Shipherd's Record Spring 2018

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Shipherd’s R E C O R D The Alumni Magazine of Olivet College

IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK… For 50 years, Mott Academic Center has been at the heart of Olivet College students’ educational journey and is now preparing for the next 50.



UPDATE Dear Friends: Welcome to another edition of what I hope is one of your favorite publications, Shipherd’s Record. Even though I am here and engaged “in the trenches,” as I look through the final drafts of the emerging issue, I am always impressed with the breadth and quality of programs and student accomplishments happening at our small college. It is even more remarkable when I reflect on the volume of equally impressive stories that do not make it into the final version. I hope you, like me, take pride in your college and share often about our special place “on the hill” that is making such an important impact in the lives of students, alumni, and our community. In this edition, you’ll find a piece on the newly launched Criminal Justice Degree Completion Program. Capitalizing on our strong campus-based program, this new program responds to the numerous pleas we have had from agencies around the state that want working officers to be able to complete their baccalaureate degrees at Olivet College. As a limited residency program, it will allow students to remain in their local community, but travel to campus a couple times during their program to build and strengthen their learning relationships with faculty and other students. With this new program as a working model for how we might better serve adult and professional students around the state and upper Midwest, we expect to see other degree programs launched in the months and years ahead. Stay tuned. You will also find a feature on our expanding international travel and study abroad opportunities. We know that students must be globally aware and multiculturally competent if they are going to be competitive and effective in the economy and society of tomorrow. As one of the four guarantees of the Olivet College ADVANTAGE, we now guarantee that every student will have an opportunity to study abroad and I am pleased to report that more and more students are doing so. I also want to highlight the wonderful feature on freshman Sidney McIntosh. It is hard to spend much time anywhere on campus and not run into Sidney. She’s here, she’s there, she’s everywhere and is a great example of the increased level of active engagement, immersive experiences, and participation that over 90 percent of our students now embody. For those that remember the construction and grand opening, it is hard to believe that the Mott Academic Center is now 50 years old. Over these last five decades, this grand building has served the academic needs of our learning community well. While solidly built and highly


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adaptive, the Mott Academic Center is now at middle age. The series of features in this issue remind us of the power of place as a vital tool for building community and learning relationships and the importance of ensuring that Mott continues to fill this vital role in the decades ahead. We are fortunate that we have been able to invest several million dollars over the past decade to update and modernize the science labs and half of the other academic spaces, but we still have a ways to go. With the success of the ongoing 2020 Campaign, we will be able to ensure this happens for another 50 years or more. As always, I hope you enjoy your issue of Shipherd’s Record as we bring Olivet College and our students a little closer to your world through this wonderful publication. Please know that you are always welcome on campus and we look forward to seeing you in Olivet sometime soon.

“I hope you, like me, take pride in your college and share often about our special place “on the hill” that is making such an important impact in the lives of students, alumni, and our community.”

With very best regards,

Steven M. Corey, Ph.D. President


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

MAGAZINE STAFF Hailey Barrus Director of Creative Services Geoff Henson Sports Information Director B.J. Hull Vice President for Advancement Michele McCauley Director of Communications Samantha Pearl ’00 Director of Alumni Engagement EDITORIAL Jackie Bounds Contributing Writer Terry Donnelly ’68 Contributing Writer Taylor Gorr ’16 Content Specialist Joan (Peterson) Littman ’67 Contributing Writer Nataliya Malaydakh ’19 Contributing Writer Austin Schippers Digital & Social Media Coordinator SEND CHANGE OF ADDRESS NOTICES TO: Office of Advancement 320 S. Main St., Olivet, MI 49076 269. 749.7630



On the Cover: If Walls Could Talk For 50 years, Mott Academic Center has been at the heart of an Olivet College education. What’s ahead for the iconic building?



A World of Knowledge

Campaign update


Comprehensive Campaign Update

Departments 4 Around the Square 8 Comet Sports

Olivet College’s mission is to provide an education that enriches lives intellectually, morally and spiritually to a diverse campus community. Having attained these qualities through their educational experiences at Olivet, our hope is that our graduates will embody the “divine art and science of doing good to others,” as stated by the college’s founding fathers in 1844. Olivet College is committed to the principles of equal opportunity and non-discrimination. The college, in its employment, student admissions, recruitment, and personnel policies and practices, will not discriminate against any individual on the basis of age, color, sex, gender identity, disability or disability status, height, weight, marital status, national origin, political persuasion, race, religion, military or veteran status, or sexual orientation.

26 Advancement News


Not a Bystander

28 Alumni News





OLIVET COLLEGE IS GOLD LEVEL VETERAN-FRIENDLY SCHOOL Olivet College has been designated a 2018 Top 10 Gold Level Military Friendly® School by Victory Media. OC ranked third in the category of private schools not offering a doctorate degree. Military Friendly® serves as a standard to measure an organization’s commitment, effort and success in creating sustainable and meaningful benefits for the military community. In addition, Olivet College was also recognized as a Gold Level Veteran Friendly School for 2017-18 by the State of Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA). MVAA’s VeteranFriendly School Program recognizes academic institutions of higher learning committed to supporting the needs of student-veterans and dependents. “Olivet College recognizes the sacrifices that U.S. service men and women make for our country. We are honored to assist veterans, guardsmen, reservists and others in making a successful transition to college,” said Andrea Terry, associate director of admissions. Olivet College offers the Veterans Scholarship for veterans, active military members and their families, equal to 50 percent of tuition cost. 4

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As working law enforcement professionals seek nontraditional ways to further their education as part of their career advancement, the demand for online education continues to increase. To meet this need, Olivet College launched its new  Michigan law enforcement officers now have the ability to online Criminal Justice complete their bachelor’s degree through the Olivet College online Professional Degree Criminal Justice Professional Degree Completion Program. Completion Program in January. The first cohort is comprised of 10 Michigan law enforcement professionals (police officers, sergeants and lieutenants) from numerous counties including Eaton, Barry, Calhoun and Ingham. “The Olivet College Criminal Justice Program is unlike others offered. The faculty is comprised of men and women who have had careers in law enforcement at the city, county or state level,” said Associate Professor Regina Armstrong, Ph.D., OC’s criminal justice director and corrections officer academy director. “Instructors have years of experience working in law enforcement, making it easier for both instructor and student to relate to one another and work together toward the common goal of degree completion.”

NINE STUDENTS SELECTED FOR HONORS BAND The following nine music students were selected and performed in the annual Michigan Intercollegiate Honors Band (MIHB) in February: Samantha Lewis – flute, Emily Nelson – clarinet,  Olivet College was represented by nine students at the Michigan Makennah Rousseau – Intercollegiate Honors Band. clarinet, Katie Murphy – alto saxophone, Tori John – baritone saxophone, Emma Schut – horn, Daniel Rutter – horn, Emily Dorn – trumpet, and Abigale Smith – trumpet. The MIHB is comprised of top wind and percussion musicians from nine Michigan colleges and universities.


 Jason Meadows ’13, associate dean of student life, and President Steven M. Corey, Ph.D., congratulate the winners of the inaugural MLK Oratorical Competition. Pictured, from left: Jason Meadows ’13, Lakisha Pressley, Elayne Curry, Ra’Mal Wilson, Jack Caporuscio and President Corey.

In honor of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Olivet College held its first MLK Oratorical Competition. Students submitted essays on the theme of social justice. First, second and third place winners were awarded $300, $150 and $50 respectively. In his first place winning essay, “Conflicted to Change,” Ra’Mal Wilson said, “You could be the voice that makes them want to speak out, and when one person speaks, then the next will and so on. It’s on us to be that rock in the pond that causes the ripple morality, incorruption, integrity and hope. Change of any kind begins with you.” Second place winner was Jack Caporuscio’s essay, “Social (In)Justice.” Third place was awarded to Elayne Curry’s essay, “You Had a Dream.” Lakisha Pressley opened the evening with a poem entitled, “Infrastructure.”

THREE INSURANCE STUDENTS SELECTED FOR PRESTIGIOUS INTERNSHIP Jenna Benvenuti, Alexander Lehman and Madeline Maxwell are three of 18 college students from across the United States selected to serve as interns for the Wholesale & Specialty Insurance Association (WSIA), a world-class member service organization representing  Jenna Benvenuti, Alexander Lehman and Madeline Maxwell the entirety of the wholesale, are three of 18 students from across the nation to earn internships specialty and surplus lines with the Wholesale & Specialty Insurance Association. industry. Olivet College is the only school to be represented by three students and the only Michigan college to have students selected.

 New video equipment is allowing journalism and mass communication students to learn like the pros, thanks to an Olivet College Teaching and Learning Grant.

