Comet Cupid

Not only can you receive a quality education at The University of Olivet, it is also a place where you can create meaningful, long lasting relationships, and possibly meet your life long partner!

Alumni Giving Competition

Rod ’68 & Jill ’73 Perkins

Rod ’68 and Jill ’73 (VanderTuuk) Perkins did not actually “meet” at Olivet College; however, they were on campus together. During his senior year, Rod worked full-time nights at Oaklawn Hospital in Marshall as an orderly. Each day he returned to campus, he would head to the Collegiate Center for breakfast before heading out for his morning classes. Jill was a first-year student and worked in the serving line. Each morning as Rod went through the breakfast line, he would see Jill busy at work restocking the serving shelves and completing other tasks. However, they never had an occasion to meet.

Rod graduated from Olivet in 1968 and began his graduate studies at Central Michigan University. As fate would have it, Rod was returning from studying in the campus library and saw a girl walking toward him in his dorm hallway . As she approached each doorway, she looked at the numbers on the door and squinted. Rod later found out that she had gone to the ladies’ room to remove her contacts and was having difficulty finding her way back to the room she was visiting. He asked her if she needed help, and she said she had found the right door and then quickly disappeared inside the room directly across the hall from Rod’s room. Rod thought to himself,  “Why does that girl look so familiar? I think I know her from somewhere!”

His curiosity was more than he could stand, so Rod walked across the hall to the room she was visiting. He said, “I know this will sound like a line, but I know I have seen you somewhere, but can’t recall where?” He could almost see Jill’s eyes roll upward, and then they began the back-and-forth narrative of where they were from, which high school they graduated from, etc. When Jill mentioned Olivet, Rod said, “That’s it! I graduated from Olivet College last year.” They were finally able to determine that Jill was working in the serving line at the Collegiate Center as Rod came through for breakfast each morning. They chatted a bit before Rod returned to his room.

Rod wanted to reach out to Jill the next day; however, he couldn’t remember her last name. But he had an idea. His folks were visiting campus to celebrate his birthday, so he called and asked them to bring his Olivet yearbook. Rod was able to find Jill’s name from that. He called her, and they set a date for a movie. He remembers afterward telling his roommate that Jill was a girl that he could certainly marry. They dated several times, and just six weeks later, on New Year’s Eve, Rod asked Jill to marry him. They were married the following August.

A few years later, Jill decided to finish her degree. Rod found a job in Calhoun County, and Jill returned to Olivet College and graduated in 1973 with a teaching degree. Rod worked as a school psychologist and Jill taught for 31 years. In 2004, they relocated to Florida. They have been married for 53 years. They have four children, six grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Rod said, “It continues to be an amazing journey with an amazing woman I have been blessed to find!”

Robert (Bobby)’ 72 and Gayle Glenn

Robert (Bobby) Glenn ’72 met his wife in the park under the Oak Trees in the fall of 1968. They married in 1970 and began their family in Olivet. Bobby said, “We loved spending time in our on-campus home, which has since been demolished. Raising our two daughters there, we made it our home and we always had lots of friends stopping by.” After attending Olivet, both Robert and Gayle had careers in education and enjoyed working with young people. They plan to always be active in the community, trying to be positive and productive citizens.

Douglas ’89 and Louise ’89 Cook

Doug ’89 and Louise (Newton) ’89 Cook met at the beginning of their senior year at Olivet College. They started dating after a Kappa Sig party the night before classes began. Doug was the president of Adelphic, and Louise was a Kappa Sig sweetheart. Louise has many fond memories of their time on campus together; however, one special highlight was when Doug was the first non-Kappa Sig male to attend the Kappa Sig Formal.  

Doug and Louise eloped to St. Lucia after college. They were married in 1994. They stay in close contact with several of their college friends and have come back to campus for homecoming festivities. Doug and Louise have one son, Aidan, and live in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Roger ’99 & Shelly ’98 Phillips

Roger ‘99 and Shelly (Burzycki) ’98 Phillips met in January 1996 when they pledged their respective Greek houses, Adelphic Alpha Pi and Sigma Beta.

The two were introduced by a mutual friend, Kimberly Fry ‘00, during a pledging event. Roger and Shelly became friends and attended the Adelphic Formal together. Their friendship continued after pledging, and the two began dating. 

Shelly played softball at OC, and Roger kept the book for the softball team for his work-study, so he traveled with them and never missed a game. Shelly also traveled to watch Roger play football for the Comets.  The two became inseparable on and off campus. 

After three years of dating, Roger proposed to Shelly at her senior Sigma Formal. Everyone shared in this memorable event. It seemed that some people on campus knew the proposal was going to happen in advance but kept it secret! The pair graduated from Olivet and were married at the Olivet Congregational Church on December 11, 1999, with their friends and family present.

