A Photographer’s Guide to Post-Commencement Photos

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Audrey Helfrich ’22 serves as The University’s lead photographer. As an alum and staff member of Olivet, she knows the campus like the back of her hand and all the best spots for stunning photos. Every spring, Audrey is sought after by graduates for senior photos. She is honored to be asked to capture one of the most memorable moments in the lives of our students.

Congratulations, class of 2024! You’ve worked hard to get to graduation, and it’s important that you capture this major accomplishment so you can always remember your time at UOlivet.

Immediately after commencement, there is a whirlwind of excitement, and most graduates will be trying to find their family outside of the Cutler Athletic Complex to gather for group pictures. But why limit yourself to photos outside Cutler Athletic Complex when campus is right up the hill? Below are some of my favorite graduation photo spots on campus. Make a plan to meet your family at one location after commencement and then hit multiple spots for some great photo opps!


Cutler Student Center

The new Cutler Student Center is the perfect backdrop for post-commencement photos. From the vibrant red and white tulips in the planters out front, the steps leading up to the classic UOlivet brick building, to the arch wall in front of the rotunda, there are endless photo opportunities outside and inside this new space for individual grad photos or family photos.


The Square

The Square is an iconic symbol of Olivet, providing a picturesque setting for post-commencement photos. Graduates and their families can pose on the middle path with the UOlivet flag in the background or sit on one of the many Olivet benches positioned around the square. Or if graduates and their families would like more nature-inspired photos, pose under or around our UOlivet oak trees. And, don’t forget the inspiring acorn sculpture, “Opportunity,” commissioned by Tom Kolassa ’69 and designed by Professor Gary Wertheimer, MFA. The inscription on the sculpture reads, “When given an opportunity, do what you can do with it.” Each corner of the Square offers its own charm, ensuring great graduation photos.


The Burrage Library

The Burrage Library is personally one of my favorite buildings on campus. The unique stone exterior makes for a great photo background. Grads and their families can gather on the front steps leading to the library for photos, or under one of the trees on the west side of the building.



Dole Hall

Dole Hall – one of the first buildings on campus you experienced during your admissions visit before officially becoming a Comet! Graduates and their families can meet here for pictures in front of the classic Olivet brick building. Utilize the large white pillars for a striking backdrop, or opt for a shot on the sidewalk leading up to the main entrance offering both the beautiful brick exterior and the white pillars for your photo backdrop.


The University of Olivet Monument Signs

On the north and south ends of campus are The University of Olivet monument signs. What better way to say you just graduated from The University of Olivet than standing in front of a large sign that says The University of Olivet? Be sure to meet your family at either sign for post-commencement photos. Thought tempting, please do not climb on top of the monument signs.


Cutler Athletic Complex

Are you a graduating athlete? Feel free to stop at the various fields at the Cutler Athletic Complex to get a picture in your cap and gown. Whether it be softball, track and field, or tennis get one last picture with your fellow graduating teammates and family members.


Bonus Locations
  • The porch at Hosford House
  • The garden outside the Kirk Center
  • Under the magnolia tree outside the Olivet Congregational Church


Baccalaureate and Commencement are two of my favorite events to photograph each year. I look forward to capturing the joy and excitement of your special day. Congratulations, Class of 2024!

To download a map of these UOlivet graduate photo ops, click here.

To view details on commencement weekend, click here.

Learn more about The University of Olivet by contacting the Office of Admission at 269-200-4060 or admissions@uolivet.edu.

Audrey Helfrich ’22 earned her degree in media production and communications. She serves as content specialist in the marketing and communications department. 



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