NEW TECHNOLOGY PROVIDES HANDS-ON EXPERIENCES FOR VIDEO PRODUCTION STUDENTS Journalism and mass communication students are shouting, “Lights, camera, action!” after the Teaching and Learning Grant Program helped fund new video equipment this fall. The grant comes as part of the Responsible Learners – Responsible Leaders: Olivet College 2020 and Beyond comprehensive campaign. Three digital cameras, four light kits, two green screens, two tripods, XLR cables and new microphones are helping to prepare Comets for a variety of video production careers. The equipment enables students to work hands-on with technology similar to the equipment used in today’s professional studios. “Being able to work with all of the new equipment has given me opportunities that I would not have had otherwise,” said junior Hayley Cooper. “I can now confidently say that I have some background in video production before going off to graduate school or going into my career.” SPRING 2018




 Left and center: Students were fully immersed in marine studies during a semester of study at the Kino Bay Center, preparing meals on the beach and relying on boats for transportation. Right: Jordan Jones befriended an Antiguan child during a week of studying global marketing in Antigua.

A WORLD OF KNOWLEDGE Travel learning courses allow students to immerse themselves into new cultures, explore different ideas, and ultimately develop a broader and more diverse understanding of the world and their role within it. This fall, two groups of students broadened their liberal arts education in ways not possible to realize in a classroom.

A WHOLE NEW WORLD: KINO BAY CENTER Imagine being a student from Michigan and having the opportunity to live and learn for a semester in the culturally and biologically rich shores of the Gulf of California in Sonora, Mexico. Five students had the educational experience of a lifetime when they studied at the Prescott College Kino Bay Center. “I was introduced to the center and the educational opportunities at the Kino Bay Center while I was with Prescott College,” explained Olivet College President Steven M. Corey, Ph.D. “As we began to discuss increasing and enhancing our international opportunities for Olivet College students, I recognized that forging a relationship with the center could be a fantastic option for Olivet College students. The center provides one of


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the highest quality immersive, experiential and field-based educational opportunities available.” Students earned 15 credits, staying on track to graduate, at the same cost of tuition, room and board at Olivet College.

Natural History of the Gulf of California

Phase one of the course immersed students in one of the most productive marine environments on earth thanks to the many islands in the region, tremendous biological diversity and geologic and cultural history. Students developed skills in field observation, species identification and field journaling. A class favorite included watching sea turtles hatch and make their way into the ocean. “My semester at the Kino Bay Center was just so amazing,” said junior Dominique McKillop, a double major in environmental science and biology. “It was like entering a whole new world. I’ve always loved nature and animals, so studying species in Mexico was a big highlight for me. We were even able to perform sea turtle monitoring – netting, tagging, measuring and collecting data – and watching them hatch was incredible. We also monitored whales and dolphins, tracking their movements and learning how to identify the species in the water.”

Spanish Intensive and Cultural Immersion

Global Learning

Society and Environment

Doing Good

Another highlight of the semester included staying with a local host family for 10 days. The students studied an individualized language curriculum with a native-Spanish speaking professor, dedicating six hours every Saturday to advancing their skills. “It was an extraordinary experience to live with a host family,” junior Sabrina Butler explained, a biology major with a career goal of becoming a marine biologist. “I loved the experience so much I’ve already decided I’d like to pursue a master’s degree from Prescott College and can’t wait to return to the Kino Bay Center, especially to see my host family again.” Students completed the semester by taking a deeper look at the dynamic and complex relationships between human communities and marine ecosystems in the Gulf of California, especially the Midriff Island Region. The class had opportunities to study under fishermen, indigenous “I know that this was elders, teachers, resource managers and families to truly a life changing gain insight into the different experience. I’m also economic, physical, spiritual pleased that we and social relationships people have with the ocean. were able to make “It was really eye opening this initial semester to learn about how the area had been overfished, possible for students and see how serious local at the same cost that fishermen were about adapting their tuition, room, sustainable fishing techniques,” McKillop explained. She also and board would had the chance to learn about have cost here at the indigenous Comcaac tribe, a large part of the Olivet College.” history of the area. “Beyond STEVEN M. COREY, PH.D. the environment studies, OLIVET COLLEGE PRESIDENT learning about the local culture renewed my appreciation for my own Puerto Rican heritage and language, and I’m really looking forward to sharing that with my traditional grandma,” she said. “This opportunity helped me solidify the path to achieving my childhood dream, and I can’t wait to see where my future takes me,” Butler said.

MARKETING ON A GLOBAL SCALE: ANTIGUA In December, department chair and assistant professor of business administration Mike Oyster ’77 led his fourth class of students to Antigua to study global marketing perspectives. It was also an opportunity to be true global citizens by lending a helping hand to Antiguans devastated by Hurricane Irma last fall.

Before the students even left the country they were learning. A layover in New York provided the class with the opportunity to dine with corporate finance guru and entrepreneur Jeffrey Devers, founder and managing partner of F.H. Leghorn, a financial advisory company. Once in Antigua, students continued to dive into the course, taking a look into the industries of Antigua, especially international tourism, a field critical to the economy of the area. The class was invited to meet with the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne, who was eager to share his vision and hear directly from future leaders. While service was not a formal component of this global learning experience, the students couldn’t ignore the impact Hurricane Irma had on Antigua and nearby Barbuda, which left hundreds of children displaced and areas of the islands uninhabitable. “We put together a toy drive and gathered donations for kids in Antigua. Once there, we had a wrapping party together and headed an event partnering with leaders of the St. Johns Kiwanis organization,” explained Alexis Hyatt ’17, a December graduate. “We played Christmas games with the kids. Getting to know them and seeing how wonderful they are was awesome. Seeing their faces light up opening their gifts though, was magical.” “Each group of students I take to Antigua is special,” Oyster explained. “Not only are these students living and traveling with others who may be complete strangers, they are also experiencing a completely different culture. This group was exceptional. They were really all-in to help fellow students in Antigua and Barbuda.”


Whether a week or a semester, living and learning in a foreign country encourages students to become more independent, increases their knowledge and broadens their intercultural competence. Global learning is preparing Olivet College students to be responsible leaders in an increasingly interconnected and complex world.

SUPPORT LIFE-CHANGING EXPERIENCES Learn how you can play a part in broadening the real-world experiences of Olivet students by emailing or calling 269.749.7630. Or, make a gift today at






Welcome New Head Coaches

Swimming and diving head coach Rob Brownell came to Olivet after serving as head swimming and diving coach at Battle Creek Central High School since 2005. He coached the boys’ team for the first five years before coaching both the girls’ and boys’ teams for the last six seasons. Women’s lacrosse head coach Chris Merucci previously coached varsity girls’ lacrosse at Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood School and Livonia Ladywood High School. He is also the founder and director of the Triumph Lacrosse Club in Plymouth. 1


The football team posted a 5-5 overall record in head coach Dan Musielewicz’s first season. John Adams III and Kornelius Saxton were tabbed to the All-MIAA firstteam. Robert Cuba, Tyler Douglas, Jacob Jodway, Walter Love III and Jakeup Stuller earned All-MIAA second-team honors. Adams III was also selected to the All-North Region third-team.


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Saxton broke Olivet’s singleseason record for receiving yards (1,049) and pass receptions (77). He also ended his career as the Comets’ all-time leader in both categories with 207 receptions for 2,505 yards. Lane Porter set a single-season record with 2,546 passing yards. 2

Women’s Golf

The women’s golf team finished third in the final MIAA seasonal standings to qualify for the 54-hole MIAA Playoff this spring. Nicole Deweyert and Ashley Folleth landed on the 2017 All-MIAA first-team. Deweyert ranked third among the league leaders with an 80.2 stroke average, while Folleth tied for the fifth-best at 81.0. 3

Women’s Soccer

Under the leadership of firstyear head coach Sarah Maracani, the women’s soccer team played in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Tournament championship for only the second time in school history. The Comets lost a close 2-1 game to Hope College. Olivet

advanced to the championship game after a thrilling shootout victory over Adrian College. For the season, the Comets had a 13-7-1 overall record, including a school-record 11 wins against MIAA rivals. The 13 wins were the third-most in school history for a season. Individually, Isabelle Leon was named the MIAA’s Most Valuable Player and tabbed to the United Soccer Coaches first-team. Emma Essen joined her in earning firstteam All-MIAA honors. Leon finished the 2017 season with 17 goals and 11 assists for 45 points. Essen had 12 goals and seven assists for 31 points. Leon ends her fouryear career in a Comet uniform tied for the most assists (25) and thirdmost goals (52) and points (130). Leon was selected to the 2017 College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) First Team Academic All-America®. She is the first women’s soccer player to be a two-time CoSIDA Academic AllAmerican. Ann Fetzer joined Leon in earning CoSIDA Academic AllDistrict VI honors.