Roger and Shelly have been married for 23 years and have a 14-year-old son, Reece. Roger and Shelly have careers in the insurance industry and reside in Michigan. They enjoy watching Reece play football and baseball and take part in many outdoor activities. The family enjoys snowmobiling up north near their cabin, boating at Duck Lake, and hunting and fishing in Olivet. They stay in contact with many friends from college and visit as often as possible. Their son has even grown up to be friends with some of their college friends’ kids!

Kefentse ’06 & Karly ’07 Mandisa

Karly (Batt) ‘07 and Kefentse Mandisa ‘06 met on the steps of the KC in 2003. Karly was a first-year student, and Kefentse was a sophomore. Karly and her roommate were escaping the heat of Dole Hall on a hot August evening and Kefentse was finishing dinner. He started a conversation with the girls and invited them to play pool in Blair Hal – the rest is history! 

Karly and Kefentse enjoyed being active in many things during their years at Olivet. Kefentse was on the Olivet wrestling team and an active member of Gamma Iota Sigma. In 2015, Kefentse earned his MBA through Olivet’s insurance program. Karly was the station manager of WOCR and an RA in Dole Hall. She also worked in the student resource center and at the Congregational Church.  

Karly and Kefentse married in 2015 and have enjoyed many opportunities to travel and live in new places, including Kansas City and Chicago. The two are closer to home now, currently residing in Toledo, Ohio. Kefentse works for Marsh & McLennan Agency out of Livonia, and Karly has a career in logistics and transportation, working in Toledo.  

Kyle ’08 & Kayleigh ‘09 Vanderlaan

Kyle ‘08 and Kayleigh (Hamilton” ‘09 Vanderlaan met in the fall of 2005 after their grandmothers, who sold Avon together, told them about each other. Their grandmothers remained close friends and enjoyed sharing how they set Kyle and Kayleigh up! The two officially started dating in December 2006.  

Kyle, who is still serving in the Army, was deployed when their relationship blossomed. All those hours of talking while he was gone is what shaped their foundation for long-lasting love. They were engaged in April 2007 when Kyle was home on leave from his deployment in Kosovo and married in August 2008. Their first child, Ford, was born in May of 2016, next came daughter Lenon, in August 2017, followed by their youngest daughter, Edith, in August 2021. Over the years the family has lived in Virginia, Michigan, and now Texas. Kyle has served in the Army for 19 years. Kayleigh graduated from the insurance program and has worked in the industry since graduation.  

Kyle and Kayleigh will celebrate their 15th anniversary this year! Kayleigh said, “We are so thankful to Olivet College for bringing us together.”

Scott ’09 and Becci ’09 Brewster

Scott ’09 and Becci (Birtles) Brewster ’09 met in 2006 at Alpha E. Becci was a sophomore and acting House Manager.  One evening, she was in the process of opening a door to a  room to tell one of her sisters to turn a light off. However, when she threw the door open, mid-yell, she saw Scott sitting there. She thought to herself, “Wow, he’s good looking.” She said hello and apologized for barging in. Scott just smiled at her. Becci learned that Scott was a first-year student, and he was looking for somewhere to hang out, other than Blair Hall. Alpha E was one of the places he found.

Becci and Scott soon became close friends, and it was clear that he was trying to win her over. However, she was dating a Phi Alpha Pi at the time. That relationship ended, and Scott and Becci started dating a month later. They ended up getting married the week after they finished with OC classes in December 2009.

Scott and Becci  celebrated their 13th wedding anniversary on December 12. They have been together 16 years!

Ryan Armstrong ’15 & Jessica Duell ’15

Ryan Armstrong ‘15 and Jessica Duell ‘15 met in 2011 during their first year of college at Olivet. They were both student-athletes, she was on the softball team, and he was on the football team. They were introduced to each other by their mutual friend, Brandi Rimmer ’15, and as Ryan and Jessica got to know each other they fell head over heels for one another. Football season was always exciting as Jessica watched Ryan play and excel. Their relationship wasn’t always easy, as they dealt with loss, heartaches, and breakups. However, they managed to find each other again, and their love has stayed true and strong. After they graduated college, Ryan and Jessica began working for the State of Michigan. They welcomed their son, Elijah Robert Armstrong, on May 21, 2022. They love him very much, and feel he truly has been their biggest blessing! Ryan and Jessica can’t wait to see what the future has in store for their family. 

Justin ’16 and Ashlynn ’17 Madar

Justin ’16 and Ashlynn (Grubb) ’17 Madar met in the spring of 2014 when Ashlynn transferred to Olivet College. It was love at first sight for Justin, but they didn’t start dating until fall 2014. Falling in love during college isn’t easy since dating competes with making new friends, studying and participating in sports, but the couple endured. Justin played football and Ashlynn played softball. The two dedicated athletes were named “Rookie of the Year” in their respective sports in 2015.

