Honors Convocation held Wednesday, April 15. The Donald A. Morris Awards are presented to the top five graduating seniors with the highest grade point averages in their class and whose entire baccalaureate was at Olivet College. The 2008-09 recipients are: Nicole Babcock, of Three Rivers; Shannah Fisher, of Delton; Greg Jarratt, of Centreville; Heather Michalsen, of Plymouth; and Jessica Petkus, of Milford. Babcock is a journalism/mass communication and sports/ recreation management double major. Fisher is a math and chemistry secondary education double major. Jarratt is a business major with a minor in coaching. Michalsen is a fitness management major. Petkus is a math and English elementary education double major. The Donald A. Morris Award was named after a former president of the college. Morris served Olivet from 1977-92.

Commencement Held at the New Cutler Event Center More than 200 graduates were recognized during Olivet College’s Commencement Saturday, May 16 at the Cutler Event Center. The Commencement speaker was Rev. Nicholas Hood III, senior pastor of the Plymouth United Church of Christ (PUCC). Hood graduated from Wayne State University in 1973 with a degree in economics. He then earned a Master of Divinity from Yale University in 1976. After graduating from Yale, he returned to Detroit to work with his father as the associate minister of PUCC. After serving in this capacity for eight years, he became the senior pastor in 1984. With an emphasis on local, national and international missions, Hood’s church gives free computers to high achieving youth who live in the medical center area Rev. Nicholas Hood III delivers of Detroit, provides assistance to the Commencement address. those affected by Hurricane Katrina, offers a free overnight camp for inner-city youth and coordinates a medical mission to Ethiopia, among other initiatives. In honor of his dedication to service, Hood was bestowed a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, at the event.

David Hayhow, chair of the Olivet College Board of Trustees, was also given a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa. During his tenure as board chair, Hayhow has overseen some of the college’s most significant improvements, including the Burrage Library expansion, the Heritage Campaign, phases I and II of the Cutler Athletic Complex/Cutler Event Center, and Gillette Student Village, among other initiatives. Ashley Adams, of Brighton, was the senior class speaker. Speaking at Baccalaureate were Kellie O’Dowd, of President Tuski congratulates Board Chair Jackson; Jennifer David Hayhow as Dean Curtis observes. Martin, of Taylor; Jessica Petkus, of Milford; and Kyle Vanderhyde, of Sparta. Todd Hibbs, assistant professor of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Sport, was chosen by the senior class to speak at Baccalaureate.




Students IN THE NEWS Adelphic Alpha Pi members James Boyd, a senior from St. Charles, Ill.; Eddie Haynes, a senior from Hudson; Nate Hughes, a senior from Marshall; Pat Leahy, a junior from Okemos; Justin Lewis, a junior from Middleville; and Phil Vogel, a sophomore from Warren, spent a day working at Crossroad, a facility for emotionally-impaired children, in Fort Wayne, Ind. in February. The students spent nine hours in freezing temperatures cutting and disposing of tree limbs that had fallen around the facility grounds during an ice storm. Their service saved Crossroad more than $900 in maintenance fees. Five members of Tri-Pi, Olivet’s science education and outreach organization, served as presenters at Washington Elementary School’s annual Science Day in Charlotte. Scot Peterson, a senior from Monroe; Kaitlyn See, a junior from Howell; Matt Siebert, a freshman from Marshall; Tabitha Vance, a freshman from Bellevue; and Kim White, a freshman from Tecumseh, spoke to 120 students ranging from kindergarten through fourth grade about entomology. The presentation culminated with children having the opportunity to get “up close and personal” with some of the college’s Madagascar hissing cockroaches. Members of Phi Beta Lambda, Olivet’s business organization for students, traveled to Washington, D.C., to participate in the Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda National Fall Leadership Conference. Students attended professional workshops and exhibits during the trip, and also visited several national landmarks. In addition, Rick Beyer ’80, Olivet College Board of Trustees member, treated the group to a professional dinner and offered job and internship advice to students. Rick Beyer ’80 Rebecca Birtles, a junior from Olivet; Mary Bock, a junior from Battle Creek; Jacob Bohms, a senior from Mattawan; Kimberly Coles, a senior from Olivet; Nicholas Coppersmith, a sophomore from Battle Creek; Garrett Handrich, a senior from Mio; Justin Lesansky, a senior from LaSalle, Ontario; Courtney Lewis, a senior from Battle Creek; Sarah May, a junior from Olivet; Christine Schaum, a senior from Marshall; Brandy Whittington, a junior from Wheeler; and Justin Williams, a junior from Birmingham, participated in the trip, which was led by Susan Houston, professor of business. Traci Kramer, a senior from Potterville, and Kyle Walkowiak, a senior from Traverse City, were recently accepted into the Physician’s Assistant Program at Central Michigan University (CMU). The students were accepted as part of a matriculation agreement between Olivet and CMU, in which Olivet is allowed to select two students for admission into the program. 4



In order to be placed, the two students selected must meet all admission requirements, log a certain amount of direct patient care hours and demonstrate community service. Kramer and Walkowiak both volunteered extensively at Eaton County Hospice prior to their selection for the program, which accepts only about 40 students each year. Nine students were accepted into the 14th annual Michigan Small College Art Exhibition at the Flatlanders Sculpture Supply and Art Gallery in Blissfield. Charlene Baker, a junior from Nashville; Ben Chee, a senior from Marengo, Ill.; Stephanie Dixon, a junior from Charlotte; Blake Gardner, a senior from Clio; Kitty Jones, a senior from Albion; Birgit Lauderdale, a senior from Covert; Laura Markin, a junior from South Lyon; Rob Simons, a junior from Bellevue; and Brad Sullens, a freshman from Belleville, were featured at the exhibit, which included work from students at Adrian, Albion, Alma and Olivet colleges. Dixon received second prize for her carved plaster piece, titled “Acorn,” and Markin received an honorable mention for her carbon dust piece, titled “The Eyeball,” during an awards ceremony for the event. Brad Voss, a senior from Lansing, recently contributed to an article titled, “A coupled assay measuring Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigen 85c enzymatic activity.” The article was published in the Analytical Biochemistry journal.

Chamber Singers Perform in Ontario The Olivet College Chamber Singers, under the direction of Timothy Flynn, Ph.D., assistant professor of music, music program director and Performing Arts Department chair, were invited to sing in a concert at the Cathedral of St. Michael in Toronto, Ontario in April. In addition, the singers were the featured American choral ensemble at St. Mark’s Church in Niagara-on-theLake at their spring festival of music, theology and art in April. The ensemble includes: Jeremy Adams, a junior from Novi; Jesse Barber, a junior from Vandalia; Alaina Beam, a senior from Charlotte; Kellie Carden, a freshman from Lansing; John Gouba, a junior from Novi; Mark Gouba, a sophomore from Novi; Kayla Green, a sophomore from Mason; and Amanda Roy, a junior from Howell.

Faculty & Staff IN THE NEWS Brandon Brissette and Chad Wiseman have joined the Comet coaching staff. Brissette is the new head wrestling coach. He comes to Olivet after serving as an assistant coach at Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio, for the last four years. A native of Bay City, Brissette earned a bachelor’s degree from Wartburg (Iowa) College in 2005, where he was a four-year letterwinner on the wrestling mat. Wiseman has begun his duties as head men’s soccer coach. Before joining the Olivet staff in March, he spent six years as assistant men’s soccer coach at Western Michigan University. Wiseman also served as the head varsity girls’ soccer coach at Plainwell High School for four years.

Brandon Brissette

Mike Hubbel

Craig Korpela, adjunct instructor of interdisciplinary studies, gave a presentation on the Americans With Disabilities Act at the American Society for Public Administration Region IV annual conference in November.

Timothy Flynn, Ph.D., assistant professor of music, music program director Chad Wiseman and Performing Arts Department chair, served as a session chairman for the College Music Society’s spring meeting at Central Michigan University in March. In addition, Flynn’s book, titled “Charles François Gounod: A Research and Information Guide,” was published by Rutledge in January.

Molly (Reed) Goaley ’05

Molly (Reed) Goaley ’05, managing editor of Shipherd’s Record, was recognized in April by the Central Michigan Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America for her feature story on Kula Samba, a 1973 graduate who was executed in Sierra Leone in 1998. The article was published in the fall 2008 issue of Shipherd’s Record. Goaley won the Pinnacle Award, the society’s top honor, in the chapter’s 2009 PACE Awards feature stories category.

Geoff Henson, sports information director, volunteered at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Women’s Basketball first and second round games at Michigan State University’s (MSU) Breslin Center in March. He assisted the MSU athletic communications department by assembling a post-game notes package, which was distributed to the media in attendance and posted on the NCAA Web site.

Mike Hubbel, professor of insurance and risk management and director of the college’s Risk Management and Insurance Center, gave a presentation titled “Insurance Facts and Myths” for 70 community organizers during the National Conference on Community Empowerment at the Ebenezer Church in Detroit in November. Hubbel discussed how the insurance mechanism works, as well as individual and social responsibility, the costs that influence the price of insurance, and concerns about the affordability of insurance in urban communities.

Geoff Henson

Ronda Miller was recently named director of student retention at Olivet. She is responsible for creating and implementing retention strategies, as well as providing leadership and vision for all faculty and staff in the retention arena. Miller’s background includes working with the Lansing School District for 12 years, where she was involved with at-risk students and their families. She has also worked with the Ingham County Health Department as a maternal/child outreach advocate. Miller earned a bachelor’s degree from Ronda Miller Michigan State University in 1992 and a master’s from Western Michigan University in 2006. She previously served the college as an admissions representative. (See related article, pg. 30.) Mary Jo Ramsey-Smith ’78, adjunct professor of interdisciplinary studies, and Gary Smith, assistant professor and program director of journalism/mass communication, recently directed and performed in “Winter Magic,” a production written by Ramsey-Smith, with Early Music Michigan in Kalamazoo. They also presented a stage reading of Ramsey-Smith’s play, “A Terrible Beauty,” based on the life of William Butler Yeats, in February. Smith and Louise Tuski, adjunct professor of theatre, performed in the production. In addition, Ramsey-Smith recently joined the Celtic band, Fonn Mor, as a soloist during a concert at Western Michigan University’s Miller Auditorium. Joanne Williams, assistant professor of journalism/mass communication and adviser to the Echo student newspaper at Olivet, was named president of the Michigan Collegiate Press Association (MCPA) during their annual winter meeting in February. The MCPA is an association of academic advisers to Michigan’s college and university newspapers. SPRING




Harris Harris K. K. Prior, Prior, Olivet Olivet College College art art instructor instructor from from 1937 1937 to to 1939, 1939, once once said said that that art art in in all all its its forms, forms, “from “from mural mural to to Mickey Mickey Mouse,” Mouse,” enters enters our our lives lives every every day, day, whether whether we we are are aware aware of of itit or or not. not. For For this this reason, reason, he he believed believed aa sufficient sufficient understanding understanding of of the the Don Rowe discipline discipline was was essential essential to to the the enrichment enrichment of of life. life. Prior Prior was was not not the the first first art art instructor instructor at at Olivet Olivet to to follow follow this this axiom axiom –– nor nor was was he he the the last. last.




Don Rowe, professor of art and Liberal Arts Core Program chair, and Gary Wertheimer, professor of art and Visual Arts Department chair, are “big believers” in liberal arts education. With a combined 64 years of teaching at Olivet, they Gary Wertheimer have witnessed what can happen when an insurance major picks up a paintbrush for the first time, or a football player draws a perfect curve.

“Students never realize the kinds of things they can do until they take an art class,” Wertheimer said. “It opens up a whole world to them of who they are.” Rowe agrees. “You don’t have to be an art major to reap the benefits of art,” he said. “There’s a huge amount of literature that says art uses other parts of the brain to serve numbers, writing and all kinds of other mental functioning.” Olivet has always recognized the importance of visual art as part of a broader liberal arts curriculum. The college first began offering art courses in 1847, making it one of the oldest majors on campus. One hundred sixty-two years later, the program has encountered many milestones, but Rowe and Wertheimer say little has changed within the discipline. “The curriculum has changed – it’s gotten better – but the content doesn’t change,” Rowe said. “We are traditional in the way we teach.” Taking Olivet’s history in the arts into account, it’s a tradition worth keeping.

From Authors to Artists, Olivet Forges a Reputation in the Arts In the 1930s, Olivet earned a reputation for hosting renowned writers and artists. Under the administration of President Joseph Brewer, the college soon became a centerpiece for social and cultural interaction, as well as academic excellence. “Brewer was trained at Oxford Joseph Brewer and University, so Katherine Ann Porter he put the college on the Oxford model,” Rowe said. “People didn’t go to class, per se, they studied with tutors.”

During that time, Olivet hosted literary figures such as Gertrude Stein, Carl Sandburg, W.H. Auden, Katherine Ann Porter and Ford Madox Ford. The college also brought in major artists through an artist-in-residence program funded by the Carnegie Corporation. The first of those instructors was George Rickey, a muralist and kinetic sculptor who earned an international

George Rickey’s mural outside the Office of the President in Dole Hall.

reputation for his work. “Rickey is world renowned for building these huge moving sculptures,” Rowe said. “He has built a lot of them for U.S. Embassies all over the world.” Although Rickey’s life’s work consists primarily of kinetic sculpture, most Olivet alumni remember him as a painter. An instructor of mural technique, Rickey painted the wall-to-wall fresco mural outside the Office of the President in Dole Hall. In a 1965 interview with the Smithsonian Institution, Rickey said, “I went to this little college, Olivet, in Michigan. My assignment was to carry on this painting and to mingle with the students in an informal way, but it turned out that I also taught a class. So that was the beginning of my college teaching in art in 1937, and I’ve been doing it ever since.”1 Rickey remained at Olivet for two years until another noteworthy artist came to campus via the Carnegie grant.

Facing page: Mary Armstrong, former professor of Latin and Greek at Olivet College (1920-42). The college’s Mary Armstrong Art Collection features 257 pieces representing 220 artists.

Milton Horn

Milton Horn, a Russian-American sculptor, began teaching art in 1939. Several of Horn’s pieces, such as the sculpture in Mawby Gardens outside the Kirk Center, remain on campus today. But his greatest contribution to Olivet, perhaps, is the Mary Armstrong Art Collection, which is named after a former professor of Latin and Greek at the college. “Horn had an art club made up of his students,” Rowe said. “That was a time when art was relatively inexpensive – they started raising money and having bake sales and so on, and created the core of the collection – it’s been added to ever since.” The collection now contains 257 pieces, including prints, drawings, sculptures, collages and anthropological items. Though the art program continued to flourish, the artist-in-residence grant program eventually ended with Horn’s departure in 1947.

Nez Perce, Arts Festivals and Other Milestones Visual art on campus gained attention once again in the 1950s and 60s, when professors such as Bill Whitney, Richard Callner and Stephen Hazel were at the helm. “Hazel started what was called the Nez Perce Printmaking Workshop,” Rowe said. “He found all these lithography, intaglio and woodcut presses and brought them to the college to form the nucleus of a magnificent printmaking facility. Artists had to be nominated or invited to work there.” continued S PRING



“Trespass,” intaglio print by Nez Perce artist Keith Achepohl.