Swimming & Diving

Ana Paula Montes de Oca has already made a splash in her first season on the Comets’ swimming team. She has broken the school record in the 200, 500, 1000 and 1650 freestyle, and has the second-fastest time in school history in the 200 butterfly. In December 2017, Montes de Oca was named the Female Athlete of the Meet at the Carthage, Wisconsin A3 Classic. Montes de Oca qualified for the NCAA DIII swimming and diving championships.

Indoor Track & Field

Football standout John Adams III has made the transition to the track for Olivet. In his second collegiate meet, he broke Olivet’s record in the 60-meter dash with a time of 7.08 seconds.


After a 35-year absence, wrestling will once again be a sponsored sport by the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association beginning the 2018-19 academic year. “This is an exciting moment for our leagues and our student-athletes,” said Coach Brandon Brissette. “As the only institution in the MIAA to continuously sponsor men’s wrestling over the last 54 years, it has always been our hope and a goal that we would see the sport re-emerge in the conference. The announcement verifies the health and growth of wrestling we have seen over the last decade in the youth, high school and college ranks.” Currently, Olivet College is just one of four MIAA schools that sponsor wrestling. The others are Adrian, Alma and Trine. Originally added as an MIAA-sponsored sport for the 1968-69 academic year, wrestling was dropped by the conference in 1984.

 Intramural sports are a way for students to make friends, stay active and build leadership skills.

INTRAMURAL ATHLETICS Play an Integral Role in Student Life

and team At Olivet College, students have opportunities to develop leadership building skills as members of more than 60 student clubs and

organizations, 27 athletic teams, 11 Greek houses and many other groups, creating a vibrant and diverse student life experience. Intramural athletics are no exception. Available in both the fall and spring, Comets can join a number of intramural teams that provide an outlet for stress relief, a platform to make new connections and a place for fun exercise. Shipherd Hall director Kelly Patmore ’14, dually serving as intramural sports coordinator, jumped at the chance to return to his alma mater to serve on the student life team, crediting the opportunities he had as a student for his positive experience as a Comet. “Intramural sports are vital to the livelihood of this campus in that it creates a for our diverse student body to come “Intramural sports are space together in competition, creating new bonds vital to the livelihood and strengthening old ones,” Patmore explained. of this campus in that “The mission of intramural sports is to promote one’s health, allowing us to enhance the student’s it creates a space for ability to have positive interactions with the our diverse student campus, both in the classroom and outside of it.” volleyball and soccer are a few of the body to come together Dodgeball, teams students have the chance to join, with both in competition, fan and team favorites flag football and basketball creating new bonds garnering the most players, biggest crowds and highest intensity. Groups or individuals may and strengthening sign up for male, female or coed teams, and this old ones.” spring, a new program, IMLeagues, is organizing registration and scheduling, allowing students to KELLY PATMORE ’14 seamlessly communicate with their teammates SHIPHERD HALL DIRECTOR and captains, sign up for games and more. AND INTRUMURAL SPORTS Senior Airic Boyce, an insurance and risk COORDINATOR management major with a minor in claims investigation, was originally interested in playing intramural sports as a hobby, but saw the potential to build his leadership skills with the intramural program as well. Boyce served as an intramural referee during his freshman year, and has since worked as a manager. Currently, he’s taken on greater responsibilities to assist Patmore in planning and scheduling games, and even fills in to referee as needed. “Everyone loves playing intramurals and campus just wouldn’t be the same without them,” Boyce emphasized. “It’s also a way to meet new people.” SPRING 2018



SPORTS Sidney McIntosh: Being a bystander is not an option

Growing up in Mt. Pleasant, freshman Sidney McIntosh had a pretty good idea what it would be like to attend a large university even before she started considering her college options. She knew that a relationship-centered college would be the best fit for her personality. “I stumbled on OC by chance when I was researching schools online,” McIntosh explained. “I was intrigued by the beauty of campus at first, and then connected with head cheer coach Trish Thomas. Coach Thomas was so nice and welcoming. When I toured campus, I loved the feeling – students held doors open for me and said hello. I also attended the Cultivating Women Leaders event in March. I met a lot of people quickly and it just felt right, and I was right! OC has not let me down once.” Cheerleading had always been a big part of McIntosh’s life and she was certain it would play a large role in her college journey as well. Still growing, Olivet’s team earned a bid to the National Cheer Association championships during its first year performing on the competitive level during the 2016-17 academic year. This year, the team has earned the honor again and will travel to Daytona for the competition in April 2018. “It’s really cool to be a part of a program that’s still growing,” McIntosh said. “It gives my teammates and me the opportunity to make it personal and focus on improving ourselves to improve the whole team. Coach “The close-knit Thomas has exemplified amazing leadership and even up on our grades. She’s there for us as athletes, community doesn’t checks students and young women.” give you an option to McIntosh is majoring in journalism and mass not be involved, and communication. She’s putting her new skills and outgoing personality to use as a DJ on OC’s studentthat’s created an led radio station, WOCR, and even as an OC Stories engaging and exciting student blogger. “I’m only a freshman, but I’m already doing things experience for me. that help me grow my skills and build my resume,” Everyone should want McIntosh explained. “I love that I have two different that from college.” platforms to share my experience – it never seems like work, I’m always having fun.” SIDNEY MCINTOSH ’21 McIntosh also found her fit as a member of the Black Student Union. “I felt welcome right away,” she explained. “BSU is a great platform for open communication and support at weekly meetings. We also go on field trips to museums and other places to learn about black history. All around, it’s an awesome way to make friends, feel empowered and learn how to stand up for what you believe in.” Olivet’s size may seem small to an outsider, but McIntosh maintains that’s what makes it the perfect fit for students who want to be engaged throughout their four years of college. “The close-knit community doesn’t give you an option to not be involved, and that’s created an engaging and exciting experience for me. Everyone should want that from college,” McIntosh concluded. 10

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Sidney McIntosh ’21

TELLING IT LIKE IT IS Sidney McIntosh may be a freshman, but she’s already preparing for a career in journalism and mass communicaiton. Not only is she a blogger for OC Stories, but she also maintains her own beauty and lifestyle YouTube channel that helps her build confidence. One of her favorite videos, a dorm room haul featuring all the items Sidney brought to college with her, received nearly 1,000 views!

Learn what’s on the mind of Sidney and other student bloggers at

Girls’ Leadership Camps June 15 - 17, 2018 | Hosted by Olivet College This two-day middle school and high school girls’ leadership camp will be facilitated by “Ment-Hers” who have completed the Olivet College ATHENA International Women’s Leadership Program, under the direction of the WLI director and advisory council. Watch for registration coming soon!

For more information, email

The Olivet College


• Find your courage to lead. • Discover your voice. • Become empowered to take action against negativity young women face. • Build self-confidence. • Learn how to express yourself effectively to influence others. • Develop life skills to be happy being who you are.

Olivet College offers students incredible opportunities to get more than an education. Students who attend Olivet College receive a quality education, with unrivaled value. To ensure that every student will truly experience the Olivet College ADVANTAGE, below are the four core advantages that can only be expected at Olivet College.

Do you know a high school student that would benefit from the OC ADVANTAGE? Contact the Admissions Office at 800.456.7189 or






& Research


Guarantee Guarantee

Learn more about the Olivet College ADVANTAGE by visiting S U M M E R 2 0 17 11

IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK… 50 YEARS OF MOTT ACADEMIC CENTER A building can be more than a structure that stands permanently in one place. It’s more than the architectural design or its roof, walls, florescent lights, windows, desks or chairs. It’s even more than the name on the building. Within some bricks and mortar you can feel a pulse. A building can be alive. For 50 years, Mott Academic Center has been the core – the heart – of nearly every student’s educational journey at Olivet College. Mott’s essence is a melting pot of discovery and enlightenment. It nurtures young women and men, bringing to life the desire and courage within each of them to become their best so that they can meet head on the challenges of today’s global world. For 50 years, Mott has been the academic hub – command central – where professors across multiple departments have worked together, shared ideas, and learned from one another. Department names, majors and minors, textbooks, and teaching tools have changed, but one thing has remained static: the commitment of Olivet College professors to enrich each student’s life intellectually, morally and spiritually. They are the spark that ignites consciousness, creativity, intellect, and drive within students. The building is named for Charles Stewart Mott. He was as an engineer and entrepreneur, making his fortune with General Motors. However, he was also a public servant and philanthropist who dedicated much of his life and wealth to helping others. Like the founders of Olivet College, Charles Mott was forwardthinking and dedicated to helping others to be more and do good. When dedicated on October 15, 1967, Edgar L. Harden, Ed.D., former president of Northern Michigan University said of the gleaming new building, “The day of dedication will go down as one of great significance in the life of this growing and dynamic college. Today we add to this campus a most important physical facility – one which will improve markedly the environment in which students and faculty work and plan together.” Mott Academic Center is indeed more than just bricks and mortar. Unlike a building, it has not stood still. It is alive, and it’s moving forward toward the next 50 years. On the next few pages, hear how Mott Academic Center has impacted the lives of alumni, faculty and students.


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Mather Hall Demolition, 1965

 Before Mott Academic Center was constructed, Mather Hall served as the hub of learning for 80 years.

“It is the responsibility of educational institutions to provide current experiences, research methods, and best instructional practices for their students. I believe Olivet has always endeavored to do that.”

MATHER HALL MEMOIR JOAN (PETERSON) LITTMAN ’67 I had my very first Olivet class in Mather Hall – September 1963 – Theatrical Production with Theatre Director Bill Beard – front north lecture hall. I entered as high school graduate and left as “Miss Peterson,” Olivet freshman. Before entering the room, which was wrapped on two sides by huge double hung windows that carried the wavy imperfections of very old glass and sported real “blackboards” made of actual slate, I experienced the “Mather smell” – the seemingly ever-present combination of sulfur, formaldehyde, dust, and old wood, which emanated from the full complement of ongoing science classes. I had also passed the glass display cases containing a rather impressive collection of dusty scientific specimens. When asked to give some impressions of the Mather/ Mott site, I was amazed at the specific detail tucked away deeply in my memory. Seeing the building razed seemed like a real historical as well as emotional loss. The scramble for adequate class space was a pain and looking back after 48 years as a teacher, it must have been a real struggle for Drs. Gruen, Fleming, and Speare to provide adequate lab experiences. It is the responsibility of educational institutions to provide current experiences, research methods, and best instructional practices for their students. I believe Olivet has always endeavored to do that. The decision to disrupt class time with the major renovations and seek committed donors who believe in the astounding lifelong relationships

 Joan (Peterson) Littman’s 1967 senior class photo


Mott Academic Center under construction, 1966

and successful futures that go forth from this relatively tiny place isn’t easy. I’m sure I am joined by thousands of alums as I say thank you to all individuals and philanthropic institutions – especially the Mott Foundation – for their solid belief in quality educational experiences. - Joan (Peterson) Littman ’67



Dr. Donald Walker, 2017

LEARNING FROM THE PAST: PROFESSOR DONALD WALKER Dr. Donald Walker, a history professor at Olivet College for 50 years before his retirement in 2015, has a way of telling stories that allows you to actually see what he’s describing. As I sat down to talk to him about the Mott Academic Center, it was no different than the many hours I spent in his world history class almost 20 years ago.

 Olivet College President M. Gorton Riethmiller breaks ground for the new Mott Academic Center building.


Dr. Don Walker, 1980-81

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Walker, or “Doc” as many of his students know him, began teaching at Olivet College in 1965. That was the year that Mather Hall was torn down to make way for Mott, and in the fall of that same year, construction of the Mott Academic Center began. For two years, Walker and his colleagues worked out of temporary accommodations as Mott was built. For Walker, that meant a second-floor office in an old home at the site of what is now the Riethmiller-Blackman Art Building, as well as classrooms in locations such as the theater downtown and the basements of Dole Hall and Blair Hall. “The first class I taught,” Walker explains, “was on a Saturday morning at 9 a.m. in the basement of Blair.” He said the classrooms were converted storage rooms with just a few high windows near the ceiling. They were lacking in outside light, and all winter they were cold. “Imagine how much students looked forward to coming to that classroom early on a Saturday morning,” he jokes, the memory still vivid. “In fact, this one winter morning, I found that someone had left the window open all night. It was obviously colder than usual. I thought to close the window, and when it seemed frozen open, I gave it a good whack. I shattered the window and sustained a few cuts.” He laughs and continues, “It was colder after that.” The design of the Mott Academic Center was a departure from the typical style of buildings on campus, a fact that was noted by students, faculty, and alumni alike as it was being built. The desired function of the building – the vision for its strategic purpose – was clear, however, and then-President Gorton Riethmiller described the building’s design as the “biggest bang for the buck.” It’s a vision that appears to have remained constant for more than 50 years. “One of the things that makes Mott such a good teaching and learning environment

is that the building is a living entity,” Walker says. “It brings everyone together – both students and faculty. Students get to see not only fellow students in their own program, but also those from other programs, building a sense of community. It’s the same with faculty. This connectedness is important to creating the unity on campus that all schools seek.” The design of the building also allowed for a flexibility that has served the campus community well for 50 years. Walker explains, “The size of the building didn’t change, but everything inside of it was fair game. Offices, both faculty and others, such as the Registrar’s Office, have “[Mott] brings everyone been moved. As the needs together – both students of students have changed and faculty. Students get and evolved, the building has been redesigned to to see not only fellow meet those needs, including offices for student support students in their own services and internships. In program, but also those other words, the building from other programs, was modified to fit whatever the needs of the college building a sense of and its student body were. community.” That the Mott building is still meeting the needs of DR. DONALD WALKER students despite the passage of 50 years and nearly doubled enrollment is a testimony to the administration’s vision at the time it was built.” Walker and I discussed how the upcoming renovations to Mott will benefit the campus community. “One of the things people get out of history is learning from the past,” Walker says. “The past has shown that changes are necessary to keep pace with what is happening in the academic world. One can’t stand still. As new needs arise, the administration must respond to them. I’m confident that the plans for the Mott Academic Center will do just that.” - Samantha Pearl ’00, Director of Alumni Engagement

Mott Academic Center, winter 1968-69


89,000 square feet

60 planetarium seats

Completely air conditioned

Laboratories provided with hot and cold water, compressed air, vacuum and natural gas

Closed circuit television to all classrooms

400 auditorium seats

Chemical laboratories provided with emergency showers and emergency eye washers

Architectural Firm: R. J. Gerganof, S.T. Gerganof Ypsilanti, Michigan

 Students relax outside of the academic center, early 1970s



LIKE BEING IN A TIME MACHINE JOHN HOMER, PH.D. For nearly four decades, John Homer, Ph.D., professor of economics, has influenced and inspired generations of Olivet College students while teaching on every floor of Mott Academic Center.

John Homer, Ph.D.

“I have watched walls, carpet and people come and go, but the Mott building stands steady through the changes. It is adaptable as an academic building.” JOHN HOMER, PH.D. PROFESSOR OF ECONOMICS

The 130 graduates of 1979 march from Mott Academic Center.

“Teaching in Mott for so long is like being in a time machine,” said Homer. “I have watched walls, carpet and people come and go, but the Mott building stands steady through the changes. It is adaptable as an academic building. I have seen labs torn down and new technology come in to make different classrooms or offices. One thing is for sure, the 50-year-old Mott building has served us well.” The academic center has always adapted to the needs and changes of the college, and to the needs and changes of society, too. When Homer started teaching at Olivet in 1979, Mott was primarily used as a science building. “As science waned in the 1980s, other academic interests took over, the labs were dismantled and new classroom walls were added,” said Homer. “Science used to be a really big deal decades ago and now it’s coming back so there is a need for more science classrooms again.” He also remembers when Mott housed three dark rooms where students and staff could take film and have it processed. “I’ve witnessed the institution evolve with the ebb and flow of new majors,” said Homer. As some departments and programs have gone by the wayside, Homer is quick to point out how Olivet’s newer departments, including insurance, criminal justice and health and human performance, are already hugely successful and enrollment continues to increase. “Olivet stepped forward to offer these programs to meet the needs of the students and society,” said Homer. “As Olivet continues to grow and our institution adapts to these changes, we may have to start moving some departments out of Mott and make other accommodations.

Students gather in Mott Auditorum, 1980-81

 Mott Academic Center serves as a hub for students and faculty members to connect like senior Jarrod Hoath, Dr. Homer, senior Rob Johnson and Mike Oyster ’77, department chair and assistant professor of business administration.

“If these walls could talk, they would tell stories of changing times. People come and go, academic majors come and go, but this building serves a great purpose, as it is the main academic learning center.” Homer has also seen the campus convert from blackboards with chalk, to whiteboards in every room, to the use of technology. “After using whiteboards, now I think we could need them in the front and back of all classrooms. I always run out of space to write,” Homer joked. He also likes the change from traditional desk and chair combinations to tables and chairs for the simple reason that it allows students more space to spread out their class materials. “Students have more access to their text book and notes without things falling on the floor. I realize tables take up more square footage in a room, but I think it has made a difference in their learning experience.” “It’s my understanding that the new campaign will fund several projects at Mott, which is in need of some tender loving care,” Homer added. Renovations to improve lab and classroom spaces, which have been ongoing for the

Mott Academic Center, 1991-92

past few years, will continue in order to enhance flexibility and technology. Outside enhancements will make the front entrance accessible to persons with mobility issues, including remodeled doorways and new walkways. In addition, the creation of additional social spaces will allow today’s students to interact on a broader level. Coming soon is the transformation of the underutilized Barker Cawood Lounge into a Starbucks coffee shop. When completed, this contemporary café will allow students to meet other students and engage naturally in a much more desirable environment. Change is inevitable, especially on a college campus. Homer sees the need for updates to the academic center and has witnessed building improvements time and time again. Teaching in the same building for 39 years could make Homer the resident expert of Mott. “Looking back, I wonder where did the time go,” said Homer. “When you enjoy what you do like I do, you don’t notice the passage of time, only the changes around you.” - Jackie Bounds

John Homer, Ph.D., works with two students in 2005. SPRING 2018


 Professor Leah Knapp, DVM, teaches her students that all creatures, including Sneakers, a ball python, are essential to the world around us.