Bill Whitney

Stephen Hazel H. James Hay

continued from previous page The studio, which was named after the Nez Perce Native American tribe, soon drew artists from surrounding states to Olivet. “Hazel ran a thing after hours and on weekends where a number of professional artists from Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Illinois would come here and work in the facility,” Rowe said. Despite its importance in the art community, the workshop was eventually disbanded. Hazel moved to Seattle to continue his work in 1968, shortly after Rowe was hired to teach at Olivet. “Whitney was the painter, I was the printmaker and a fellow named H. James Hay was the sculptor,” he said. “There were also paid positions for student apprentices – they kept the studios clean – that was nice.”




During that time, the Mott Foundation funded an international Festival of Fine Arts on campus, a tradition started by Callner in 1961. The event included music, literary and theatre set design competitions, as well as a print and drawing exhibition. Rowe recalls nearly shutting down the department when the prints and drawings would arrive. “We usually had between 800 and 2,000 boxes of art that came every year,” he said. “It would overwhelm us.” Students would help jury the show and hang the displays, then a judge would award purchase prizes to the winning entries. Those entries, which were bought by the college, were then added to the Armstrong Collection.

The art show continued on campus for several years and other grant-funded programs came and went. The art faculty changed as well. Wertheimer was hired to teach in 1986, and has directed the program with Rowe ever since. Soon, the two professors will experience another milestone in the program’s history.

A New Building Plans are under way to construct the M. Gorton Riethmiller Art Building on campus. The $3.7 million project will include a 17,000-square-foot Georgian revival-style building complete with an art gallery, fine art vault, art classrooms and faculty offices. The college has already received a $1.5 million lead gift

from Charles ’46, Ph.D., and the Rev. Dr. Peggy (Riethmiller) Blackman along with a $1.2 million matching grant from the Kresge Foundation toward construction of the project. After decades of teaching in a building with limited space and amenities, Wertheimer and Rowe believe the new facility will allow the college to attract and retain more art students while giving current art majors a sense of ownership. “The students who are here will feel better about working in a new building and it will attract new students, making us more competitive with our peer colleges,” Rowe said. In the past, Olivet has lost prospective art majors to other schools with superior facilities. Wertheimer and Rowe, along with adjunct instructors Cynthia Eller, Richard Larson, Sid Paradine ’69 and Susan Rowe, believe the new building will offer a truer reflection of the quality of the college’s art program – and the people who teach it. (See related article, pgs. 28-29).

Untitled collage by William Dole.

the founding of the college and the type of students we have traditionally served.” Wertheimer also asserts that art is a self-selecting discipline. If students with little experience are given an opportunity to major in art, they will decide quickly whether or not to continue with it. “Usually whatever experience they Carrying On the Tradition had in high school hasn’t been too From Prior’s philosophy on art rigorous,” he said. “Then they come here education to Brewer’s one-on-one and it’s real rigor. They teaching style, the art work at making an faculty incorporates ellipse over and over many of Olivet’s again until they figure traditions in the way out if it’s something they they teach today. really want to do. And They also believe in a some of them soar conventional method because no one has ever of training students. shown them how to do “The arts are pretty that.” important here,” Rowe Even more thrilling said. “We serve a lot for Wertheimer are the of people and one of non-art majors who take the things we try to courses to fulfill the do is be traditional. college’s creative The idea is that you experience requirement learn skills, you learn and discover they have technique, and then real talent. “I’m you go out and express “Before and After,” engraving flabbergasted by some yourself.” by William Hogarth. of the stuff students do,” “Unlike a lot of he said. “I never lose that excitement other colleges and universities, we accept because they never take it for granted – students at various skill levels – not just students who’ve had little or no training those who are exceptional artists,” can do this stuff. And that’s really where Wertheimer added. “That really ties to

I see that the liberal arts education serves more than just people in the discipline. I hope it works that way with other required classes.” Throughout their teaching careers, Rowe and Wertheimer have become strong advocates for a liberal arts curriculum because they see how it benefits students every day. “I think that’s the kind of education everybody should have,” Rowe said. “To me, liberal arts education is the kind of thing we need to keep our citizens in this culture developing.”

“Der Zauberer (The Magician),” watercolor by Paul Klee.

Above: Pieces from the college’s Mary Armstrong Art Collection. 1

Oral history interview with George Rickey, 1965 July 17, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.






Stephen Hazel

Former artist-in-residence, founder of the Nez Perce Printmaking Workshop and faculty member from 1964-68 shares his views about art at Olivet College.




According to Stephen Hazel, former artist-in-residence and founder of the Nez Perce Printmaking Workshop at Olivet College, the facility was founded on the principal that printmaking, like sculpture and painting, is an interdisciplinary medium. Therefore, more emphasis was placed upon the art and the way to approach it, and less on the learning process. At the time the workshop was established, many other schools near Olivet had print departments. “Few students and a large investment seemed entropic, so we felt that to channel all of them through the Nez Perce would be good for all of us,” Hazel said. “We might be able to raise the bar. “At first it seemed like a high-end investment – a strange expenditure for a small school the size of Olivet,” he added. “All of us who participated Charles Pollack and in this project, Stephen Hazel brief though it was, realized we were involved in a forward-looking enterprise of some importance. More came out of this adventure than we had hoped for.” The Nez Perce attracted faculty members and artists from much larger schools to Olivet’s campus. “Some of the names of artists who worked at the Nez Perce which come easily to mind include: the internationally recognized potter and sculptor Richard Leach from Albion

College; Keith Achepohl, then at Hope College; and John Byle ’66 of the Technion in Haifa and the Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem, who remained on campus to become a valuable teacher and influence at the workshop.” Charles Pollack, Jackson Pollack’s brother, visited and advised on printmaking, as well. Project grants to work at the Nez Perce and to produce editioned works were available to artists on the faculties of nearby colleges and universities. “This gave Olivet College students the opportunity for informal critique, while working alongside professionals who were making their John Byle ’66 own prints,” Hazel said. The presses came from as far away as England and as near as Grand Rapids. Some were new, some were already inhouse but needed work, and some were from Hazel’s studio. Printmaking sessions at the Nez Perce were Saturdays from 8 a.m. to midnight. “There was great emphasis placed on the gestalt of invention. Young students, usually still in public school, were sought to work with us, an experiment of very advanced trajectory. The bravest of these young people was about 12-years-old and came from Toledo. During the week, and Saturday as well, Olivet College students were working in this atelier environment,” Hazel said. Hazel named the workshop after the Nez Perce Native Americans, who are known for defeating the U.S. Army in every engagement of a three-month-long fighting retreat to a promised sanctuary in Canada, only to be turned away at the border by

Canadian Mounted Police. At this point the tribe’s leader, Chief Joseph, surrendered with is famous speech, “Hear me, my chiefs. I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.” Hazel found Chief Joseph’s leadership inspiring, and was equally inspired by the leadership of George Hanson, chairman for the division of fine arts at the time. Efforts were soon made to “present a valid program to advance the arts within the demands of a liberal arts curriculum.” The Festival of the Fine Arts, which began in 1961, was founded by former art professor Richard Callner. The first festival included an art competition, and musical and literary activities, and in later years it was expanded to include the Pedro Paz Composers’ Competition, Abbie M. Copps Sonnet Competition, Theatrical Design Competition and the juried National Print and Drawing Exhibition. There were also concerts, professional theatre programs, theatre critic lectures, a variety of musical performances, literary readings and a foreign film series. Richard Callner One year, more than 1,000 works were received for the print and drawing exhibition, and Hazel had to choose which pieces would be included in the competition. “The experience for students, faculty, artists and patrons in the area was both stimulating and rewarding,” he said. Hazel’s tenure (1964-68) at Olivet College culminated in his becoming artistin-residence. Much of his last three years on campus was occupied by the Nez Perce,

but he also instituted a sculpture program and directed the print exhibition. Hazel decided to leave teaching when advances in his artwork seemed to demand more than his career would allow. After moving to Seattle, however, he was recruited by the University of Washington, and later Cornish College of Arts. He also brought lithography to the University of Iowa. In addition, Hazel founded a “cadre of artists known as Multiples Commune, or MULTICOM,” which included Nez Perce artists Achepohl, who was head of prints at University of Iowa, and Daniel G. Smith ’69, who started D.G. Smith Ink, an international artists’ supply firm. In the 1980s, Hazel established a studio in Portugal and in 1997 was made artist-in-residence to the Benedictine abbey of San Vincenzo al Volturno near Monte Cassino in Italy. In 1996, he co-founded +=studio blu=+ in Seattle, an atelier committed to art on paper and advancing the work of emerging artists in the world.

Top: “Horse Rising,” intaglio print; above: “Caryatids,” aquatint and woodcut, both by Stephen Hazel.




Rediscovering Her



After 30 years of teaching art in the Avondale School District, Janet AlmstadtDavison ’67 is retired. But sometimes, her life seems even busier now than when she was teaching. After graduating from Almont High School, in a small farming community in Michigan, Almstadt-Davison decided to attend Olivet College. Rev. Daniel Boxwell, her minister, who had just become pastor of the Olivet Congregational Church and a teacher at Almont, suggested that she apply to the college.




There were no art classes at her high school, so she decided to take a freshman art class with Professor Bill Whitney. “He was gracious in allowing the freedom to create,” Almstadt-Davison said. She remembers that he encouraged symbolic ideas. During her second year at Olivet, she continued to study art on campus when the Nez Perce Printmaking Studio opened downtown. Fond memories of a greatly organized work ethic by Stephen Hazel, former artist-in-residence and

professor of art, prepared her for a life of art and teaching. “With Olivet, there was self-investigating, kindness and small classes with special attention,” AlmstadtDavison said. After earning her bachelor’s degree, Almstadt-Davison went on to graduate school at Oakland and Wayne State universities. She also combined credits from Oakland and Olivet for her teacher certification. Soon after, she took an art teaching position with Avondale High School (AHS) in Auburn Hills.

Creativity Setting aside her personal printing and painting, Almstadt-Davison focused on learning and exploring with her students. She built a successful art program at AHS, was responsible for creating and developing the art curriculum,

“Back Porch,” watercolor.

and helped design a state-of-the-art studio complex. She also created learning concepts, such as individual art shows for graduating seniors and an authentic assessment panel for testing all senior art students. Since the 1980s, AHS students have been required to take art classes in order to graduate. After her retirement in 1999, Almstadt-Davison was able to revisit her artistic endeavors in full force. Being able to return to her love of producing art, exploring various mediums and participating in art workshops changed her life. She is deeply involved with the art community, including the Detroit Society of Women Painters and Sculptors, Romeo Guild of Art, Great Lakes Plein Air

Painters Association (GLPAPA) and many other organizations. Her work has been selected for a number of juried art shows and has been displayed all over the nation, including in Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Tennessee and Wisconsin. She also teaches classes at several locations, including Canterbury-on-the-Lake in Waterford and the Orion Art Center, and conducts a workshop for abused women who use art to express their emotions. “Creating items that are thought-provoking and capturing the essence of the person or landscape are primary goals of mine,” Almstadt-Davison said. “I enjoy realism, expressionism and abstraction, and teach these styles as well as produce them. I would hope that any viewer of my work will learn and feel the emotion that I have given to the piece of art.” As a member of GLPAPA, AlmstadtDavison paints every week during the spring, summer and fall. “A true plein air painting is completed from start to finish on site,” she said. A Traverse City vineyard, the Van Hoosen Farm in Rochester Hills, Meadow Brook Hall Gardens on the Oakland University campus, and the Cranbrook Estate grounds are some of the sites where she has painted. One of her favorite subjects is gazebos, especially the one at the Van Hoosen Farm. Olivet College was the perfect match for Almstadt-Davison, where she took painting, graphic and basic design, art history, sculpture and drawing classes.

“Little Clown,” pastel.

Her most memorable class, historical art techniques with Professor Whitney, involved fresco and other techniques that included silver point drawings, encaustic painting (putting paint down, then burnishing it with layers of wax), gold leaf painting and mixing her own egg tempera paint. Whitney was one of few artists teaching that kind of material at the time. Almstadt-Davison credits much of her success in life to Olivet’s rewarding learning environment.

“Red Sunflowers,” water media and ink.

Above left: Janet Almstdat-Davison ’67 with her oil painting, “Gilbert Lake.” SPRING





“My professors at Olivet taught me that being an artist was a perfectly reasonable way for a man to make a living. I’ll never forget that.” Doug Semivan ’71




Visitors to the Houston Hobby Airport, New York Public Library, Max Factor Inc. World Headquarters in North Carolina and the University of California at Los Angeles have one thing in common. They may have all witnessed Douglas Semivan’s artwork. These are just a few places in the United States that own a permanent collection by Semivan, a 1971 Olivet College graduate. Others include the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, Detroit Institute of Arts and Ford Motor Company in Dearborn. Semivan, who is now an associate professor and the director of the Art Department at Madonna University in Livonia, has permanent collections in more than 25 public institutions and companies across the U.S. It is an achievement that has taken him his whole life to accomplish. The Detroit native originally heard of Olivet College from his aunt and uncle, William ’58 and Beverly (Douglas) Brady ’60. While still in high school, Semivan attended Olivet’s summer program for the arts. He was so impressed with the college that it was the only one he applied to. During his time on campus, Semivan studied with professors John Byle, Stephen Hazel and Don Rowe. “Stephen, John and Don taught me that being an artist was a perfectly reasonable way for a man to make a living,” he said. “I’ll never forget that.” He also worked as an apprentice for the Nez Perce Printmaking Workshop at Olivet. After graduating with a degree in art, Semivan was convinced he was on his way to Seattle. He looked at the University of Washington with the intention of attending graduate school. But instead, he found himself at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills. A year later, he married his college sweetheart, Julie (Abraham) ’71. Another year later, he earned a Master of Fine Arts degree.

Semivan soon accepted a position as director and curator of the Detroit Artist’s Market, but also taught lithography, intaglio, drawing and papermaking at Wayne State University in Detroit. While he left the Artist’s Market in 1978, he stayed with Wayne State until deciding to go into the studio full time. At Olivet, Semivan had learned how to cut stone with Byle. It was an art that he soon gave up to concentrate on

Semivan and his work “Black Eclipse,” a mixed media piece completed in 2008.

printmaking. “I love what I do,” he said. “The best part is when I explain what to do and my students do it, and then smile for no reason. I love to see that making art delights them.” While Semivan loves teaching, he’s also been able to focus on his other passion – creating art. Since graduating from Olivet, Semivan has been published in more than five art publications; has participated in more than 60 art exhibits across the country; and has been written about in more than 25 articles, including an essay by Nancy Sojka, curator of prints, drawings and photographs at the Detroit Institute of Arts. In her essay, Sojka writes, “Paper, graphite, ink, pigment, maybe a varnish or lacquer, straight edges, a small assortment of templates, brushes, pencils, other drawing sticks, a limited palette – all basic stuff, yet in the hands and mind of the artist intent on communicating in a visual manner that is beautiful, intelligent, and provocative, they become more than the sum of their parts. It is no more than the

artist needing to make his visual statements, knowing his tools and the boundaries of their use, and through his own thoughts, conversations, and acts of making art, coming to new terms or discovering new answers to the labors that are his love. However, via these simple means, Semivan succeeds in reaching complex, profound, and elegant ends.” Semivan has also won more than 10 awards, including the Distinguished Alumni Award from Olivet College in 2004. “When I won the Distinguished Alumni Award, it was very moving for me,” he said. “Here I was someone who attended Olivet and was an artist, not an athlete. I was being awarded this because of my artistic abilities and success.” Semivan continues to be an advocate for the college. “I have a lot of gratitude for the quality of education I received at Olivet,” he said. “I don’t think I would have been the artist or teacher I am today, if it wasn’t for Olivet and the students and faculty I met there.”

printmaking. However, when he went into the studio full time, he decided to return to sculpting. “Sculpting came naturally to me,” he said. “I could easily find my way back after not doing it for 15 years.” Semivan concentrated on his work, both sculpting and printmaking. But he couldn’t stay away from teaching. In 1989, Semivan decided to return to academia. “I was looking for an opportunity and as luck would have it, there was an opening at Madonna University,” he said. “I wanted to leave a legacy and I felt the need to return to teaching. This position allowed me to do both.” For the past 20 years, Semivan has been teaching mostly fine art classes, including topics such as foundation, basic color and design, sculpting and “Edge of the Channel” aluminum sculpture commissioned for Madonna University. SPRING








Amy (Gardner) Dean ’92 found a perfect way to blend her two passions – art and science – as a dog breeder. Dean, along with her husband, Neil, and their two sons, Reiker, 11, and Elam, 7, own a kennel called Dogma Danes. They breed, raise and show registered Great Danes in Youngsville, N.C. Inspired by her three-dimensional sculpture background, Dean believes dog breeding is akin to creating a living sculpture. “It is applied science at its best,” she said. “Genetics are passed along, creating new life. It’s a little bit like playing God when you begin juggling specific genetic traits.” Dogma Danes has already raised a few champions and they enjoy competing in dog shows across the country. “The cool thing about showing dogs is that it is very intense,” said Dean. “It’s the perfect outlet for my competitive nature.” The dog show arena brings a whole new demand for artwork. Dean has a keen eye for beauty and structure. She identifies characteristics of both and learns each dog breed’s standard, combining all to create custom dog portraits. “When we began showing, I started painting fellow competitors’ dogs, and even a few show cats,” she said. “Prior to that, I specialized in Australian and African wildlife, so my preferred subjects were already animals.” Dean recently completed an ink drawing commission with watercolor washes, reminiscent of etchings. The portrait is an ancestor of one of Dean’s own Great Danes, CH Temira’s Blast from the Past V Winjamr. “She had a confident nature about her,” said Dean. “I was thrilled to be asked to do it.” Olivet College alumni may remember that she owned a merle-colored Great Dane mix as a student. Dean was living off-campus and needed a companion. She found Tucker, a free puppy, down the road

from the Kappa Sig house. Tucker was famous for escaping from the art building to attend Adelphic parties while Dean was still working in the studio. As a studio art major, Dean focused on painting, sculpture, and medical and biological illustration. “Going to Olivet influenced more than my career,” she said. “It had a profound impact on my life. I grew close to art professors Cindy Eller, Don Rowe and Gary Wertheimer.” She still remembers touring Olivet as a potential student and actually seeing students working in the studio when she

visited. She was impressed that Rowe and Wertheimer both took time to talk to her about her interests even as a high school senior. None of her other campus visits were like Olivet. “It was important to me that Olivet taught the basics and moved on from there,” recalls Dean. “We learned fundamentals of drawing, basic figure, to ‘see’ form, and ‘feel’ color and composition from the start. Olivet is a very tight knit community. From my science and lab classes, I learned about

biology and structure, anatomy and research. I still use those skills taking courses, reading books and attending seminars to research breeding for my dogs.” “I loved Cindy’s classes in medical and biological illustration, as it brought science and art together,” she said. “It taught me the importance of detail for types of art that I do now.” When she moved to North Carolina, Dean had a downtown studio in a public complex in Raleigh, where they hosted “first Friday” shows. She was the only artist who knew how to “hang a show,” or install art for exhibits, mainly because of her hands-on learning experiences at Olivet. Dean used to participate in about 10 art shows per year; but that has changed with her growing sons and dogs. “As an artist, I have to be aware of the current economy,” she said. “Usually in tough times, the extras, such as art, are the first thing to be cut from a budget. When the gas prices started going up a few years ago, I knew I needed more stable income than commissions. I took a job in customer service at the corporate office of Jerry’s Artarama.” Jerry’s Artarama is an international catalog art supply company, with 16 retail locations in the United States. Dean works in customer service, rating the quality of art products. She recommends specific brands of brushes, paints and mediums, sharing her knowledge of thousands of art materials. “I also experiment with new products and make recommendations to the company about what items they should stock for customers,” said Dean. “Plus, I get killer discounts on art supplies!” An avid painter, Dean has her paint box with her during lunch every day; she works on commission and personal projects in the evenings. She never quite imagined this is what she would be doing with her art degree, but she learned the art of exploration at Olivet.






He takes notes and creates rough Frank Corl ’94 uses drawings to sketches during a surgical procedure. simplify complex surgical procedures as a Afterward, he creates thumbnail sketches medical illustrator at The Johns Hopkins or a story board and finishes the sketches. University ( JHU) School of Medicine in Later, he meets with the doctor to discuss Baltimore, Md. He works as a research and make changes if necessary. The final associate and medical illustrator in the step is rendering each illustration, which, department of radiology for the advanced according to Corl, could take as little as a medical imaging laboratory. “I work with surgeons to communicate intricate procedures with detailed illustrations,” he said. “I sketch and take notes of each step of the process.” The images he creates are used for editorial, instructional or academic publications and presentations. “Medical illustrators are trained alongside medical students,” Corl said. “They take anatomy, physiology and cell biology, basically all the nonclinical classes. They note each surgeon’s details and break them down to the most important steps. Illustrations are used because photographs of the operative field are usually too Frank Corl ’94, with son, Rocco. messy or confusing and the camera lacks the ability to simplify.”




few hours or up to a week, depending on the project. “In even the most complex surgeries, I may only draw six steps of the whole procedure because some parts can be written or need little detail,” he said. “I can draw a small dotted line when the doctor says make an incision from here to here. It’s the new or difficult procedures that require all the details.” Corl landed his job at JHU right out of graduate school 10 years ago. He works closely with doctors who study disease processes based on computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. Most recently, he created images for a medical article about a kidney tumor based on an X-ray pattern from a CT scan. Corl designed illustrations of what the tumor looks like in real life. This article and others are published in print and Web medical journals or created for scientific exhibits at medical conferences. He recognizes that the medical field is changing. Corl feels like he is doing fewer

illustrations and more multi-media projects, such as animation and audio work for podcasts and online lectures, as well as creating tools for learning on educational Web sites. “I found out about medical illustration at Olivet,” he said. “I discovered that it was a very competitive field to get in to.” There are only five accredited medical illustrator programs in the country and each only admits four to eight students per year, according to Corl. “I enjoyed art and science classes and Cindy Eller (adjunct instructor of art) motivated me to go to class, work harder and study more. She had been through the process and pushed me to build a portfolio, take more science courses and contact graduate programs. “She inspired me to work harder and improve,” he said. “After Olivet, I went to grad school at the Medical College of Georgia; the difficulty of getting into the program fueled my competitive nature.” In addition to his regular research position, Corl shares his knowledge with students in Art as Applied to Medicine, the Johns Hopkins medical illustration graduate program. He teaches an average of six students annually in a medical color course using Adobe® Photoshop®.

He also owns his own freelance business, Corl Medical Media. He specializes in the development of anatomical, surgical, pathological and editorial content for medical books, journals, multimedia programs, exhibits and Web-based projects. Corl has been honored for his work and unique attention to detail. He feels it is a privilege to help advance medical science through his technical and educational artwork.

“I found out about medical illustration at Olivet. I discovered that it was a very competitive field to get in to.” - Frank Corl ’94






Looking through the pages of Steve Harrington’s portfolio is like flipping through an Architectural Digest. Each design is as stunning as the next. To ask Harrington, though, it takes more practice than talent to do what he does; “Talent only gets you so far,” he modestly states. Though this may be true, talent still abounds in this 1996 Olivet College alumnus. For the last 12 years, Harrington has traveled the country creating and executing design concepts for homes and businesses. With each day bringing a new opportunity, his job never lacks variety. “We may get a call to design and paint a house in Charlotte (N.C.) one day, the next month we’re restoring a home in Marshall, and the next month painting a mural,” he said of his work. Harrington grew up absorbing the craftsmanship of his great grandfather, who was a furniture and cabinet maker by trade, but also a landscaper and artist. He taught Harrington how to draw and paint. But it wasn’t until Olivet College, when Harrington met professors Gary Wertheimer and Don Rowe, that he became a disciplined artist. “I was more of an abstract artist and didn’t pay much attention to detail,” he said. “They taught me a mechanical approach to art and were big influences on the type of artist I am today.” After graduating from Olivet, Harrington started a small decorative

painting business, working on private residences. His family soon began encouraging him to acquire a more permanent position. He reluctantly took a job at Battle Creek Central High School as an art teacher. Though he appreciated the work, it wasn’t his passion. As if in answer to prayer, a year later Harrington received a call to work on a large project in Charlotte, N.C. The client flew him in a private jet to the job site. “I realized if someone’s willing to invest that

much time into me, then that’s what I need to be doing for a living,” he added. Today, Harrington’s business is one of the top decorative arts companies in the Midwest. He uses only the finest craftsmen and always makes his clients’ needs his top priority. He studies the work of former designers and architects and pays close attention to fashion industry trends to capture what’s “contemporary and current.” Harrington has archived

more than 300 different samples of finishes, plasters, textures and colors he has used or plans to use. Much like a concert pianist, Harrington’s gifts are a perfect combination of training and pure talent. His determination allows him to do with paint what one might otherwise find in nature. A painted wall at one job site looks like polished stone, the next like fine-aged leather. Woodwork that looks like Brazilian redwood is really painted fiberboard. “To be a craftsman is hard work,” he said of his portfolio. “It’s perfecting your techniques every single day.” Harrington’s favorite job to date was a home he did in Charlotte, N.C. The client gave him free reign to design and decorative paint the entire interior of the house – which just happened to be 7,000 square feet. The job took four months. Though his business is a priority, he places more emphasis on exceeding the needs of his clients. “It’s important that I focus on my business, but more important to give my clients the best product I can,” he said. “All the clients I’ve worked with I’ve become friends with. I try to reflect their personalities in my work; because of that, no two jobs are the same.” This concept has worked well for Harrington, who relies on word-of-mouth advertising to sustain his business. He has finished projects for celebrities, NASCAR executives, entrepreneurs Photos courtesy of Craft Photography.




and business owners. His paintings can also be found all over the world – from New York City to Aspen, from Kuwait to Chicago. But one thing you won’t find Harrington doing is boasting; he has a real distaste for pretentious artists. “There are artists who have some success and they blow it out of proportion – they make their success more than what it is,” he said. “I’ve met a lot of really great craftsmen and artists, and the best of the best are not like that at all.” Understanding that there’s security in keeping himself grounded, Harrington takes pride in remaining humble. He keeps his focus on doing his job well, working hard at client relations and always trying to land that next project. “I have the foresight to keep in mind that the next job is based off of how well I do this job,” he added. “We’re constantly reestablishing ourselves all the time – proving ourselves over and over again. “I have a real passion for my work and each job, each project just gets better.”






When Mike Dorsey ’77 thinks back on his Olivet College days, he remembers with great fondness his biology and chemistry professors, Drs. Ed Speare, Fred Gruen and Richard Fleming, and his literature professor, Bill Buchanan. But it was his art professor, Don Rowe, who influenced him most directly.

“Don really hit me the right way at the right time, and much of my style can be traced back to 8 a.m. painting class, along with color and composition and drawing classes,” Dorsey said. Now an accomplished painter, Dorsey credits much of his success to the techniques he learned at Olivet. Though his résumé has included everything from substitute teaching to farm work, he has always remained first and foremost an artist. After graduation, Dorsey set out “with a couple of stretched canvases under my arm and a duffel bag stuffed full of what I might need to hitchhike to a warm place where I could paint.” That warm place ended up being Gainesville, Fla., where he has lived ever since. He met his wife, Valerie Jones, and stepson, Nick, within a few months and he and Valerie have been together ever since. They had a son in 1986 and Dorsey became a stay-at-home dad. “I really know how to play,” he remarked with a chuckle. “I began to read aloud to my son’s classmates as a volunteer and my wife suggested that I substitute teach. I did that for the next seven years. I also did farm work at the University of Florida Forage Research Farm for seven years.” During that time, Dorsey continued to paint and sculpt and eventually began painting every day. By 2007, Dorsey had an exhibit in Florida and also shipped a number of his works, complete with frames made by Olivet alumnus Eric Witzke ’71, to Olivet for the college’s

Mike Dorsey ’77




Annual Alumni Invitational Exhibition. In order to find qualified artists for this exhibition, the college’s visual art faculty seeks out alumni they feel have done significant work since graduation. The alumni are then invited to show their pieces for several weeks on campus. Rowe remembers Dorsey as a talented fellow but also a free spirit. “He valued what he was doing and was an excellent craftsman, but he didn’t like

Mike Dorsey’s oil painting, “Addie.”

deadlines imposed by the structure of higher education because he felt they interfered with creativity,” Rowe said. “Over the years since he left Olivet, he has really turned into quite a fine painter. He handles light beautifully, and his sense of form and the surface detail of form are quite accomplished. “When Mike came back to Olivet in 2007, he felt that he could touch at least a little of his past, and it made me realize that Olivet is a rare kind of place where that can happen,” Rowe added. To see more of Dorsey’s work, visit


eager to learn the basic foundations and processes to follow. Don Rowe actually taught me how to paint from scratch, look beyond what’s in front of me, and think outside the box,” she said. “Gary Wertheimer’s classes were always memorable whether it was carving stone, or sculpting from a live model. His own personal art was most inspiring to me because it A commissioned painting of a boat named Priceless Pleasure on a incorporated so many nautical chart of the west end of Lake Erie, with the Perry Monument elements of nature. on Put-In-Bay in the background. I wanted to sculpt just like him.” Another art course, Biological During her years at Olivet College, Illustration with Cindy Eller, adjunct Salina (Kalnins) Hyder ’97 found her niche instructor of art, had a huge impact on as an artist and has blossomed in it ever Hyder. “I could draw pretty well before her since. classes, but she taught us how to copy The first class that influenced her, exactly what was in front of us, down to the however, did not teach her to draw, paint or last pore on our subject’s skin – and do it sculpt. It was Biological Anthropology with correctly.” Professor Donald L. Tuski ’85, Ph.D., who After Hyder graduated, she went to had not yet begun serving as president of the Florida Keys, where she worked for the college. “I think that was the class that three years as an art consultant at the impacted me the most,” Hyder commented. Wyland Gallery in Key West. There she “I have somehow managed to retain almost learned commercial art, in addition to the the entire textbook, which is currently on art of sales. She also came to love living my bookshelf.” near the ocean and ever since has Then there were her “hands-on” specialized in nautically-themed artwork, biology and ecology classes with Leah such as commissioned portraits of people’s Knapp, professor of biology – these boats. textbooks remain on her bookshelf as well. From Florida, Hyder came back to But it was the art department which her hometown, Tekonsha, and helped run finally became Hyder’s second home, her family’s ornamental concrete statuary studying under professors Don Rowe and business. Around the same time, she Gary Wertheimer. “Since I had no formal started her own Little Pebble Art Gallery, training in art, I was very open to ideas and


through which she exhibited the works of more than 100 artists. In 2004, Hyder went to work at Saper Galleries, the largest art gallery in East Lansing, as assistant director and lead art consultant. Then, in 2007, she was hired by nationally-distributed artist Chris Roberts-Antieau, of Manchester, to serve as studio manager. On her own, Hyder has created dozens of commissioned paintings of boats across the world, including several paintings for the U.S. Navy in San Diego, Virginia, Guam and Japan. As she put it, “I’m learning the aspects of production art and how to thrive as an artist in today’s economy. It’s not easy, but it is possible.” Hyder’s husband, Steve, is also a lover of water. “We got engaged on a boat in Key West surrounded by dolphins and got married on a boat on Lake Erie,” she explained, “and now we spend as many of our summers as possible at the Detroit Beach Boat Club on Lake Erie.” Though she and her husband live and work in southeast Michigan, Hyder continues to pursue art projects closer to her home territory, including, for example, a sculpture for the Family Health Center of Battle Creek, and a painting for the Battle Creek Visitor’s and Convention Bureau for the Pulse Fitness Festival. She was also the lead artist for a community-based mural project in downtown Tekonsha. Wertheimer remembers Hyder as an ideal student. As he puts it, “Salina was mature beyond her years and, regardless of the medium, rather than be self-satisfied, she always wanted to know how her work could improve. In other words, she seemed to realize the value of her education and the short amount of time she had to get as much as she could out of her Olivet College experience.”