‘TEACHING ANIMALS’ ENRICH LEARNING EXPERIENCE LEAH KNAPP, DVM The science programs at Olivet College offer a unique experience for students through interactive encounters with living creatures – teaching animals. The biology department “zoo” and student hangout area on the first floor of Mott Academic Center includes mammals, reptiles, birds, fish and insects, all available to students for interaction and hands-on learning. Leah Knapp, DVM, professor of biology, instructor of biology, medical, and ecology/ environmental classes, and a formerly practicing veterinarian, has been teaching at Olivet College since 1990, and her unique approach to instruction has added to the quality of science education at OC for more than 27 years. Knapp’s use of wildlife as part of the learning experience is very purposeful. “We have a number of animals in our department,” Knapp explained, “and the fact that we do is very unique. It’s not uncommon for a college to use them for research. Our animals are ‘working animals,’ used for education purposes. They are teaching tools, as well as teachers themselves.” The animals that live in the science department are used inside classes for teaching and outside the classroom for community outreach and education. They are also available for students to come and learn more informally about their behavior, care and handling. Students are able to work with the animals directly, and they enjoy the attention. Animals also help students in less obvious ways. Abigail Slater, a sophomore, values them because they allow her to experience things that can’t be taught in a classroom. But she also enjoys the experience of just spending time with the wildlife. “They’re a stress reliever,” Slater said. “They’re able to connect with us and we can come in here and just chill with them and be more ready for class.” Taahir Muhammad, a junior, agrees. When asked about his experience with the 18

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live animals in the department, he explained, “It’s great for exposure, for being able to learn in ways beyond just reading about them. I’ve had a connection with animals since I was a kid, and being able to handle them and interact with them, as well as learning from books and lecture, is very important to me.” Julie Crone, a senior, describes another benefit of having animals on campus. “I think a lot of people are able to bond over their mutual love of animals and especially when you’re coming in as a freshman. To have a place that is easily recognized as a friendly place to come and “We have a number of talk with other students animals in our department, who share your interests is really important. and the fact that we do And having them in an is very unique. It’s not accessible place really helps uncommon for a college people come together and make new friends.” to use them for research. For Knapp it’s about Our animals are ‘working more than teaching animals,’ used for education the basics of a species. people about purposes. They are teaching “Teaching these animals is about tools, as well as more than just what an animal is. It’s about who teachers themselves.” it is. We teach about the LEAH KNAPP, DVM, individual animals and PROFESSOR OF BIOLOGY their stories,” she said. Most of the animals are rescues coming from situations of neglect or abuse, like Yuli, a wild-caught Russian tortoise, who ended up in a pet store after being shipped across the world, stuffed in a box with other tortoises with no food, water or protection, and suffering serious head trauma. “One of our students was working in the pet store and noted that Yuli had not eaten for two months,” Knapp explained. “By the time she got him to me, he was nearly dead. After a month of force feeding and good care, he recovered, but he still has residual effects of his

 Jojo the sulcata tortoise helps Professor Leah Knapp teach students about conservation and animal welfare.

 Bowser, a bearded dragon, is both a stress reliever and a teaching tool for students.

ordeal. He’s been a great addition to our animal family, and an important teaching tool. It’s a real-life story about the terrible practice of the wildlife trade.” Learning about the animals’ backgrounds, their history and their journey from birth to their life at Olivet College helps students and community members alike understand the ethics of the animal trade, both wild-caught and captivebred, and the responsibilities and complexities of their care. Understanding how an animal suffered helps to make the lessons about conservation and animal welfare real. And Knapp is fiercely committed to the survival and well-being of species and the natural world in which they live. “These creatures are essential to the world around us, and it’s important for people to know the threats to them and their environment.” The current wildlife residents of the science department include Jojo, a 50-year-old, 150-lb sulcata tortoise, a ball python named Sneakers and other beloved reptiles, including Theodore, a uromastyx lizard, and Bowser, a bearded dragon. There is also Molly, the deaf rabbit, Yuli, the Russian tortoise, Pip and Squeak, the tiny button quail, assorted fish, and a colony of Madagascar hissing cockroaches. The first to arrive in the department was Thurston, a red-eared slider turtle, adopted from a loving home with an alumna and still thriving. “The presence of these animals on campus makes Olivet College something very unique, and they really enhance our classes and our teaching. They are a distinctive part of the Olivet College experience,” said Knapp. The animals of Olivet College can be viewed and handled (with supervision) by students in and outside of the science department, as well as others who live and work on campus and in the community. Anyone interested in learning more about the animal residents of Mott Academic Center may contact Knapp at - Samantha Pearl ’00, Director of Alumni Engagement SPRING 2018


ACCESSIBILITY FOR ALL PROFESSOR KAYDEE PERRY Imagine heading to class with your friends and you have to part ways outside the Mott Academic Center because your motorized scooter can’t go through the main entrance. Your friends go straight up the steps and off to class. Meanwhile, you maneuver around the building to the ramp closest to the Shipherd’s Hall entrance of Mott to get to class on the second floor. Whether temporarily or permanently disabled, the current main entrance to Mott Academic Center is anything but welcoming. As the Olivet College community celebrates nearly 175 years, a few renovations are needed to make the historical campus more inclusive to all. A portion of the new comprehensive campaign will renovate the main entrance to Mott Academic Center and make it accessible for all. “It’s a beautiful campus,” said KayDee Perry, assistant professor of health and human performance. “However, many of the structures were built prior to 1990 when the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law. Many of the buildings have ramps, elevators and handicapped parking, but not all areas of campus offer easy access.” “Most would be surprised at the number of athletic injuries that happen to our students,” said Perry. “I hear a lot of concerns from students. These injuries often lead to temporary mobility issues.” Nearly 60 percent of Olivet students compete as college athletes. Unfortunately, sports injuries can happen, and sometimes a student’s mobility becomes limited. “A normally active student may be temporarily disabled for several months,” said Perry. “It can be an eye-opening experience for students trying to navigate campus walkways, bathrooms and even entering buildings.” Perry has a natural desire to be inclusive for persons with special needs. She has a master’s degree in adapted physical education and previously taught K-12 physical education before coming to Olivet. She teaches the Sports/ Recreation Management 400 class, which studies leisure activities for special populations. As a class assignment, students visit each campus building and measure accessibility for persons with disabilities. They check for


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Professor KayDee Perry

“It’s a beautiful campus. However many of the structures were built prior to 1990 when the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) became law. Many of the buildings have ramps, elevators and handicapped parking, but not all areas of campus offer easy access.” KAYDEE PERRY ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF HEALTH AND HUMAN PERFORMANCE barrier-free hallways, bathrooms and drinking fountains, among other things. “I challenge them to think about where a wheelchairbound person sits to watch a basketball game,” said Perry. “Sure there are a couple of designated spots, but does it feel inclusive? What about where they parked their car? Was it easy to maneuver through the sidewalks to get inside the Cutler Event Center? What about visiting the book store in the basement of the Kirk Center? How could a wheelchairbound student go there?” Accessibility accommodations are anything that can help students safely navigate campus to learn more effectively.

 Renovations to Mott Academic Center include making the building accessible to all from the main entrance.

 Exterior upgrades to Mott will transform the 50-year-old building into a modern, inviting academic hub.