Don Rowe works with a student during painting class.



Don Rowe, professor of art and Liberal Arts Core Program chair, says the students he taught at Olivet 40 years ago would not recognize the same professor today. During that time, Rowe said he has evolved not only as an artist, but as a teacher. “You learn pedagogy on the job,” he said. “You can be incredibly intelligent in your field, but how to get that material to students in a way they can understand and absorb is an evolvement that most professors go through.” Rowe, who began teaching visual art at Olivet right out of graduate school in 1968, said part of that evolvement includes




keeping track of students from the start of their education until graduation. “One thing that keeps professors energized at a place like Olivet is that you have more awareness of your students for all four years,” he said. “I have a much greater appreciation of students and what they go through; that’s the thing that’s kept me here and working. And it’s kind of nice to see how they turn out. “All of my experiences as a student had been in a small school,” he added. “I’m not saying a small school is for everyone, but it was for me.” When Rowe was an undergraduate, he planned to pursue a

career in graphic design. His interests changed, however, when he entered graduate school. “I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but I got a strong feeling that I really wanted to teach,” he said. After earning a master’s degree in printmaking, Rowe sent 300 job applications to various colleges and universities. “Every school I applied to answered,” he said. “Out of that, there were about 100 jobs available; out of that there were about eight I could have taken, and I actually had four contracts.” One of those contracts happened to be with Olivet. Rowe was attracted to the

college’s Nez Perce Printmaking Workshop, as well as the small campus atmosphere. “I interviewed at big universities like the University of Florida and Howard University,” he said. “But I

Oil painting, “Indian Canyon Road,” by Don Rowe.

really liked Olivet’s printmaking set-up and the school’s small scale. Those two things really attracted me and I never left.” Rowe added that part of what has kept him at Olivet over the years is the extra responsibility that comes with working at a smaller institution. “You’re doing a lot of different work,” he said. “From the time the school year starts until it ends, you’re running in high gear, because whatever you do in class you’re going to spend hours preparing for in advance. You also have events on campus, as well as meetings and committee work, and it’s unbelievably time consuming. “I think doing a lot of different work keeps people energized, and I enjoy that work,” he added. “Teaching the same thing over and over again is hard on a person; it burns them out.” To Rowe, teaching art is equally important to creating it. Although his personal artwork has to be put on hold during the academic year, his students become something like a creative outlet. “The advice of people like the abstract expressionist painters was, ‘Get a day job doing manual labor. Don’t use up any of your creativeness.’ And to tell you the truth, teaching art kind of does that,” he said. “When you’re teaching art to students, sometimes what would have

been your work of art ends up being given to them. You’re sort of vicariously living through what they’re doing as opposed to making it yourself.” Rowe said he creates most of his own artwork during the summer, when he has time to recover from the busy academic year. “I paint landscapes in the better weather and I like to work out of doors,” he said. “My wife (Susan Rowe, adjunct professor of art) does too. We’ll go to the Upper Peninsula or to Arizona and paint. We’ve equipped ourselves over the years to be pretty portable.” Rowe also paints still lifes during the college’s winter break, or when the weather is bad. “Monet went out and trudged through the snow to paint, but I don’t do that. I paint in the studio,” he said. “If I lived in Los Angeles I could paint

saying you have to be new and different. I was like that when I got out of school, but after awhile you realize it’s important to make the art whether you sell it or not. You just do it because you want to and you try to be the best at it. “Teaching people fine art is like giving them a drug habit,” he continued. “If you’re really interested, you do it whether you sell the work or not. But it costs time, it costs materials and you give away a lot of your emotion.” Rowe added that whether or not his students end up pursuing art-related careers, the important thing is that they continue to create the art and share it with the world. “Olivet’s Visual Arts Department has many of its graduates teaching, working in museums, owning galleries, designing and illustrating,” he said. “But for some students, art becomes

Watercolor of Burrage Library by Don Rowe.

landscapes all the time, but that would be boring, too.” Like his teaching style, Rowe said his artwork has evolved over the years as well. “I have become more traditional than I used to be,” he said. “When you’re young in the creative field, you’re thinking about competition. You end up with people

an avocation rather than a vocation. You end up having to get a day job to support this habit,” he continued. “I don’t feel guilty about doing that to students; I think it’s a valuable thing. College isn’t just about jobs, it’s about your life and how you live it.”






Gary Wertheimer, chair of the Visual Arts Department and professor of art, has spent a good part of his life sculpting. With a degree in art from Brooklyn College in Brooklyn, N.Y., and a Master in Fine Arts in sculpture from the University of Michigan, there’s no doubt that Wertheimer is passionate about creating art. But when it comes to teaching, it’s also clear to see that he’s passionate about something else – his students. Wertheimer has been teaching at Olivet since 1986 and has been the chair of the Visual Arts Department since 1987. While he teaches classes such as Visual Foundations, Sculpture and Self and Community, he also takes his students out of the classroom for a oncein-a-lifetime learning experience. Every other year during the Intensive Learning Term, Wertheimer takes them to Italy to study works by such famous artists as Michelangelo and Da Vinci. He enjoys these trips because he is not only able to view some of the world’s most famous works of art, but most importantly, he’s able to share it with his students so they can experience it for themselves, instead of just listening to him teach. The same is true in the classroom. Wertheimer is not the type of professor who stands in front of a class and tells the students what they need to draw, sculpt or paint. He wants his students to look inside themselves so they can truly experience art. In order to do this, he has them choose their own subjects for their art projects. “I always ask them to choose something that sustains interest for them,” he said. “This nudges them into thinking about what they want to do so that they really care about their project. “To me, that’s the thrill of art,” he continued. “I want it to be a part of them

Gary Wertheimer discusses sculpting with Casey Eash, a junior from Marshall. 26



instead of just a shell. I want it to have an emotional tie to them.” Wertheimer tries to have his students think about why they are doing what they do. Why did they paint a specific scene or sculpt a specific figure? “I have them write papers to articulate why they choose a specific object,” he said. “There needs to be some reason why they did it. You can’t just draw something. There needs to be a ‘because.’ You see, I can teach them basic skills, but what I can’t do is teach them how to be an artist. They need to reach inside themselves for that. They need to dig deep down to see what moves them. “Doing art is a journey within yourself,” he added. “It’s self-introspective and a part of self-discovery. The students probably don’t realize that now, but they will down the road.” Because of this, Wertheimer said many of his students, most of whom are not art majors, end up taking the pieces

Wertheimer teaches students that art is “self introspective” and “part of self-discovery.”

with them after the class has ended and showcasing them in their bedroom or apartment. For those students who are art majors, Wertheimer has his seniors choose a theme for their senior exhibit. “Hopefully they have already chosen a theme throughout their college career because I’ve had them pick things that matter to them. Then they have to write a paper for the exhibit explaining why they chose this theme.”

He pushes his students to understand themselves because he believes it will not only make them better artists, but better human beings. It’s something he believes he did not receive in his undergraduate days. “I was taught to draw what the professor wanted us to draw,” he said. “It wasn’t until I met Phil Grausman at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine in 1973 that I began to really grow as an artist.” Wertheimer attended an eight-week course at the school the summer before he graduated from Brooklyn College. There he met Grausman, a sculptor, whom he went to work for afterward. He was an assistant to Grausman for 10 years. “I learned a lot about life when I worked for Phil and I want to pass that on to my students. “Every student has to take a creative experience course to graduate from Olivet College,” he continued. “So a lot of non-art majors take my class. I get a charge out of those non-art majors who didn’t know they had it in them. Some, often, will change their degree to an art major. I get as much of a thrill working with those non-art majors as I do with those majoring in the field.” Wertheimer believes he’s a demanding professor who pushes his students in not only crafting their art, but their psyche as well. These are qualities that many of his students enjoy, including Casey Eash, a junior from Marshall. “Gary is the type of teacher who I can share my passion with and though he may not understand or agree, he will help keep that passionate fire burning and may help spark it even more,” he said. “When it comes to Gary, I know I

will be pushed to do my best and be taught all elements of art in which I need to be successful as an artist. “This is my first year in the Visual Arts Department and Gary has been influential on my studies,” he continued. “After having him in my first studio class, I easily decided that sculpture was going to be my medium. Gary goes out of his way to help all his students and has a different level of expectation for all students. At the same time he pushes each student to exceed his level of expectation. This makes me a better student and a better artist.” Outside forces may help make someone a better artist, but Wertheimer also believes that the way a student views his or her own artwork can help them improve. “You need a balance of having a big enough ego to make the art and enough humility to not be self satisfied to just walk away,” he said. “This pushes you to be a better artist.”

Wertheimer’s bronze sculpture, titled “Great Blue Heron.” SPRING



M. Gorton Riethmiller ’28

Front Elevation

Rear Elevation




BY SHANNON TIERNAN Olivet College is seeking funds to construct the M. Gorton Riethmiller Art Building. Riethmiller, a 1928 graduate of Olivet, served as president of the college from 1957 to 1970. The $3.7 million project includes a 17,000-square-foot Georgian revival-style building complete with an art gallery, fine art vault and art classrooms. The facility will be used primarily by the college’s Visual Arts Department, but also by other faculty, students, alumni, friends and the

example – while still encouraging artistic expression and freedom of thought amongst all students, whether they are business, fitness management, insurance or art majors. The college’s art faculty consists of educators and professional artists with a combined six decades of experience at Olivet. The proposed art building will sit on Main Street next to the college’s Burrage Library, which will significantly raise the visibility of the program and provide easier access to members of the community who wish to use the facility’s amenities. “I encourage all alumni – both In order to better preserve those who are artists and those the college’s historical who appreciate the arts – to atmosphere, the building will be constructed in Georgian support this initiative.” revival style to mirror three - Donald L. Tuski ’85, Ph.D. of the college’s oldest buildings. There are many ways in which alumni and friends community. Olivet has secured a $1.5 can support this project. Several naming million lead gift from Charles ’46, Ph.D., opportunities are available, or you can and the Rev. Dr. Peggy (Riethmiller) contribute to the building’s general Blackman; of this, $500,000 will be needs fund, which helps provide restricted to an endowment for ongoing amenities such as easels, tables and kilns. maintenance of the building, with the “I believe that artists with a sense of additional gift being earmarked for responsibility can help change society, for construction. The college was also awarded they are often on the cutting edge of a $1.2 million matching grant from the social issues and are intellectual leaders Kresge Foundation toward this initiative. when it comes to social change,” said We expect to raise the remaining $1 Donald L. Tuski ’85, Ph.D., college million through alumni and friends. President. “The arts are central to our Olivet College has a long-standing curriculum at Olivet College. That’s why history of advancing visual and performing we are moving forward with this building arts. In fact, the college has employed art endeavor in a fiscally responsible manner professors since 1847. Olivet’s faculty is – raising all of the capital ahead of dedicated to teaching the fundamentals construction. of art – color, composition and line, for

“I encourage all alumni – both those who are artists and those who appreciate the arts – to support this initiative,” he added. If you are interested in supporting the new art building or wish to provide a gift toward an item not listed, please contact Shannon Tiernan at (269) 749-7164 or via e-mail at

Naming Opportunities Sculpture court Sculpture studio Ceramic studio Printmaking studio Figure drawing studio Drawing studio Painting studio One of three offices

$250,000 $100,000 $ 50,000 $ 50,000 $ 50,000 $ 50,000 $ 50,000 $ 10,000

General Needs Flat drawers for art storage Sculpture modeling stands Art collection frames Pug mill Electric kiln Painting easels Potter’s wheels Ceramic work tables Glaze mixing table Ware cart plus shelves Kiln shelf cart Extruder and die set Painting stages Digital gram scales Kiln safety screen


$ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $


10,200 7,000 5,500 4,000 4,000 4,000 2,700 2,000 1,100 600 550 500 250 200 150




Ronda Miller knows how to connect students to Olivet College. When she joined the Olivet staff as an admissions representative in 2007, she helped bring in some of the highest enrollment numbers in school history. On top of her duties as a recruiter, Miller kept in touch with the students she courted, hosting forums about their experiences at Olivet and even teaching a Self and Community class. So when the college decided to take a new direction in retention initiatives this year, Miller became a likely candidate to oversee the job. “As an admissions representative I was always coming into contact with the individuals I recruited,” she said. “Usually in admissions you court someone, bring them here and although you see them from time to time, you normally hand them off. I just never let go.” Miller’s ability to connect and keep in contact with students proved to be a valuable asset to the college. In January, she was named director of student retention at Olivet. She now works to create and implement strategies for retaining students, as well as providing leadership to staff and faculty in that arena. Supporting Miller for the Spring 2009 semester are four employees who serve as the college’s retention team. Mike Smith, assistant football coach, serves as freshman retention officer; Dustin Byrd and Samantha Myers, assistant professors of interdisciplinary studies, serve as sophomore retention officers; and Larry Smith, director of the African-American Culture Center, serves as AfricanAmerican student retention officer. “Our number one goal is to improve our retention and graduation rates by developing programs and initiatives that will support the students and our college,” Miller said. Noting that students are more likely to graduate if they are tied to the campus through an academic program,




Ronda Miller (right) counsels Joshua Jackson, a freshman transfer student.

sport, organization or other social network, Miller designed several proposals to get them connected to Olivet from the start. She is currently working on a peer mentoring pilot program, in which incoming freshmen are matched with juniors and seniors from their major before they arrive on campus. “The upperclassmen provide a mentor relationship and establish communication with freshmen over the summer, so when they arrive in the fall the students are already connected to the school and their academic department,” Miller said. Another program she developed is a confidential alert system for faculty and staff who are concerned about students facing difficulties at Olivet. Called the Comet Alert Program for Employees, the

system allows anyone to refer a student to the retention team by filling out an online form. “You don’t have to be a professor to make a referral,” Miller said. “It’s for anybody who has contact with students, whether they are in housing, food service or other offices.” When the retention team is alerted of a student who seems to be pulling away from the college or experiencing an issue, they set up a meeting with the individual to examine the problem. “Sometimes they are lacking time management skills or they are worried about their financial aid; those are things we can explore and try to fix,” Miller said. A retention officer then meets with the student and uses a S.M.A.R.T. Plan (which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-

A Reporter and Historian BY LINDA JO SCOTT

defined goals) to identify the issue and come up with a solution. “We keep in touch with them to make sure they’re making progress and attending class, or to see if they have any concerns,” Miller said. Although the reasons students withdraw from Olivet vary, the retention team is currently examining and tracking information in four main areas: financial, academic, environmental and social. “We’re interceding with students now before they leave and usually their concern lies within those four main buckets,” Miller said. “We’re not going to pressure kids if they feel the need to go, but often times we can have a conversation and change their mind.” According to Miller, another critical component of retention is making sure that Olivet is the right college for the freshmen coming in. “In admissions we do behavior-based interviews to learn more about the students and see if Olivet is a good fit for them,” she said. “We’re recruiting academically prepared individuals who have an opportunity to connect with professors, coaches and current students during their admissions visit. We want to be strong on the front end and strong all the way through.” Miller believes her work in admissions has given her a unique perspective in helping individuals connect and stay with the college. “It’s been great for me to wear a couple of hats and also teach, because then you get a really wellrounded outlook about Olivet and our students’ experiences here,” she said. “Retention isn’t just academic. We want to do whatever we can to help our students stay here. This campus understands that everybody is involved in retention; it doesn’t just rest on one person’s shoulders.”

Camille Lavey ’76 will always be grateful to Olivet College for setting her on course toward a highly successful career at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. When she first came to Olivet in 1974, after having spent two years at Siena Heights University, she felt right at home on campus and in her history classes. Former history professor Cooper Milner encouraged her as a writer, saying, “Lavey, you’re a good historian but you’re a damn better writer.” Joel Epstein, professor emeritus of history, was also encouraging, designing special courses in British history for her because of her Camille Lavey ’76 interest in the subject. And she chuckled when she recalled Don Walker, Ph.D., Social Science Department Chair and professor of history, as a wonderful lecturer. “If you were a couple of minutes late to his class,” she explained, “he’d keep talking but erase the absent mark by your name, never missing a beat.” Lavey also remembers fondly going to weekly teas at Willis and Elisabeth Selden’s house. “It was wonderful being able to sit on the floor and listen to these people talking about any subject. It was a true learning experience, which taught me a lot about listening to people and watching them explore their own ideas, arguing back and forth.” After Olivet, Lavey joined the United States Army Reserve and studied, of all things, combat medicine. She served in the reserve for seven years while working and attending graduate school, studying journalism at the University of Colorado. While there, she pursued an internship with the “MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour.” She was hired as a field producer and covered

events such as an earthquake in Los Angeles; the deadly Waco, Texas siege; and the Oklahoma City bombing, learning in each incident how to deal with people trapped in horrific situations. “You don’t stick a mike under their noses,” she commented, going on to say how she marveled, in each case, at the way people stood together and recovered together. In 1999, Lavey was hired at the Newseum, which is an interactive museum of news and journalism, and has been there ever since. She started off doing library work and then became an associate producer, creating videos and special exhibits. “I couldn’t ask for a better career,” she explained, “marrying my love of history and my love of journalism.” Two colleagues in the world of news reporting influenced Lavey to become a better reporter. Susan Stamberg, of National Public Radio (NPR), for example, inspired her by saying that the human ear is shaped like a question mark, and it should be a constant reminder to the interviewer always to listen. And Bob Edwards, formerly of NPR, taught her that an interview should be a conversation, not a confrontation. “Watch people’s eyes, and when they light up, that’s where you need to go,” he would explain. Lavey’s close Olivet College friend, Carrie (Selden) Barnett ’77, also lives in the Washington area and is proud of Lavey’s career at the Newseum. As Barnett put it, “It is the perfect job for her, challenging and varied. The Newseum is an incredible place, loaded with information and fascinating exhibits. Camille can be proud of what she has accomplished in her position there.” Lavey would enjoy hearing from former classmates. E-mail her at




New Minors Enhance Curriculum


Karen Chaney, Ph.D.


The faculty and staff at Olivet are always working to ensure that the college remains one of the most competitive private institutions in Michigan. Part of this process includes re-evaluating the curriculum and creating new, in-demand courses. Thanks to a review program funded by Dave Cutler ’65, the faculty has been doing just that – examining academic programs and designing new majors, minors and concentrations for students to enhance their education and become more marketable in their chosen profession. Two new minors and one concentration have already been approved for the Fall 2009 semester by the college’s board of trustees. Students now have the option of enrolling in a religious studies and ethics minor; an insurance claims investigation minor; and a concentration in musical theatre.




Religious Studies and Ethics The religious studies and ethics minor was created to address growing student interest in religious studies, as well as reflect the importance of ethics in the college’s vision and mission. The minor requires students to complete 24 semester hours in areas ranging from world religions, to contemporary ethics, to church history and more. According to Karen Chaney, Ph.D., assistant professor of religious studies and ethics, the new minor will allow Olivet to “situate itself similarly to other small colleges and become more competitive with other regional schools in this area of study.” The program is being promoted among current and prospective students, and is designed to appeal to: students wishing to explore religious studies and ethics as an academic subject; students

supplementing their major, whether it be journalism, history, sociology and anthropology, or professional training in the sciences or business; and students approaching religious studies from a particular faith position, taking courses to deepen knowledge of their own tradition. The program emphasizes critical thinking and writing, with the goal that students will gain a critical perspective on a variety of contemporary issues in religious studies and ethics. Course options for students enrolled in the minor include: Religion and the Quest for Meaning; History of Christianity I and II; Introduction to Ethics; and Gender, Sexuality and Religion. Two special topics courses will also be taught, including: Islamic Tradition, which examines Islam’s beliefs, rituals and politics, as well as misconceptions and biases about the religion; and Religion and Film, which explores the way religious life and experiences are depicted in film. Introduction to Philosophy and New Testament Greek are also being offered in the fall.

Insurance Claims Investigation Olivet’s new insurance claims investigation minor is truly one-of-a-kind, as no other institution in Michigan or surrounding states offer an academic program in this field. The Risk Management and Insurance Center at Olivet combined with the criminal justice program to create the minor, which teaches students how to investigate and identify fraudulent activity in insurance claims. According to Mike Hubbel, director of the Risk Management and Insurance Center, the minor has been met with great interest from many insurance claims professionals throughout Michigan. Regina Armstrong, assistant professor of criminal justice, said since it is the first of its kind in the regional area, Olivet will be “the leader in the field of claims investigation education.” The program was designed with review and input from several insurance claims investigation experts, including

alumni Rodney Thuma ’95 and Clair Stevens ’80, adjunct instructor of business. The minor requires a claims investigation internship, in addition to at least 28 semester hours in insurance and criminal justice courses. The internship is intended to give students hands-on experience in estimating programs, cases and attendees at court proceedings, while allowing employers to evaluate the knowledge and performance of Olivet students. According to Armstrong, the minor is in high demand from many claims investigation experts, and students who complete the required courses would be invaluable to insurance companies. The program is also expected to attract nontraditional students, such as retired police officers researching a Mike Hubbel second career. Students who enroll in the insurance claims investigation minor must complete courses such as Principles of Insurance and Risk Management, Commercial Insurance, Studies in Insurance: Claims Adjusting, Criminal Investigations, Crime Scene Investigations and more.

Several additional majors and minors have been approved by the college since this article was written. They include an informational technology management major; actuarial science major; computer science major and minor; computer science education major and minor; and writing major.

Musical Theatre Concentration The Performing Arts Department is now offering a concentration in musical theatre for students majoring in music. Based on a curriculum designed by the National Association of Schools of Music, the concentration combines the best elements of music, theatre and dance at Olivet. Timothy Flynn, Ph.D., Performing Arts Department chair and assistant professor of music, believes this pandisciplinary approach to the performing arts will allow students to “nurture their creative spirit” at a level that is truly representative of a liberal arts institution. Currently, only one other school in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association, Adrian College, offers a degree program in musical theatre. Olivet’s program will attract a wide range of students with background in music, theatre and dance, while offering current students unique performance opportunities. According to Flynn, the concentration will help Olivet build relationships with the community, as well as theatre professionals in the area. Many actors, directors, technical directors and musicians have already expressed interest in working with Olivet students as part of the program. The concentration is also expected to appeal to the college’s music education majors, as many will be required to produce music and theatre works as they find teaching positions in middle and high schools. Students who choose to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Music with a concentration in musical theatre are required to take 60 semester hours of core music courses, 34 semester hours of general education courses and 26 semester hours of theatre courses. The curriculum consists of the course work for the music major with a specific cohort of classes in acting, performance, technical theatre and dance.

Master of Business Administration in Insurance Approved The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools recently approved a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Insurance degree program at Olivet College. The HLC extended the college’s accreditation to include the degree through its validation process in April. “The new MBA in Insurance is a great next step in making sure Olivet College continues to be a leader in insurance education for the state of Michigan, the country and even the world,” said President Donald L. Tuski ’85, Ph.D. “With this program, we hope to raise the level of expertise in the insurance profession, which is an important part of our vision of education for individual and social responsibility.” Offered entirely online, the MBA was designed to appeal to full-time working insurance professionals throughout the nation, as well as recent graduates looking to continue their education. It is one of only three online master’s programs in insurance in the United States, and the only one to offer blended distance learning techniques. These include “synchronous” elements, such as live webinars and interactive video, and “asynchronous” elements, such as online posting capabilities. “With the challenging times that we live in, and a renewed interest in sharpening skills and knowledge for the next challenges to come, we think the time is right to offer insurance education at a higher level that is more accessible to business professionals,” said Mike Hubbel, director of the Risk Management and Insurance Center (RMIC) at Olivet. “This includes an MBA concentrating on the strategic management of the insurance enterprise, delivered online with a blend of live video meetings and self-paced assignments between online meetings.” The MBA was created as an outgrowth of the RMIC. Students must have earned a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average during their undergraduate studies to enroll in the MBA program, among other requirements. In addition, they must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA to receive their MBA. For more information, visit the college’s Web site at mba.php, or e-mail




Welcoming Latino S



Latino students from Lansing’s Eastern, Everett and Sexton high schools now have the opportunity to receive full tuition at Olivet College. “We want to attract the brightest and best Latino students,” said Larry Vallar, vice president for enrollment management. This was made possible by the creation of three new scholarships: the Larry Vallar/Olivet College Scholarship of

Freshman Alma Torres

“I have already told a lot of my Latino friends and family about Olivet College. Many of them didn’t know about these scholarship opportunities until I told them. I made sure to tell them that Olivet is a great college!” - Alma Torres




“We want to attract the brightest and best Latino students,” said Larry Vallar, vice president for enrollment management.

Excellence, the Olivet College/Lansing School District Libertad Scholarship and the Olivet College/Lansing School District Orgullo Scholarship. Olivet partnered with the Lansing School District’s Chicano Latino Advisory Committee to create the scholarships. “Olivet College wants to continue its mission as a school with a good deal of diversity,” Vallar said. “Latinos make up less than two percent of our current population and our goal is to increase that significantly.” Vallar sees Lansing “as a sister town,” he said. “Lansing just made sense because it is an area with a lot of Hispanic students.” Freshmen Alma Torres and Marcus Ledesma were the first recipients of the scholarships. Torres graduated from Everett High School last spring. She is majoring in biology with a pre-medical concentration and a minor in biochemistry. She is also a Ronda Miller member of Alpha Pi Upsilon, the college’s organization for pre-medical students, was named to the Spring 2009 President’s List and played on the women’s soccer team in the fall.

g Lansing’s Students “I found out about the scholarship from Ronda Miller (director of student retention),” Torres said. “I didn’t know much about the college until Ronda came to my high school and talked about the scholarship opportunity.” Torres plans to spread the word about Olivet and the attention she has received here. “I have already told a lot of my Latino friends and family about the college,” she said. “Many of them didn’t know about these scholarship opportunities until I told them. I made sure to tell them that Olivet is a great college!” Torres has plans to establish a new club on campus to promote the Latino community. “I hope to form the club by the next school year. The main purpose of this club is to make other students aware of the Latino culture and to help people who are in need. Larry Vallar has been very supportive of this idea and has volunteered to be our adviser. I am very excited about starting this new club, and everyone is welcome to come whether they are Latino or not,” she said. Marcus Ledesma graduated from Eastern High School. He is majoring in criminal justice with a minor in political science. Ledesma is also working with Torres and other students to put together the Latino organization. Originally, Ledesma was not considering applying to Olivet. “I was thinking about a lot of Big Ten schools,” he said. But after researching the college further and hearing about the Latino scholarships, he changed his mind. Ledesma feels that Olivet College has embraced the Latino community. “As the Latino population increases on campus and our organization gets running, the college has welcomed us with open arms. Personally I have had nothing but good experiences here,” he said. Ledesma, who was featured in an article in Adelante Forward magazine last spring, said, “After law school, I would like to open up my own firm when the time is right. It is an honor and privilege to receive Olivet’s scholarship. It takes a tremendous burden off of my mother and I to come up with college funds.” Three new recipients of the Latino scholarships will be attending Olivet in the fall. For more information, visit, or call the Student Services Center at (269) 749-7645.

Freshman Marcus Ledesma

“As the Latino population increases on campus and our organization gets running, the college has welcomed us with open arms. Personally I have had nothing but good experiences here.” - Marcus Ledesma






Senior Alexander Esters knows how to overcome obstacles. One of his first obstacles as a freshman at Olivet, he said, was simply getting dressed for class. Esters was homeschooled in Lansing before he enrolled at the college and never had to change out of his cartoon character pajamas to engage in the learning process. “I heard of Olivet from President Tuski, actually,” Esters said. “I played soccer with his son, Ian, my senior year.” Upon enrollment, Esters became a fitness management major and joined several student organizations to get the whole college experience. Since then, he has been involved in intramural basketball, the Society of Hosford Scholars and Phi Epsilon Kappa, the college’s Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Sport (HPERS) professional society. He has also served as a resident adviser (RA) for almost three years, worked on the summer conferences staff, served as an intern for the football team, and filled a supervisory work-study position at the Laimbeer and Cutler fitness centers. Esters’ endless list of activities proves he has adjusted well to college life. In fact, he believes his homeschooling made the transition to college easier for him. “I think it can be attributed to the sense of independence I have,” he said. “I don’t mind doing things myself.” Esters has been successful academically, as well. He earned the Sophomore Award for Leadership, and has been on the Dean’s List and President’s List numerous times. For




someone who claims, “one of my biggest obstacles was being taught,” he has achieved tremendous accomplishments in the classroom. Nancy Van Hoozier, associate professor of HPERS, can attest to Esters’ capabilities. “Alex is a very good student who knows what he wants and how to accomplish his goals,” she said. “He has an excellent work ethic to go along with his natural intelligence.” Todd Hibbs, assistant professor of HPERS, serves as Esters’ academic adviser. “I have found that there are good students, then there are good students who are also greatly invested in their learning. Alex is among those in the front of this proud pack,” Hibbs said. After college, Esters hopes to pursue a graduate program in kinesiology or exercise physiology. He also hopes to teach at the college level one day. “I see so much potential in my peers and in myself in the HPERS field,” he said. “I want to help others succeed at our concentration.” One could say Esters aspires to be more like Hibbs, who he says is his mentor at Olivet. Esters said Hibbs has helped him with graduate school research and preparation for life after college. “His classes have made me think a lot as well,” he added. “Also, he is very approachable and has given me great advice on developing my strengths and recognizing my

weaknesses. I always seem to come away knowing more after talking to Professor Hibbs.” Like his mentor, Esters is a role model on campus as well, and tries to exhibit behavior consistent with the Olivet College Compact. Senior Jacob Dungey, who serves as an RA with Esters, said he is “the type of person that if you need anything he’s there. He’s a confidant and a trustworthy guy.”