“We often think of physical limitations, but there are many other kinds as well,” said Perry. “If a student has visual impairment, they might need materials provided in tactile or audio format. Braille accommodations were recently added to Olivet’s campus. If a student has a learning disability, they might need more time on tests. Olivet offers accommodation services for all students. “Olivet is a good place to have a sense of community, but how does the special-needs population know that Olivet wants to be inclusive? We want to welcome everyone to our music, art and sporting events. We need to intentionally invite and engage this population and let them know they are safe and welcomed here. Updated facilities will allow us to do better.” Not only students, but faculty and staff could benefit from making campus buildings more accessible. “At least four faculty and staff have been temporarily disabled due to various surgeries, and I know they struggled getting from point A to point B,” said Perry. John Homer, Ph.D., professor of economics, spent at least two years using a motorized scooter to get around

campus and had his foot in a walking boot for an extended period of time. “The scooter worked great on concrete and asphalt but not on gravel or over any sticks,” he said. Homer became aware of parts of campus that were more accessible than others. “To be honest,” he said. “I didn’t get out much and that’s probably true of many disabled persons. I brought my lunch rather than ‘walking’ or driving to the Kirk Center for lunch.” Homer utilized the handicapped parking all around campus and entered Mott on the south side where he could get straight into the building. “Olivet College defines itself by who we include, not who we exclude,” said Perry. “Our campus wasn’t designed to be exclusive to some, it just wasn’t intentionally inclusive either. The buildings are old, and I realize change doesn’t happen overnight. The comprehensive campaign will provide funding to modernize parts of campus. Addressing and improving accessibility issues will benefit Olivet as a whole and make the campus more inviting for prospective students, their families, and area residents.” - Jackie Bounds

A LEADER IN HELPING EVERYONE MOVE A textbook can give students the fundamentals behind how and why the body moves during certain exercises, but at Olivet College, students see those principles come to life. OC graduates learn to think critically and problem solve while witnessing firsthand the mechanics behind human performance. Over 200 students are majoring or minoring in Health and Human Performance at Olivet College. S U M M E R 2 0 17


A PLACE WHERE STUDENTS ARE CHALLENGED NATALIYA MALAYDAKH ’19 The morning rush, sincere greetings passed from one to another, the smell of coffee, students nervously looking through their notes while others eagerly listened to lectures – this was the atmosphere that I encountered when I first walked into Mott Academic Center. I was surrounded by all this pleasant chaos, and in that moment I knew something special was about to happen.

 Nataliya Malaydakh ’19

“My unique story, my drive for success and vision for a better future of Olivet College started in Mott Academic Center.” NATALIYA MALAYDAKH ’19 HISTORY MAJOR, POLITICAL SCIENCE AND MASS COMMUNICATION MINORS


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I quickly learned that Olivet College is the place where students are challenged to think outside the box on a daily basis and are provided with a world of endless possibilities. Mott Academic Center is a place of knowledge, a place where staff and professors give everything they know to their students to ensure the success of every individual. I am an international student from Ukraine, and when I first arrived at Olivet I knew that I wanted to make a difference. A lot of my accomplishments and achievements started in Mott’s classrooms and offices. I knew I had to take advantage of what Olivet had to offer and dove right into the opportunities on campus. Diversity, acceptance of one’s ethnicity and inclusion of any culture created a great environment for my personal growth and development. I have received multiple invitations to be a guest speaker and share my personal story, which also allowed me to share a taste of Ukrainian cuisine and culture. Further, it gave me a chance to connect with fellow students and educate them about current events and the Ukrainian Revolution – things I experienced firsthand. I was even elected to serve as president of the Student Government Association, a position that has shaped me into a strong female leader on campus. It allowed me to use my leadership skills to make Olivet College a better place. My goal was to become a link between the needs and desires of the student body and college officials. As a result, I created a strong and powerful team that can rely on one another, and together work with dignity and passion toward the creation of a positive change. We spend countless late night hours at the student government office in Mott Academic Center, preparing for meetings, writing agendas, generating ideas to improve communication and ensuring that students’ voices are being heard. Mott Auditorium is a place where leaders from every club and organization come together monthly and share their concerns and goals. It is always fascinating to hear of all the clubs’ achievements and how student government can help every individual develop into a strong leader. My unique story, my drive for success and vision for a better future of Olivet College started in Mott Academic Center. It is a place where professors and staff members see me as an individual who is eager to learn and to be challenged. I am majoring in history with minors in political science and mass communication. I hope one day to earn an international law degree and make a positive change in the international communities around the world. Mott Academic Center is the place where my passions have been allowed to flourish. These walls have known me since the beginning of my journey; they have seen my struggles, they have seen my progress and they know that my best is yet to come. - Nataliya Malaydakh ’19

 Dual enrolled high school students are becoming the norm in many Olivet College classrooms.

HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS BENEFIT FROM DUAL ENROLLMENT There’s no doubt that the Olivet College dual enrollment program benefits high school students: There is an increase in the likelihood students will apply for and enroll in college after graduation, students experience a smoother transition from high school to college and they can take courses not available at their high schools. They also get a closer look at academics areas of interest, and the family saves on tuition costs. In the last four years alone, Olivet College has welcomed 551 high school students into classrooms, on campus and through its high school-based Insurance Academy, and enrollment is on the rise. Faculty members who teach dual enrolled students agree that they add a positive dimension to the learning environment and development experience of all students through their participation in the classroom. “Whether they take courses in our nationally recognized insurance program around the state or choose from among dozens of courses open to high school dual

enrolled students right here on our home campus, Olivet College is a wonderful choice for students considering dual enrollment classes,” Olivet College Provost and Dean Maria Davis, Ph.D., said. “In both on and off campus options, students receive a personalized learning experience and oneon-one advising and class help, setting them on a solid path to success in their college education.” Marshall High School senior Owen Miller is enrolled in two courses, Introduction to Leisure Services and Administration and Principles of Insurance and Risk Management. “I plan on coming to OC next year, and I thought dual enrolling would be a great opportunity to get used to the campus and especially earn some credits before I actually start college,” Miller explained. “I’m also excited to take advantage of my high school paying for the classes. I plan to major in insurance and risk management and join the wrestling team.” “When students arrive at Olivet College with previous dual enrolled credits, they tend to have established study habits and a greater work ethic,” said Tom Humphreys, CPCU, CLU, ChFC, CIC, director of Olivet College risk management and insurance program and assistant professor of insurance, risk management and financial planning. Amanda Rybicki, Olivet High School counselor added, “The dual enrollment program with Olivet College provides our students with the opportunity to take advanced or specialized elective classes in subjects that “When students arrive at are of interest to them. Olivet College with previous It allows our students to truly create a personal dual enrolled credits, they curriculum that leads tend to have established them in the direction of their career pathway. study habits and a greater It also provides our work ethic.” students with a real-life college experience TOM HUMPHREYS before jumping head CPCU, CLU, CHFC, CIC, DIRECTOR OF first into college after OLIVET COLLEGE RISK high school.” MANAGEMENT AND INSURANCE Registrar Leslie PROGRAM AND ASSISTANT PROFESSOR Sullivan works with OF INSURANCE, RISK MANAGEMENT high school counselors AND FINANCIAL PLANNING to guide students through the dual enrollment process, and says the students she works with often treat the opportunity to dual enroll as a gift. “These students take their classes very seriously and show that they feel honored to be offered the opportunity,” Sullivan said.



INTEGRAL AND HISTORIC – MOTT TAKES ON THE NEXT 50 YEARS AND BEYOND TERRY DONNELLY ’68 Mather Hall was stately. It stood proudly next to the Adelphic Alpha Pi House and faced the square. Mather was the science building. I was more interested in the humanities, so I never had a class in that building, but it was a perfect representation of the tone the school set – quiet, proud, stoic. In August of 1964, when I arrived on campus, classes were held in a collection of old buildings, former homes purchased by the college, and downtown buildings. Professor Arthur Stevens conducted his History of Western Civilization class for all freshmen in the Oaks movie theatre down the hill – on Saturday morning, no less (an explanation of that bit of sadistic scheduling will be saved for a different story). The only modern building on campus, the Lester Kirk Collegiate Center, an extreme contrast in architecture, stood directly across the square from Mather. They seemed poised, facing each other, waiting for high noon and a duel between generations. Shortly after the fall term of 1965 started, demolition crews showed up and in just a few days, Mather Hall was a pile of bricks. It had stood for 80 years and served as an anchor, keeping the ebb and flow of student life grounded. For the next two years, the bustle of construction was a sideshow to the hum of academia. Those of us in the Adelphic House were quite sure the giant wing that was being built just outside our round-room tower was going to keep creeping closer and eventually swallow up our hallowed hall. First there was a steel skeleton and then the growing monster began morphing into a maze of halls and rooms stacked on top of each other. Eventually, it became enclosed with brick, metal, and glass – a modern structure to challenge the Kirk Center for style and amenities. As Mott progressed from a hole in the ground, to skeleton, to actual building, it served as a recreation center for late night student activity. Names withheld here, but a non-specific “we” roamed the in-progress halls, trying to determine what the rooms would look like, climbed to the roof for a bird’s eye view of campus, and even hotwired one of the construction Caterpillars for a midnight