Any student or faculty member who has met Kristen Wolfolk knows that she is a hard working, dedicated student with a great love for learning and helping others. Wolfolk is a sophomore majoring in sports management. “I want to work with professional sports teams,” she said. “It is my dream to be a sports agent.” She is also on the women’s tennis team and serves as a member of Phi Epsilon Kappa, the college’s Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Sport (HPERS) honor society. When Wolfolk isn’t in the classroom or busy with her co-curricular activities, she is usually fulfilling her duties as a

“I like the sense of being responsible and people relying on me to help them out. The most rewarding aspect about being an RA is the friendships that I build with my residents.” Kristen Wolfolk

resident adviser (RA) in Dole Hall. “I wanted to be an RA because I thought it would be something I would be good at,” she said. “I like the sense of being responsible and people relying on me to help them out. The most rewarding aspect about being an RA is the friendships that I build with my residents.” Wolfolk, who is from Lansing, chose to attend Olivet because she loved the friendliness of the faculty, staff and students here, as well as the small college atmosphere. “I love how small Olivet is,” she said. “It allows me to get to know a lot of people, and work one-on-one with my professors.” She favors two professors in particular – John Homer, Ph.D., Business Administration Department chair and professor of economics, and Todd Hibbs, assistant professor of HPERS. “They are my favorite instructors because they push me to do my best and they are really easy to talk to,” she said. She added that Stress Management, taught by Hibbs, is her favorite class this semester. “It has helped me to manage my stress in smart ways before it starts to affect me physically,” she said. “I enjoy most of my classes, but this one has helped me a lot so far.” Wolfolk also credits tennis as a stress reliever. “I decided to join the tennis team because I love the sport and I played in high school,” she said. “I love being around my team. I have very close friendships with a few of the other girls and I enjoy the fun they bring to the sport.”

Wolfolk has set many goals for herself. “I’d like to go to law school after graduation,” she said. “But after that, my career goals are to work with professional sports teams and to be successful in whatever I do and whoever I work with.” In her free time, she likes to devote a few hours to her two favorite hobbies, reading and writing poetry. But most of all, she enjoys spending time with the friends she has made on campus. “That is probably my favorite thing about Olivet, my friends and all of the different people here,” she said. “We are so diverse and that’s awesome.”



Buy a Step, Buy a Staircase Olivet College prides itself on using our facilities to their fullest extent, fixing problems as they arise to extend their use. But there comes a time when things simply can’t be fixed anymore. Olivet College recently completed some much needed renovations to a Shipherd Hall staircase – but we have two more to go. If we do not renovate these staircases by the start of the fall semester we will be unable to house students in the corresponding areas of Shipherd Hall due to safety concerns. Olivet College is in critical need of your support. If you would like to make a donation to this effort, please call (269) 749-7625, or visit the Olivet College Web site at, and click on “Make a Gift” to make an easy online payment. Or, mail your gift to 320 S. Main St., Olivet, MI 49076. Buy a Step, Buy a Staircase giving levels: $235,000 - Total replacement cost $5,000 or more - Name on a plaque in Shipherd Hall main lobby and name on staircase $1,000 - Name at top of staircase near entrance to building $500 - Name on an individual step Your gift, no matter the amount, will provide Olivet College students a safe and up-to-date learning and living environment for many more years to come.

Olivet President Donald L. Tuski ’85, Ph.D., presents a gift to Hastings Mutual Insurance President Bill Wallace.

Hastings Mutual Scholarship Olivet College recently received a donation from Hastings Mutual Insurance Company to create the Hastings Mutual Insurance Company Endowed Student Scholarship. The organization will contribute $100,000 over four years for the scholarship, which will be awarded annually to a junior or senior majoring in insurance to help pay for their tuition at Olivet. In addition, the college will name a classroom in the insurance wing of the Mott Academic Center after the company.

Jare T. Klein Wrestling Room Fund 0Raising Stemming from a longstanding tradition of continued growth and success, the Olivet College wrestling program is now preparing for its future. Efforts are being made to raise $100,000 by Sept. 1, 2009 for the completion of the Jare T. Klein Wrestling Room, Jare T. Klein, former a state-of-the-art Olivet College head facility that will wrestling coach. provide Olivet wrestlers with the equipment and space necessary to continue the success of the program.




By giving to the Olivet College wrestling program, you are providing athletes with items needed to outfit the structure, including a team locker room, 2,500-square-foot mat area, 400-squarefoot training equipment area, takedown machine, coaches’ offices and storage, filtration system, audio/video system, scoring clock, trophy showcase and wall of fame area. When you give at the following levels, your name will be featured on a plaque in the facility, which will be installed in The Cutler Event Center. For more information, contact Todd Hibbs at (269) 749-7671 or e-mail

Giving Levels: $250 Takedown Club Recognition on plaque $500 Varsity Club Recognition on plaque, plus name plate on a locker or bench $1,000 All-American Club Recognition on plaque, plus name plate on a locker or bench and an equipment item $5,000 Champions Club Recognition on plaque, plus name plate on a locker or bench and either wall of fame, video wall, scoreclock or trophy case $10,000 Legends Club Recognition on plaque, plus name plate on locker room, head coach office, assistant coach office or wrestling hallway

A Charitable Gift Annuity will rarely outperform a well-diversified portfolio, but in these economic times for those already in retirement, this might be a good fit. With uncertainty all around us, this type of gift may meet several of the personal goals for you and your spouse. You can help Olivet College, as well as meet some specific financial goals.

A CHARITABLE GIFT ANNUITY OFFERS: The ability to support Olivet College while receiving a guaranteed stream of income. An immediate income tax deduction plus capital gains tax savings.

An annuity rate that may be higher than what your current investments offer. The assurance that the second beneficiary (usually a spouse) can can count on the CGA for financial stability.


Annuity Rate 4.6% 4.9% 5.2% 5.6% 6.1%

Gift Amount $10,000 $10,000 $10,000 $10,000 $10,000

Annual Payment $550 $570 $610 $670 $760

Income Tax-Free $322 $353 $401 $468 $559

Charitable Income Tax $2,233 $2,981 $3,615 $4,197 $4,746 Rates effective June 1, 2009

For more information, contact Ed Heator ’80, development officer, at (269) 749-6691 or SPRING




T Jason Brew

The ending was not what either had hoped for, but the journey to get to that point was incredible. The voyage began at age four, where Olivet College seniors Jason Brew and Kyle Vanderhyde discovered the sport of wrestling. Growing up in the town of Sparta, about 20 minutes north of Grand Rapids, Brew and Vanderhyde starred on the mats during their high school careers, finishing their senior season with perfect records and Michigan High School Athletic Association individual championships. As their high school days were winding down, Brew and Vanderhyde had a difficult decision to make on where to attend college. In April 2005, fellow Sparta teammate Rob Yahrmarkt decided that Olivet College was where he wanted to get his education and continue his wrestling career. A few weeks later, Yahrmarkt convinced Brew to join him at Olivet.

The last of the trio, Vanderhyde, finally decided (albeit a few weeks before classes started) that Olivet was also going to be his college. Upon entering Olivet, Brew and Vanderhyde each set goals to become National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) champions. Brew finished his freshman season with a 32-7 record, while Vanderhyde had a 31-7 record despite wrestling almost the entire season with mononucleosis. Each finished second at the NCAA Division III Midwest Regional to just miss qualifying for the national championships. After stellar freshman campaigns, Brew and Vanderhyde began their sophomore seasons with high aspirations of making it to the NCAA Division III National Championships and winning a national title. Both were headed on that route until midway through the season, when Brew suffered a season-ending knee injury. Vanderhyde advanced to the national championships, where he earned AllAmerican honors with a runner-up finish.

The runner-up finish made Brew and Vanderhyde excited to get started with their junior seasons. The wrestlers kept their dreams alive, as both won regional titles to qualify for the national championships. Brew advanced all the way to the national title match, where he faced Aaron Wernimont from Wartburg College of Iowa. Brew lost the match by a 7-3 score to earn All-American honors for the first time in his career. Meanwhile, Vanderhyde lost a close match, 2-1, in the semifinals and another in the third-place match to finish in fourth-place and become Olivet’s first two-time AllAmerican in 14 years. According to Brew and Vanderhyde, one of the best things to happen to them during their time at Olivet was a 15-day service, mission and training trip to Central Asia last summer. They were joined by five wrestlers from Augsburg College of Minnesota, as well as Augsburg’s head wrestling coach. The mission and training trip helped them remain focused on their senior season. Once school started, Brew and Vanderhyde sat down with Head Coach Todd Hibbs to discuss how their final season would be broken up into two parts – everything leading up to nationals and the national championship itself. Brew entered the season second behind Wernimont in the national rankings, while Vanderhyde was the No. 1 ranked wrestler. During the regular season, Brew and Vanderhyde won their weight class at the Ohio Northern University (ONU) Invitational, Elmhurst (Ill.) College/Al

Above: Vanderhyde (left) and Brew as childhood friends.




Hanke Invitational and Wheaton (Ill.) College/Pete Willson Invitational. Brew was named the Outstanding Wrestler at ONU and Wheaton. The duo also helped Olivet finish eighth at the National Wrestling Coaches Association National Duals for the second time in three years and post a 3-1 record at the Desert Duals in Las Vegas. Both were healthy and ready for the NCAA Midwest Regional in February. Brew captured his weight class in dominating fashion to earn the automatic bid to nationals. Meanwhile, Vanderhyde won his first two matches and advanced to face Rocky Mantella from Delaware Valley (Pa.) College in the championship match. In the most anticipated match of the day, Mantella got a takedown in overtime to beat Vanderhyde. After the event, the coaches voted unanimously for Vanderhyde to receive one of the region’s five at-large berths to the national championships. The stage was now set for Brew’s and Vanderhyde’s final rounds of collegiate wrestling – the moment they had trained for their entire careers. Each advanced into the quarterfinals, where Brew won, 7-2, while Vanderhyde suffered a heartbreaking loss, 8-3. Vanderhyde then lost his next match to fall short of earning AllAmerican honors. Brew kept his dream alive with a 6-2 win in the semifinals, setting up a rematch with Wernimont for the national title. Wernimont scored the first point of the match in the first period on a stalling call. To start the second period, Brew tied the match with an escape point. In the third period, Wernimont got out from the down position to take

a 2-1 lead. Both wrestlers stayed on their feet for the rest of the period, giving Wernimont his second straight national title. The last four years of Olivet College wrestling will forever be known as the “Brew and Vanderhyde Era.” Brew finished his Olivet career with a 129-27 record, while Vanderhyde posted a 110-20 record. Along the way, they combined to earn four All-American plaques, including three national runner-up finishes and four Scholar All-American awards. At the 2009 Olivet College Honors Convocation, Brew received the Gary Morrison Outstanding Male Athlete Award, while Vanderhyde was the recipient of the Walter B. Sprandel Athletic/Scholastic Achievement Award.

The journey may have ended short of a national championship, but it was full of lifetime memories. The lessons learned over the last four years will help them in the future. Brew has accepted a position to be an assistant wrestling coach and pursue his master’s degree at Ohio Northern University. Vanderhyde has accepted a position at the Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, N.J., where he will serve as mathematics teacher and head wrestling coach. “It has been such a joy to see all of their hard work pay off,” said Hibbs. “We always knew that Jason and Kyle would collect a lot of wrestling awards. However, to get the types of offers that they are getting with an economy like we have right now – it demonstrates that when balanced with academic commitment, the work ethic developed in sport can transition perfectly into one’s career.”

Kyle Venderhyde (left)






This past summer, Olivet senior Brandon McClary let his younger brother, Michael, borrow his 1996 Buick Regal. Michael and some friends went to play golf, but after a few minutes of driving, they realized there was something burning under the hood. Concerned about the vehicle, they got out. A few minutes later, the car was in flames, and by the time Brandon saw it, it was beyond repair. The brotherly trust shown on this day was also evident on the basketball court the last two seasons. Together, Brandon and Michael have helped play a Michael McClary Brandon McClary significant role in changing the This season, Brandon and Michael perception of Olivet basketball. Before helped Olivet post a 13-14 overall record their arrival in the fall of 2007, the and finish fourth in the MIAA with a 7-7 program had an 11-40 combined record in record. The 13 wins were the most in school the two seasons prior. During their first history since the 1999-2000 campaign. season (2007-08), the Comets had a 9-16 The duo also led Olivet to the MIAA overall record and their five Michigan Tournament semifinals for just the second Intercollegiate Athletic Association time in school history. (MIAA) wins matched the total of the Brandon led the Comets in scoring at previous two seasons. Both were second17.8 points per game on 51 percent team All-MIAA selections.

shooting. Right behind him was Michael, who averaged 12.8 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. Brandon earned first-team AllMIAA honors, while Michael was a second-team selection. “They played very well together,” said Head Coach Gene Gifford. “You talk about brothers having an instinct for each other, I believe that’s true. They were very good at the high-low game, and the low-high game. They’re very unselfish players, not just with passing to each other, but also kicking the ball out to teammates. These two helped provide a very solid foundation for the future of the Olivet men’s basketball program.” The fire that drives Michael comes not from the aforementioned automobile, but the desire to match or be better than his brother. “I did strive to be better than him,” said Michael. “That pushed me to play my hardest. It is going to be different next year without Brandon, but I am confident that the team will continue to improve and be one of the elite teams in the MIAA.”

2009 Olivet College Varsity Football Schedule SEPT.

5 12 19 26

WITTENBERG UNIVERSITY @ Elmhurst College CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY - Athletic Hall Of Fame @ North Central College

6 P.M. NOON 1 P.M. 6 P.M.


3 10 17 24 31

@ Albion College* KALAMAZOO COLLEGE* - Homecoming TRINE UNIVERSITY* @ Alma College* HOPE COLLEGE*

1 P.M. 2 P.M. 1 P.M. 1 P.M. 1 P.M.


7 14

BYE WEEK - NO GAME @ Adrian College*

1 P.M.

BOLD and CAPS denote home game *Denotes Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association game 42



Comet NEWS & NOTES The Olivet College men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams were third and fourth, respectively, at the 2009 Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) Championships. Sophomore Kellen Beckwith, of Farmington Hills; senior Steven Davis, of Davidsville, Md.; and senior Amy Kellen Beckwith Johnson, of Gaylord, earned All-MIAA honors. Beckwith and Johnson represented Olivet at the 2009 NCAA Division III National Championships. With an eighth-place finish in the 100-yard backstroke, Beckwith earned AllAmerican honors and is the first male swimmer in school history to earn that honor. The men’s basketball team finished its season with a 13-14 overall record and was fourth in the MIAA with a 7-7 record. The Comets hosted an MIAA Tournament first round game and advanced to the tournament semifinals for the second time in school history. The baseball team posted a 19-21 overall record and tied for third-place in the MIAA standings with a 15-13 record during the 2009 season. The Comets had two games that will be remembered forever by the players, as well as in the record books. The first was a 7-0 shutout victory over NCAA Division I foe Scott Purdy University of Toledo (Ohio). The second was a seven-inning no-hitter thrown by sophomore Sean Alexander, of Fenton. Senior Scott Purdy, of Traverse City, started 129 of 136 career games at first base. He ends his career ranked among the all-time leaders in batting average (fifth, .321 ), doubles (3rd, 30), RBI (5th, 93) and fielding percentage (2nd, .984).

The softball team finished the 2009 season with a 23-11 record, including a perfect 12-0 record during its spring break trip at the Gene Cusic Classic in Fort Myers, Fla. Four seniors ended outstanding careers on the softball diamond with their names sprinkled Anna Braner throughout the record book. Anna Braner, of Belmond, Iowa, finishes her career as the all-time leader in runs scored (95), doubles (28) and stolen bases (37). Kacey Darling, of Hartford, is the career leader in home runs (13), RBI (76) and total bases (195). Kacie Rosecrants, of Parma, is the all-time walks (49) and at-bats (408) leader. Heidi Wear, of Hastings, is the all-time leader in hits (133) and triples (11). These four seniors combined to play in 503 games, including 493 starts. For their efforts during the season, Braner and freshman Danielle Vespa, of St. Clair Shores, were named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-Central Region teams. Braner was a first-team selection, while Vespa earned second-team honors. At the 2009 MIAA Track and Field Day, sophomore Sarah Caldwell, of Bronson, broke the Sarah Caldwell school record and finished in secondplace in the 400meter dash. Freshman David Ray, of Lansing, was the conference champion in the 110-meter high hurdles and runnerDavid Ray up in the 400-meter hurdles. During the season, he set a new school record in the 110-meter hurdles.

The men’s and women’s golf teams competed at the NCAA Division III National Championships May 13-16 at the PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie, Fla. The men finished in 27th-place, while the women tied for 11th-place. Senior Lindsay Pipkin, of White Lake, earned second-team All-American honors from the National Golf Coaches Association (NGCA). Pipkin, along with sophomore Amber Conrad, of Battle Creek, and junior Megan Rimmel, of Ithaca, were named to the NGCA All-Great Lakes Region Team. Head Coach Bill Maas ’89 was selected as the Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year.

2009 First-team All-MIAA Kellen Beckwith (swimming and diving) Anna Braner (softball) Sarah Caldwell (track and field) Steven Davis (swimming and diving) Ryan Hodges (baseball) Amy Johnson (swimming and diving) Brandon McClary (men’s basketball) Scott Purdy (baseball) David Ray (track and field)

2009 Second-team All-MIAA Cassie Bowerman (softball) Brandon Goodman (baseball) Tyler Kelly (baseball) Michael McClary (men’s basketball) Jaclyn Mummaw (women’s tennis) Rob Swanson (baseball) Heidi Wear (softball)

2008-09 ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District IV Nicole Babcock (first-team women’s soccer) Cassie Bowerman (second-team softball) Anna Braner (first-team softball) Alex Hill (first-team football) Phil Koops (second-team football) Sean Misko (second-team football) Lindsay Pipkin (first-team at-large) Michael Terranova (second-team football) Kyle Vanderhyde (first-team at-large) Mark VanLente (second-team football)






Grafton “Mac” Thomas ’37 has written a book, “Confessions of a Maverick Minister: A Life of Butterscotch, Horseradish & Strawberry Pie,” in which he encourages others to be grateful for what they have, calling “gratitude” the best springboard for a happy life. Mac fell in love with wife, Ruth (Yotter) ’38 at Olivet College 74 years ago. At 93 years old, Mac formed a group to install wind turbines, and has organized a golf outing to raise money for Northport High School graduates. After a serious auto accident last year, both Ruth and Mac plan to play golf again this summer. The Thomases have five children and many grandchildren and live in Northport. Mac’s book is available on E-mail Mac and Ruth at

Dave McConnell ’57 is retired from working for the United States Department of State in Washington, D.C., where he helped train diplomats at the United States Foreign Service Institute and worked for the United States Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Dave was instrumental in reorganizing Kappa Sigma Alpha in the 1950s after a 1928 fire halted the existence of the fraternity; the reorganization precipitated an article in Life magazine. He and wife, Marchelle, live in Mississippi. They have a daughter in California and a son in Nevada. E-mail Dave at

1940s Marjorie (Hertzberg) Phillips ’48 and husband, Harry, live in New York, where Marjorie is involved with the Greenburgh Public Library and Child Abuse Prevention Center, and helps a woman who has AIDS. They have three children, eight grandchildren and a great-granddaughter. They travel and enjoy being with family. E-mail Marjorie at

Eaton Awarded Honorary Degree Margaret “Peg” Eaton ex’48 was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, during Founder’s Day Feb. 18, 2009. Peg is an avid proponent for women’s issues, a tireless volunteer in the Jackson community and has served on numerous boards and community organizations, including the Michigan County Social Services Association, United Way of Jackson, Michigan League for Human Services, the Child and Family Services of Michigan, and many more. Peg was also Margaret “Peg” Eaton ex’48 honored for her work with the Jackson Athena Award, Michigan Department of Social Services Board Member of the Year award, the Olivet College Distinguished Alumni Award, the Jackson Citizen Patriot Citizen of the Year award and the United Way Distinguished Service Award.




1960s Rev. Reginald Lancaster ’63 is the transitional minister at First Congregational United Church of Christ, St. Clair. In February, Reg and wife, Karen Wilkinson, Ph.D., participated in the dedication of the collection of rare books on Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War at the Leatherby Library at Chapman University in Orange, Calif. E-mail Reg at Dan Campbell ex’66 was recognized during a Gay Pride Celebration last summer on the Lansing Capitol steps for being the first known gay man to come out on a college campus. Dan founded, which is dedicated to getting older gays to tell their stories and deposit them with their alma maters nationally. E-mail Dan at Dale Barber ’68 was named president of the Professional Photographers of Michigan at the organization’s 68th annual convention. He is also the national counselor of the Professional Photographers of America. Dale, owner of Barber Photography and Framing in Sandusky, has been in business for 31 years. He has been a nationally certified photographer since 1988, and he is currently working on his master’s and craftsman degrees in photography. E-mail Dale at Candi (Carpenter) Putnam ’68 received the Distinguished Professional Award at the Dale Barber ’68 Calhoun Area School Board Members Association annual dinner meeting in April. Candi retired from the Marshall Public Schools after nearly three decades in numerous capacities. E-mail Candi at Richard Janeway ’69 is enjoying full retirement from the United States Air Force in southern Mississippi. E-mail Richard at

1970s Fred Hinz ’70 is retired from General Motors. He spends his time volunteering in schools. E-mail Fred at

Suzette (Reynolds) Holmes ’71 retired in June 2008 from Wareham High School in Wareham, Mass., where she taught for 10 years, after 36 years of teaching in schools throughout Indiana and Massachusetts. Suzette and husband, Napoleon, celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in August 2008. She and college friend, Nancy Carlisle ’71, who lives in Westport Point, Mass., have gotten together almost every summer for the last 15 years. E-mail Suzette at

Lloyd Damon ’78, M.D., has been promoted to director of the adult hematologic malignancies and bone marrow transplant program at the University of California, San Francisco. Celeste Bennett ’79 is the director of weights and measures and motor fuels quality programs for the Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA). She has been with the MDA since 1984. E-mail Celeste at Michael Harrison ’79 was inducted into the Vicksburg High School Athletic Hall of Fame in December 2008. While at Olivet, Mike was a four-year letter winner on the baseball team.


From left: Charles (Chuck) Williams ’71, Max Lindsay ’71, Mike Maciasz ’72, Ed Heator ’80 and George Gullen ’61. Chuck Williams ’71 met with fellow alumni at the Detroit Tigers’ opening day April 10 at Comerica Park. E-mail Chuck at; Max at; Ed at; and George at Marilyn (Carr) Jackson ’72 retired from teaching lower elementary school in Flint after 34 years. She has a daughter and two grandchildren in England. Marilyn enjoys quilting, reading, counted cross-stitch and playing with her dog, Emma. E-mail Marilyn at Louis Verdi ex’73 and wife, Judy, live in Ohio, where he taught martial arts and was in industrial sales for 30 years. He is now an ordained Methodist minister. He remembers being a member of the “Frau Lipo Lipy” fraternity, established for those who did not want to go through actual pledging. E-mail Louis at Dennis Boone ’77 is the human resources manager at Green Bay Packaging in Kalamazoo. Dennis and wife, Rhonda, have three children. Daughter, Lacee, is attending Olivet College and is on the volleyball and basketball teams. E-mail Dennis at Steve Jones ’77 works for Merrill Lynch in Grand Rapids. He will be an adjunct professor at Cooley Law School in Grand Rapids, teaching estate planning. E-mail Steve at Carol Villinger-Hardwicke ’77 and husband, Larry, restore vintage cars. They live in a small town on the east coast of Virginia and have been married 27 years. E-mail Carol at

Betsy (Place) Phillips ex’80 retired in December 2008 after 25 years of federal service. She and husband, Garry, now make their home in Tennessee. In 1983, Betsy was a Presidential Management Program intern and was employed as a budget analyst for the Committee on Appropriations of the U.S. House of Representatives. For the next 22 years, she worked as a professional staff member of the Committee on Appropriations, in which she focused on federal agency budgets, including the Department of State, the Department of Defense, the Intelligence agencies, the Department of the Treasury and the General Services Administration. From 2005-07, Betsy was the clerk and staff director of the Subcommittee on Appropriations for International Programs, which led her to Iraq in June 2007, where she joined the Department of State to work at the United States Embassy in Baghdad. While there, she was director of the Office of Joint Strategic Planning and Assessment, an organization established to coordinate Departments of State and Defense activities necessary to implement the U.S. strategic plan for advancing political development and security in Iraq. E-mail Betsy at Joan (Roberts) Crowhurst ’83 retired after 25 years from Kalamazoo Public Schools in June 2008. She taught vocal music for 10 years, fifth grade for five years, and was an administrator for 10 years, the last four at Woods Lake Elementary: A Magnet Center for the Arts. E-mail Joan at Rich ’83 and Sue (Johnson) ’83 Levitte and Karen (Kaskinen) O’Brien ’83 recently visited Olivet College with their daughters, Regan Levitte and Molly O’Brien, prospective students. John Homer, Ph.D., chair of the Business Administration Department, and Jare Klein, Olivet’s former Back row from left: Rich Levitte ’83 John wrestling coach, were able to Homer, Ph.D., Karen (Kaskinen) O’Brien ’83. spend time with both families. Front row from left: Regan Levitte, Molly During the summer, the two O’Brien, Sue (Johnson) Levitte ’83. families, who have remained close since the 1980s, spent time together camping and going to a K.T. Tunstall concert at Interlochen. They recently visited Chicago and Mackinac Island, and are planning another trip this summer. E-mail Rich and Sue at and Karen at




Scott Sigler ’91 reconnected with Shannon (Cunningham) Fairlamb ’94 at his book signing in Chicago in February. “Contagious,” Scott’s most recent thriller, hit the New York Times hardcover fiction best seller list. The book is available in bookstores and online at E-mail Scott at and Shannon at

Michael James ’84 has a new business, Countdown Apparel, with shirts that count down to important events. Visit his Web site at http://

Scott Belcher ’85, M.D.

Scott Belcher ’85, M.D., works at the University of Cincinnati, where he is researching the actions of estrogen in the developing brain and medulloblastoma, the most common childhood brain cancer. Scott has discovered that anti-estrogen drug treatments may be beneficial in limiting tumor progression and improving patients’ overall outcome of the disease. E-mail Scott at

Jamey Fitzpatrick ’86, Olivet College Board of Trustees member, worked at Yosemite National Park for one summer while a student. His tradition is to take his children to Yosemite to climb Half Dome the summer before they enter high school. He always wears his Olivet sweatshirt. E-mail Jamey at

Shannon (Cunningham) Fairlamb ’94 and Scott Sigler ’91

Christine Roman ’92 is the executive director for the Antrim Conservation District in Antrim County, which is dedicated to managing natural resources. E-mail Christine at

Joe DeVault ’94 became the ninth coach of the semi-pro football team, the Southern Michigan Timberwolves, for which he played 13 seasons, retiring in 2007. He was a three-time All-American and started on three Mid-Continental Football League championship teams. Joe is an information technology specialist for Electric Data Systems in Detroit. Joe and wife, Deb, have a daughter, Alexandra, 6. E-mail Joe at


Brian Hug ’94 is in his second year as assistant head coach for the Manchester Wolves of the Arena 2 Football League. E-mail Brian at

Jeanne (Zook) Kemp ’91 is the chief financial officer for Toys R Us, Australia. Jeanne and husband, Harold Kemp ’91, are living in Sydney. Harold is working on his doctorate in journalism from Michigan State University. Jeanne’s parents, Pat (Coates) ’68 and Tom ’67 Zook, celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary with a trip to Australia and New Zealand to visit Jeanne and Harold and other family members. Pat volunteers and sings in the choir at the United Church of Christ in Tekonsha. Tom retired from Brembo in Homer but has returned to his former job. E-mail Jeanne at, and Pat and Tom at

Sherri Ter Molen ’94 was inducted into Golden Key International Honor Society and The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi at DePaul University for her achievements in the master’s in organizational and multicultural communication program. Sherri and her husband, Hugh Hoebbel, live in Chicago. E-mail Sherri at

Kelly (Peters) Pringle ’91 won the Governor’s Service Award for Outstanding Mentoring Program in 2008 for being the coordinator for a program at Carson City-Crystal Area Schools, where she has worked for 12 years as the mentor coordinator, grant writer, service-learning coordinator and now Kelly (Peters) Pringle ’91 and the intervention specialist. In 2007 she Governor Jennifer Granholm won America’s Promise Red Wagon Award for providing a caring adult for young children. In 1997 she was hired to start an at-risk program for youth, matched with adult mentors. In 2000 Kelly started a wellness team to teach elementary and middle school pupils about prevention of alcohol, tobacco and drugs. She incorporated service learning into the curriculum in 2001. Kelly and husband, Devin Pringle ’89, principal at her school, have two sons, Rhett, 13, and Zachary, 10. Her sister is Colleen (Peters) Pringle ’89. E-mail Kelly at