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Terry Donnelly ‘68

joyride. I’m certain the help “we” provided made the finished product even grander. Finally, Mott Academic Center was ready for action as fall term of the 1967-68 school year began. The building was used for all academic disciplines, not just science classes and the long-standing museum that Mather had held. To us it was huge! It also seemed better. There was nothing wrong with sitting in pews in the church to listen to Dr. Fritz Grob deliver his political science readings, or listening to “Mott was a real college Dr. John Eversole teach hall. It was bright with religion in the living room of an old house – it all sunlight, solid with steel seemed kind of charming. girders and cement under But Mott was a real college tile floors, and awash with hall. It was bright with new desks and fresh paint.” sunlight, solid with steel girders and cement under TERRY DONNELLY ’68 tile floors, and awash with new desks and fresh paint. Absent were the creaks and groans of the well-worn classrooms. Olivet College had entered the 20th century. It made us proud – look out Big Ten, here we come! At the end of its first academic year, and my finale, the front porch served as the dais from which the class of 1968 would graduate with President Gorton Riethmiller at the controls and the audience seated across the street in the square. Now suddenly, at least suddenly to me, Mott is 50 years old and is described as if it were the ancient building it replaced. I’m glad Mott is getting a facelift and a retooling. It was a welcome sight on campus in 1967 and I hope it remains an integral, and now historic, part of our school. - Terry Donnelly ’68


MOTT ACADEMIC CENTER IN RETROSPECT There are buildings that take your breath away and inspire a sense of awe and admiration with just a glimpse. Most buildings we love, however, are much more ordinary. They become exceptional to us not because of their architecture or stunning features, but because of the memories we’ve made within. Much like a home, a beloved academic building is a combination of its architecture and form, its comfort and amenities, and most importantly, the people we encounter and the experiences we have inside its walls. Over “The experience of a time, these experiences and building is personal; the positive emotions they invoke turn the tangibles of a it is the sum of our own building into the intangibles experiences.” which last for years, and sometimes decades, longer SAMANTHA PEARL ’00 than our experience with the building itself. In this way, the learning, sharing, and socializing become nostalgia and affection and a sense of growing and becoming your best self. Fifty years ago, we marked the end of Mather Hall and welcomed a new era with a modern academic building and

the resources to truly live out the mission of the college. Over the last five decades, we’ve educated and graduated thousands of students who have gone on to exemplify and live out the principles of individual and social responsibility. Mott Academic Center has been a living, breathing part of the fabric of a robust educational and cocurricular experience at Olivet College. And like the college and its faculty, staff, and students, the building has adapted over time to the challenges of the day. What makes a building memorable is hard to pin down. But through the stories of those who have walked its halls – faculty like John Homer, Don Walker, Leah Knapp, and KayDee Perry, alumni like Joan (Peterson) Littman ’67 and Terry Donnelly ’68, and current students like Nataliya Malaydakh ’19 – we begin to see a pattern. The experience of a building is personal; it is the sum of our own experiences. As stewards of the Mott Academic Center and the valuable role it plays in educating the leaders of tomorrow, we have an obligation to ensure its viability and relevance in today’s world. Turn to page 26 to find out how you can play a role in the transformation of Mott and the enhancements of its educational and experiential offerings. - Samantha Pearl ’00



MOTT ACADEMIC CENTER: THE NEXT 50 YEARS For 50 years, Mott Academic Center has been the primary academic facility on campus. The building has reached the time when critical updates are needed to ensure the next generation of students receive an educational experience that is strong in professional preparation within a contemporary liberal arts foundation.

MOTT ACADEMIC CENTER RENOVATIONS: $1,550,000 The following renovations reinforce the college’s commitment to empowering its students to be critical, independent thinkers who possess a strong ethical compass and a desire to be responsible leaders.

› This project will complete the

improvements and updates to lab and classroom space that began a few years ago. With its conclusion every academic space in the facility will have been upgraded with modern furniture, lighting, standardized technology, heating and cooling.

› Creation of additional social

spaces will allow students to interact on a broader level, including a Starbucks themed café on the main floor.

THIS IS YOUR MOMENT Your support of Responsible Learners – Responsible Leaders 2020 and Beyond is the key to this effort. Without critical campaign support, the future of Olivet College and our next generation of leaders is much more uncertain. This is the moment when you can help. Campaign Project Naming Opportunities

New Entrance $500,000 South Patio $250,000 Provost Suite $250,000 Business Office $250,000 Laboratories $100,000 Classrooms $25,000 - $50,000 each Faculty Offices $25,000 each


To participate or to learn more, contact B.J. Hull, vice president for advancement, at 269.749.7630 or For more on the Responsible Learners – Responsible Leaders campaign, visit



CAMPAIGN GOALS Overall $35,354,586.60 (80.4%)



› Outside enhancements will

modernize the building’s façade, creating an inviting point of entry for students, faculty and guests, including remodeled doorways that will open to an accessible entrance that meet new walkways, patios and seating areas.

› Fresh landscaping to add to the building’s outer beauty.


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Cash $19,389,586.60 (74.6%) Estate $15,965,000.00 (88.7%)

All figures as of January 31, 2018


A secure future for you and Olivet College. For years, Olivet College has benefitted from the generosity of alumni and friends who seek to support the educational mission of the college. When you give to Olivet College, you can help make dreams come true by supporting students, recruiting and retaining the best faculty, and developing and strengthening academic programs. Investing in the future of Olivet College is much easier than most people think. Depending upon your personal goals, the decision to make a current or future gift to the college allows you to maximize the desired impact you wish to have on Olivet College. Below are various strategies for you to consider when supporting Olivet College.

If your goal is to:

Then you can:

And your benefits will be:

Make a quick and easy gift

Simply write a check or use a credit card to make a gift now

An income tax deduction and an immediate impact on Olivet

Defer a gift until after your lifetime

Put a bequest in your Will or Personal Trust (cash, specific property, or a percentage of the residue)

An estate tax deduction and the ability to keep assets for your benefit during your lifetime

Maximize your heirs’ inheritance while benefitting Olivet

Name Olivet as the beneficiary of your retirement plan – IRA, 401(k) or 403(b); leave other assets to family

Reduced estate and income tax for your heirs

Avoid long-term capital gains tax

Give Olivet appreciated stock or certain bonds you have owned at least one year

A charitable deduction and avoidance of capital gains tax

Make a large future gift with little cost

Give Olivet a life insurance policy you no longer need

Current and possible future income tax deductions

Secure a fixed and guaranteed income while avoiding market risks

Establish a one or two life Charitable Gift Annuity

Current charitable deduction and often a higher rate of return than from existing investment vehicles

Avoid capital gains tax on the sale of a home or other real estate

Give all or a percentage of the property to Olivet

An income tax deduction, plus the elimination of some or all capital gains tax

*A charitable IRA distribution makes it easier to use IRA assets during your lifetime to make charitable gifts. The IRA Charitable Rollover, or qualified charitable distribution (QCD), is a special provision allowing certain donors to exclude from taxable income and count toward their required minimum distribution certain transfers of Individual Retirement Account (IRA) assets that are made directly to public charities, including Olivet College. Since the provision was first made available, individuals age 70 ½ or older have used this popular option to support areas of greatest interest to them with tax-wise gifts ranging from $1,000 to $100,000 (the maximum contribution allowed in any one year).

If one or more of the above strategies interest you, we invite you to contact the college’s advancement office at 269.749.7630 or to learn more. As always, we encourage you to speak with your financial, tax, or legal advisor for more details.


NOTES Message from the Director of Alumni Engagement Dear Fellow Alumni, When I returned to Olivet College as an employee in February of 2017, it had been nearly 17 years since I was last on campus as a student. I was as enchanted returning to campus as I was 20 years before when I first chose Olivet. Everyone has a certain love for his/her alma mater, but ours is special in a unique way. Whether our progressive position on social justice, which was more than a century ahead of its time at the founding of the college, or our commitment to Education for Individual and Social Responsibility, Olivet College not only educates its students, but also prepares courageous and conscientious citizens for a world that needs just that. My own love for the college flows from a servant’s heart. I fiercely believe that the willingness to do good for others is imperative to a meaningful life and an orderly, joyful world. As Olivet College continues to honor the mission of its founding fathers, “to teach students the divine art and science of doing good to others,” it remains important and relevant in today’s world. The alumni of Olivet College are a force for good, 12,000 strong. We stand to make a significant impact on the college, its students, and each other through activities that engage alumni for the good of the college and engage the college and alumni for the benefit of the alumni base. I look forward to connecting with you throughout 2018 to learn what matters to you. Together, we will bring to life new opportunities to connect, engage, and ignite. Warm regards,

Samantha Pearl ’00

Honor Roll Corrections The November 2017 Annual Report issue of Shipherd’s Record included the 2016-2017 Honor Roll of donors. While Olivet College strives for accuracy and thoroughness in all such listings, errors and omissions occasionally occur. Our supporters are important to us, and we sincerely apologize to the individuals whose names and/or giving levels were not accurately represented. The following alumni and supporters were listed incorrectly; the correct listings appear below. Mike ’75 and Judy Fales Acorn Society of the Lifetime Giving Circle Hosford Society of the Annual Giving Circle John ’73 and Sandy (Brokstad) ’76 Martin Red & White Society of the Annual Giving Circle Randy ’77 and Janice Wiltse Responsibility Society of the Annual Giving Circle

Connect with Alumni on Facebook Search “Olivet College Office of Alumni Engagement” on Facebook and then like, follow, and share the official OC Alumni Facebook page. We’ll share campus updates, alumni in the news, class notes, alumni events and more!


S H I P H E R D ’S R E C O R D

 Top Left: Charles Blackman ’46. Top Right: Melanie Engels ’08, Pharm.D., M.B.A. Bottom Left: Jenni Baum ’12. Bottom Right: Ed Retherford ’69.


Charles Blackman ’46, a longtime automotive researcher and preservationist, received The Milestone Award at the annual Michigan Auto Heritage Day at the State Capitol, Nov. 1. The award is given annually to an individual who has gone above and beyond in the historic preservation of the automotive industry and labor movement. Charles has spent over 50 years researching his passion for Packard Automotive and can account for almost 97 percent of all Packard cars ever produced.


Ed Retherford ’69, captain of the Trout Scout, was presented the 2017 Michigan Charter Boat Association Award for distinguished service to the organization and the sport of fishing industry. Ed has been a member of the association since 1973.


Jack Wallace ’78 is stepping aside after six seasons as head football coach at Okemos High School. Jack previously spent 38 years as head coach at Fowlerville and is a member of the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame.


Terry Hessbrook ’89, Ithaca High School head football coach, lost in the playoffs when Jackson Lumen Christi beat Ithaca 34-6, Division 6. Terry has taken his team to the state championships almost every year.


Jeremy Miller ’04, PewamoWestphalia High School head football coach, beat Saugatuck 21-0 to win the state championship in football, Division 7. Melanie Engels ’08, Pharm.D., M.B.A., received the ASHP Foundation Innovation in Pharmacy Practice Award, along with others, for their article entitled, “Standardization of Compounded Oral Liquids for Pediatric Patients in Michigan.”


Jenni Baum ’12 received the 2017 Bill Salladin Spirit Award and President’s Club recognition for the 4th consecutive year. She has been with All Risks Ltd since June 2012 and is currently working in the Princeton, New Jersey office.

Thank you Alumni and Friends! When I started as the alumni director 15 years ago, I did not think about how many years I would stay at Olivet. I just knew that the job was perfect for me, and during the years I thoroughly enjoyed being back at Olivet. Thank you so much for being a part of my career with your support and by attending events. It gave me an opportunity to reconnect with my college classmates and to meet many alumni who became my “new friends.” And for that I am grateful. Although I am moving to another state, I will still stay connected – it is what I do! I look forward to hearing from you at Thanks for the wonderful memories!

Marty (Mason) Jennings ’67

Continued on page 30



Keep in Touch!



Do you have exciting news to share? Do you have a new address, email or phone number? Submit your news online at

 From left to right: Rod ’08 and Courtney (Burnett) Sanders, Harold ’13 and Brenna (Leedy) ‘12 Ellison, Hannah (Scott) ’15 and George Szegedy, Eliana Rose Thomas, Amelia Lynn Barber, Graci Jayne Linn.

Continued from page 29 Serafin Llerena ’11, has been named Jackson College’s men’s and women’s cross country coach. Serafin ran track and cross country for four years at OC. He was voted team captain for cross country his junior and senior years. Serafin earned a bachelor’s degree in sports and fitness management. He currently works as athletic director, dean of students and head boys’ cross country coach for Jackson Preparatory and Early College (JPEC). “This will be my first collegiate level coaching job, and I am thrilled for the opportunity,” he said. “I look forward to being able to coach at Jackson College to continue my career as a coach but, most importantly, to help these student-athletes achieve their goals in life.”

Marriages Rod Sanders ’08 and Courtney (Burnett) Sanders were married Nov. 4, 2017. Best man was Rod’s brother, Ross Sanders ’12. Groomsmen were Jeffrey Thigpen ’07, Blaine Burnett ’08, DeRan Thomas ’08, Brandon Wilkins ex’09, Keith Gardener ex’10, and Lee Gardner ’16. Harold ’13 and Brenna (Leedy) ’12 Ellison were married on Oct. 28, 2017. The wedding party


S H I P H E R D ’S R E C O R D

consisted of Nu Gamma Xi sisters Candace Marquette ’12, Ashleigh Holley ’12, Becca Johnson ’13, and Sahara Basye ’16, as well as Elite brothers Michael Purtilar ’12 and Avery Brown ’13. In attendance were many Nu Gamma Xi sisters and Elite brothers. Hannah (Scott) ’15 and George Szegedy were married on Jan. 19, 2018.


Tyrai Thomas ’03 and wife, Erica, welcomed a daughter, Eliana Rose, Jan. 6, 2018. She joins brother, Tyrai Jr., 8, and sister, Elyssa, 5. Melissa Chovance ’05 and Mike Eastman welcomed a daughter, Hadley Jane, Nov. 26, 2017. She joins sister, Maci, 10. Ryan Newberry ’07 and wife, Ashley, welcomed a son, Walker Alan, Jan. 8, 2018. He joins brother, Ryder, 2. Jesse ’10 and Kristy (Latimer) ’07 Barber announced the arrival of their daughter, Amelia Lynn Barber, on Nov. 24, 2017. Jackie (Taylor) Landon ’10 and her husband welcomed a son, Henry William, on Dec. 11, 2017. Lukas Linn ’10 and wife, Kristen, welcomed a daughter, Graci Jayne Linn, Nov. 3, 2017.

In Memoriam 1950s

Richard Herbert ’52, Nov. 2017. He is survived by wife, Hilda (Arnold) Herbert ’53. Nancy (Warner) Michelson ’53, Aug. 25, 2017. She is survived by her husband, Reuben Michelson ’52. Nancy was a Soronian; Reuben is a Phi Alpha. Paul Andrews ’53, Nov. 30, 2017.

1960s Mohammed Waheed-Uz-Zaman Rana ’64, Ph.D., Oct. 16, 2016. His wife, Janice (Wolford) Rana ’65, preceded him in death in 2006. Bruce McDonald ’69, May 1, 2016; his first wife, Diana (Cox) McDonald ’69 preceded him in death in 1982. Nancy Hammontree ’64, Dec. 14, 2017

1990s C.J. Connelly ’90, Jan. 12, 2018

Friends of the College

David Hayhow, longtime friend of Olivet College and member of the Board of Trustees, passed away Jan. 7, 2018.

Nominate for Alumni Awards and Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Today

2017 Alumni 2017 Award Awards Recipients

It’s that time of year! Nominate outstanding Olivet College alumni for one of five Alumni Association Awards and one of four Athletic Hall of Fame inductions. Nominations must be submitted on the nomination form with all required attachments and documentation no later than 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 1, 2018.


The purpose of the Alumni Association awards program is to honor alumni and friends of Olivet College who have made significant contributions to their field and/or the college and to enhance the visibility and awareness of alumni of the college. The awards recognize individuals who exemplify the vision, mission and values in addition to making a positive contribution to their given profession and community. • Distinguished Alumni Award • 1844 Award • Young Alumni Award • Outstanding Non-Traditional Alumni Award • Outstanding Graduate Degree Alumni Award


 Marty (Mason) Jennings ’67, Distinguished Alumni Award

 Jim McCloughan ’68, Distinguished Alumni Award

Established in 1972, the Olivet College Athletic Hall of Fame was founded to honor past athletes, faculty, staff and friends who, through their actions, have brought distinction through athletics to themselves and to Olivet College. • Olivet College Student-Athlete • Olivet College Coach/Athletic Administrator • Special Mention/Community Member • Team For the full criteria for each award and to nominate online, visit

 Jill (Lingbeek) Cangealose ’06, Athletic Hall of Fame


ALUMNI AWARDS CELEBRATION Friday, Sept. 28 Alumni award recipients and Athletic Hall of Fame inductees will be honored at the annual dinner held at Cutler Event Center.

 Dustin Cichocki ’01, Athletic Hall of Fame

Alumni Engagement Office 320 S. Main St. Olivet, MI 49076

YOU’RE INVITED! 22ND ANNUAL LEADERSHIP DINNER Wednesday, May 16 Lansing Country Club Honorees: Pat Brumbaugh ’75 Director of Bands Traverse City West Senior High School Paula Cunningham State Director AARP of Michigan Barbara Fulton Director of Community Development Hayes Green Beach Memorial Hospital

COMET NIGHT AT THE LANSING LUGNUTS Wednesday, Aug. 1 Cooley Law School Stadium 7:05 p.m. game time

HOMECOMING Friday, Sept. 28 – Sunday, Sept. 30 Celebrating the 175th Anniversary of Olivet College Homecoming football game: Finlandia vs. The Comets


Saturday, May 19 Seating opens at 11:00 a.m. Commencement exercises begin at 1:00 p.m.

For more information on any event, contact Samantha Pearl ’00 at or 269.749.7644.