Christopher Reasoner ’95 lives in Charlotte and has been systems controller for Consumers Energy in Jackson for 10 years. E-mail Christopher at Kimberly (Poglese) Wallman ’96, D.O., and husband, Gregory S. Jones ’96, Ph.D., live in the Upper Peninsula, where Kimberly is working for Veteran Affairs. E-mail Kimberly at David ’98 and Rose (Willaford) ’98 Birmingham are independent distributors of MonaVie, acai blends that are designed to help maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. E-mail David and Rose at Sarah Knapp ’99 is in graduate school at the University of California, Los Angeles, studying screenwriting. She is also a faculty member for the University of Phoenix. E-mail Sarah at

2000s Robert Clay ’00 is the director of the office of multicultural affairs at Xavier University in Cincinnati. He was the former assistant director of intercultural programs at Slippery Rock University in Slippery Rock, Penn. E-mail Robert at

Jessica (Davenport) Creager ’00 combined with Target and The International Order of King’s Daughters and Sons in writing a successful grant to receive 1,200 books for the Spencer Elementary School’s Reading is Fundamental Book Giveaway in Savannah, Ga. in April. Each student Jessica (Davenport) Creager ’00 received three books to add to his or her home library. Jessie and husband, Jason Creager ’03, have two sons, Chipper, 3, and Junior, 8 months. E-mail Jessie at Kyle Uramkin ’00 is teaching physical education and health at Alamo Elementary School in the Otsego Public Schools. He is also coaching girls’ varsity golf. He and wife, Angie, have one daughter, Madison, 4. E-mail Kyle at Jason Wells ’02 is one of the top “40 under 40,” listed in the annual national ranking of “Power Brokers” in insurance. Jason is a vice president for Marsh USA, Inc., in Detroit. He and wife, Stephanie, have a son, Lucas, born in August 2008. E-mail Jason at

Jason Wells ’02

Amy (Hillis) Ouellette ’03 is working in the actuarial department for Accident Fund Insurance in Lansing. Amy is married to Jonathan Ouellette ’03, who is a communications engineer for Strategic Products and Services in Lansing. Amy and Jon have a daughter, Madilyn Isabel, 1. E-mail Amy at and Jon at

Edrease Stephenson ex’03 is a personal trainer at the Hernando County YMCA in Spring Hill, Fla. His speciality is teaching fitness, along with basketball, to children, especially those with behavioral problems. Elliott Hitchcock ’04, Joseph Barnes ’05 and Anthony Jackson ’06 spent five days in December at the MGM Grand Las Vegas. Elliott is a freelance photographer in Los Angeles and Chicago, where he lives. Joseph is doing support work in information technology with Hewlett Packard for General Motors. Anthony is working for the state of Michigan’s unemployment office. E-mail Elliott at; Joseph at; and Anthony at Jeff Jardine ’05 works for Mason-McBride, an independently-operated insurance agency in Troy. Jeff earned a master’s in business administration at Northwood University in 2008 and is continuing his education through industry specific designations. E-mail Jeff at

Stephen Kolomyjec ’05 is based at James Cook University in Queensland, Australia, where he is doing doctorate research on platypus population genetics. He recently had the opportunity to assist a fellow platypus researcher from the University of Tasmania with her research on platypuses in the region surrounding Hobart, Tasmania. Platypuses in Tasmania, as seen in the picture, are almost three times the size of the north Queensland ones. E-mail Stephen at Amya (Rudnik) Paige ’05 has joined the East End Gallery and Studio in Marshall as an artist and Stephen Kolomyjec ’05 historian. She just finished writing a children’s book, and she has a cleaning business with her mother. Contact Amya0 on Jeremy Shephard ’05 graduated from Cooley Law School in January and passed his bar exam. He is living in Kalamazoo and training for his sixth marathon. E-mail Jeremy at Steven Rumsey ’06 is the project coordinator for the city of Jackson, working on a wide range of environmental and community concerns. E-mail Steven at Darren Hamman ’07 swam in the Michigan Masters Swim Meet at Lake Orion in March and won two gold and five silver medals. Darren, who trains six days a week, is currently ranked second in the United States Masters Swimming Rankings for the 200-meter breaststroke. E-mail Darren at Brandon Walters ’07 is a crop insurance specialist for GreenStone Farm Credit Services in Charlotte. Brandon’s wife, Karine (Campbell) Walters ’06 is working on her master’s in teaching at Olivet, is an assistant coach with the women’s basketball team and is teaching writing classes in the interdisciplinary studies department. E-mail Brandon at and Karine at Calvin McNamara ’08 is a personal-lines underwriter for J.M. Wilson in Portage. E-mail Calvin at Daniel Reed ’08 is a control room operator at the Calhoun County Jail in Battle Creek. He is responsible for the electronic operation of the cells, as well as maintaining close surveillance and control of inmate activities. Visit Dan on Facebook. Darren ’07 and wife, Amy Hamman



Robert Hayn ’63 and Robert Brown, Aug. 19, 2008, San Francisco City Hall. E-mail Bob Hayn at

Mary Adams ’36, Feb. 19, 2009, Battle Creek.

Cmdr. John G. Peshinski ’75 and Christina Walker, Jan. 16, 2009, Ocala, Fla. John is a retired United States Naval Officer, Naval cryptologist and former lead information security scientist and engineer for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Research and Engineering Center. E-mail John at

Laurence S. Peterson ’40, Jan. 18, 2009, Oak Harbor, Ohio.

Don Daniels ’77 and Robert Campbell, Aug. 17, 2008, South Lake Tahoe, Calif. Michele Rutherford ’77 conducted the ceremony. Michele Rutherford ’77 and Erin-Kate Whitcomb, Sept. 19, 2008, San Francisco. Their sons, Parker, 8, and Hayden, 6, were the ring bearers. Carla Rogers ’77 attended the ceremony. The family honeymooned in New York City. E-mail Michele at Joan Roberts ’83 and Bob Crowhurst, July 26, 2008, Henderson Castle, Kalamazoo. Both are enjoying retirement. E-mail Joan at Cheryl Ingram ’95 and Mamadou Thiam, June 21, 2008, Hartford Memorial Baptist Church, Detroit. Camille (Pace) Polk ’96 was a bridesmaid. E-mail Cheryl at

Anne (Blakeman) Pengelly ex’38, Dec. 18, 2008, McMinnville, Ore.

Shirley (Renahan) Davis ’41, Aug. 31, 2008, Marina, Calif. She is survived by husband, Bruce Davis ’41. Suzanne Neal ’41, April 15, 2008, Naples, Fla. Charles Lehman ’49, Jan. 17, 2009, Bradenton, Fla. He is survived by his wife, Margaret ’48, and daughter, Ann ’77. Richard Mulkey ’49, July 25, 2008, Matteson, Ill. Joyce (Johnson) Pierson ’49, Nov. 30, 2008, Rockford. Charles Willis Shane Jr. ’50, Dec. 26, 2008, Grand Ledge. Richard Crowe ’65, April 11, 2009, Traverse City. Mike Rabbers ex’67, Feb. 17, 2009, Hickory Corners. T. Steve “Hercules” Davis ’69, March 7, 2009, Westfield, Mass. Richard E. Cugnasca Jr. ’71, Feb. 15, 2009, Snellville, Ga.

Grant Morgan ’02 and Krystal Corcoran, Sept. 26, 2008, Kalamazoo. E-mail Grant at

Brent Olsen ’88, Dec. 18, 2008, Zeeland.

Allison Choike ’05 and Capt. Jeremiah Gipson, March 7, 2009, St. Francis Xavier, St. Louis, Mo. E-mail Allison at


Stephanie Green ’06 and Daniel Birgy, Nov. 29, 2008, McBain Baptist Church. Elizabeth Flanary ’06 was the maid of honor. E-mail Stephanie at

Jeanne Conover, March 7, 2009, Cazenovia, NY. Jeanne was the founder of the Oak Chest, the Women’s Board’s resale shop in Olivet, and was the wife of Donald Conover, former business office employee at Olivet College, who died in 2006.

Hollie Ann Whitcomb MAT ’08 and Michael Oursler, Aug. 1, 2008, at The Medalist Golf Club in Marshall.

BIRTHS Donna (Weidendorf) ’85 and John Anderson, a son, Brian, July 2, 2008. E-mail Donna at Scott Swearengin ’98 and wife, Jessica, a son, Brayden James, March 4, 2009. Scott is a first grade teacher in Monroe. E-mail Scott at Kyle Kemper ’99 and wife, Therese, a daughter, Paige Therese, Nov. 22, 2008. E-mail Kyle at Sarah Kelly ’00 and husband, Kevin Bushre, a daughter, Flora Adeline, Aug. 4, 2008. E-mail Sarah at Keri (Anguilm) ’00 and Brian ’01 Lorente, a daughter, Elizabeth Kristine, March 2, 2009. E-mail Keri at; Brian at Mark ’05 and Jenna (Little) ex’05 Long, a daughter, Eva Michele, May 23, 2008. She joins brother, Kaiden, 3. E-mail Mark and Jenna at Stephanie (Reed) ’06 and Andrew Dziachan, a daughter, Adryn Jeanell, Oct. 17, 2008.




Carol Franck, Jan. 24, 2009, New York City and Cape Cod, Mass. Carol was a trustee emeritus for Olivet College. Elaine (Soules) Hay, Dec. 25, 2008, Olivet. She was a former secretary for Olivet College. J. Kline Hobbs, March 14, 2009, Battle Creek. He was an artist-inresidence at Olivet College during the 1970s. Cecil Houghton, April 3, 2009, Baldwin. He was a former employee and the founder of the Great Lakes Sled Dog Association. Mildred (Goodwin) Shrontz, April 19, 2009, Olivet. She was a Dole Hall housekeeper for 31 years, retiring in 1975.

Liberal Arts Education Helps Mold Artist BY MARTY (MASON) JENNINGS ’67

Before even hearing about Olivet College, Steve Yamin ’68 In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Yamin worked at Bank knew that art would be an important part of his life. While Street Atelier in New York City, where he instructed famous studying at Cape Cod Prep School in artists to develop their drawings and Mashpee, Mass., one of his professors told paintings into lithographs on stones and him about Olivet, suggesting he contact plates. All done by hand and working with Helen Mitchell, who was the registrar at the new tools, the process brought the artists to time. When Yamin arrived on campus and another level. Some of Yamin’s “students” experienced the Nez Perce Printmaking included: Al Held, abstract expressionist Workshop for the first time, he became painter; Al Hirschfeld, who was known for hooked. The material he learned while a his New York Times drawings and has a student and apprentice to Stephen Hazel, theatre named after him; Lumen Winter, a former artist-in-residence and professor renowned muralist; and the “Apollo 13” of art, completely changed his life. artist who made posters of the mission Yamin’s first year on campus was before the movie was released. Yamin busy with delving into the Nez Perce and worked on the poster for NASA, as well. printmaking, as well as sculpture. He began Connecting with so many acclaimed with brush and charcoal drawings as an artists led to gallery exposure and introduction to basic design. He was then exhibitions for Yamin. His work has been influenced in converting basic design into featured in more than 20 solo and group Steve Yamin ’68 etchings and dry point drawings, which exhibitions throughout the United States, seemed to suit printmaking and woodcuts. and is displayed in the Library of Congress Printmaking and lithography came natural for Yamin. in Washington, D.C., the New York Public Library, Portland When Hazel’s assistants, Rob Kipp ’66 and Stanley Art Museum, Newark Public Library, Victoria & Albert Keach ’67, graduated, Yamin became his next apprentice. Museum in London, Proutes of Paris and many other Many of his waking hours were spent in the studio. He locations. Yamin is also a member and former president of the received stipends from Olivet and access to all the studio Society of American Graphic Artists, The Print Consortium amenities. and the Southern Graphics Council. During one summer, Yamin stayed at In the 1980s, public interest in Olivet and studied under renowned printmaking in New York City began to Japanese artist Hideo Hagiwara, known for diminish. There were few teaching positions his woodcuts and lithography. Hazel and Yamin decided to take a job selling studied under Hagiwara in Japan and medical supplies. “Sales relate to the arts,” he brought him to Olivet to work at the Nez said. “My sales experiences have made me a Perce. better artist, because I am more attuned to At the advice of Hazel, Yamin added customers. All these years have prepared me music, religion, philosophy, botany, plant for that – to be aware.” taxonomy and human anatomy to his During the weekdays, Yamin visits course load for a well-rounded, liberal arts manufacturing plants, construction sites and education. He also took theatre, which various businesses in Brooklyn and Staten included stage design. Yamin learned from Island where he trains groups, gives safety each professor and every class helped him lectures, supplies and inspects first aid kits “Project 61,” etching, aquatint, mezzotint grow as an artist. and sells his products. But his evenings, and dry point. While a student, Yamin sent his weekends and vacations are spent works to exhibitions and the early exposure printmaking in his home studio in allowed him to sell some of his prints. This was just the Brooklyn, where he lives with wife Pat (Tidmore) Yamin ’69. beginning for Yamin. Working as an apprentice for Hazel shaped Yamin’s After receiving his degree in fine arts from Olivet, he went foundation as a printmaker. He said it affected his “thinking of to Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where he received a Master of art, etching techniques, studio set up – just the total philosophy Fine Arts with a major in printmaking and a minor in art of printmaking.” If he had to do it all over again, he would not history. He went on to teach at Pratt Graphics Center, New change a thing. York City Community College in the Bronx and New York Technical College.

Non-Profit U.S. Postage


Lansing, MI Permit No. 975

Office of Alumni Relations 320 S. Main St., Olivet, MI 49076

Education for Individual and Social Responsibility



Ford Madox Ford BY MOLLY (REED) GOALEY ’05

Ford Madox Ford was a critically acclaimed author, editor and critic who served as writer-in-residence at Olivet College in the 1930s. He wrote more than 80 books and was part of the literary elite of his time. Ford’s journals helped shape 20th-century English literature. He launched The English Review, which attracted contributors such as Thomas Hardy, H.G. Wells and Anatole France. He later founded The Transatlantic Review and hired Ernest Hemingway as its deputy editor. Ford also published authors such as James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound and Jean Rhys. He collaborated on two books with Joseph Conrad, and continually influenced and experimented with modern literature. In 1937, Olivet began hosting a major writers’ conference. College president Joseph Brewer invited Ford to attend, along with several other famous authors. Ford became part of the faculty, serving as chair of creative literature.

Ford was given an office in the basement of Burrage Library, and within a year, wrote “The March of Literature: From Confucius’ Day to Our Own.” The book was almost 850 pages long and covered world literature from Aristotle, to Chaucer, to Dickens and more. Ford never graduated from college, but was given an honorary degree from Olivet. Speaking at an occasion in honor of his contributions to the college, Ford said, “It is primarily through the arts… that our great Christian tradition of culture can be maintained and our civilization preserved. It is of utmost importance, therefore, that institutions such as Olivet, where the liberal arts are fostered… should be encouraged and supported.”

Ford Madox Ford and George Krepps ’38

Profile for Olivet College

Shipherd's Record spring 2009  

Shipherd's Record spring 2009  

Profile for olivet123