Justin graduated in December 2016 with a degree in business administration. Ashlynn graduated in May 2016 with a degree in health science. Today, Justin is an insurance agent and Ashlynn works for the State of Michigan. The couple lives in Dewitt, Michigan, and married on August 21, 2021. They welcomed their daughter, Remi Lynn, on October 30, 2022.

Connor ’17 and Nicole ’18 Bauserman

Connor ’17 and Nicole (Gilbert) ’18 Bauserman met at Harper Creek High School and started dating their junior year. After high school, Connor chose to attend Olivet College, and Nicole went to a larger school on a diving scholarship. Connor convinced Nicole to visit Olivet and even talked her into running with the Olivet College cross-country team. Nicole decided Olivet was a better fit for her and happily transferred. Nicole says one of the best times in their lives was when they both worked on campus one summer, Nicole in the admissions office as a tour guide and Connor in summer camps. Connor and Nicole ran track/cross country throughout their college careers, participated in the President’s Leadership Institute, and made two service trips to Louisiana and South Carolina together.

Today, Connor is a financial advisor for Preferred Financial Group within Consumers Professional Credit Union. Nicole started as a financial analyst and now runs her training business, Bfit. Nicole and Connor currently reside in East Leroy, Michigan, and have two children, Isaiah (2) and Aubree (1).

Kody ’19 & Ashley (Curtis) ’16 Garcia

Kody19 and Ashley (Curtis) Garcia16 met at Alpha E in 2015. Their relationship started through texts, asking about each other’s days and trying to meet in between classes. In the fall of 2015, Kody tried to meet Ashley before going home to Indiana for Thanksgiving, but unfortunately, the timing didn’t work. To make up for it, Kody arranged a date for them to see the movie, Creed. They never stopped talking and found ways to hang out more back on campus. Kody officially asked Ashley to be his girlfriend on December 1, 2015. They became engaged at Alpha E running night on January 19, 2018 and were married on July 10, 2021. They recently welcomed a son, Michael, who was born on October 20, 2022.

Robert ’18 and Kelsey ’19 Johnson

Robert ’18 and Kelsey (Knight) ’19 Johnson are both from Homer, Michigan. They knew each other in middle school but didn’t become friends until high school when they were on the track team. They dated on and off, and then Robert graduated in 2014 and headed to Olivet College for football. Kelsey graduated in 2015. After exploring different schools, she decided to attend Olivet College as a track team member. Both majored in business, studied abroad together and met several of their best friends while at college.

Today, Rob works at DJS Systems, which builds packaging automation and robotic systems for major corporations. Kelsey is an operations supervisor for Automated Logistics Systems.

Ashley ’18 and Maurice (Mo) ’19 Young

Ashley (Harwood) ’18 and Maurice (Mo) ’19 Young would not have met had Ashley not transferred to Olivet in her sophomore year in the fall of 2015. During Move-In weekend, Mo was helping Ashley’s roommate move into their Gillette apartment. The two began to hang out regularly to talk, cook meals and have game nights. Because Mo was on the football team, Ashley attended all of the Comet games. The two were married in March 2021 and welcomed their son, Andre, into the world in June 2021. In December 2021, they moved to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, to be closer to family.

Maggie ’21 and Ben ’20 Serrels

Maggie (Dunn) ’21 and Ben Serrels ’20 attended Olivet High School but didn’t know each other well. During their first year at Olivet College, they sometimes saw each other around campus but never had a reason to say anything other than hello. Ben worked in ITS in the Roznowski Center (the lower level of Burrage Library) and Maggie had a habit of visiting the library at the same time every day and sitting on the couches near Judy Fales’ office. One day, Ben approached Maggie and made small talk. Judy came and sat with them and helped the conversation along. After Ben left, Judy told Maggie that she and Ben would look nice together as a couple and encouraged the two to keep talking. The next day Ben sat by Maggie again and eventually asked her to the Willow Tree for coffee.

Professor Kirk Hendershott-Kraetzer, Ph.D., is one of Maggie’s favorite people, and they still keep in touch today. Professor Hendershott-Kraetzer noticed Ben and Maggie and encouraged the relationship by talking about how smart Ben was. Professor Laura Barlond-Maas, who knew Ben and Maggie from their Olivet High School days, also encouraged the relationship. The size of Olivet also was to their advantage since they regularly saw each other around campus. Ben and Maggie have been together since 2017, and she is sure they would not have gotten together if they didn’t attend Olivet College. Ben graduated with a degree in accounting and business and is currently an accountant at Auto-Owners Insurance. Maggie received a degree in psychology and entered an Interpreter Training Program for American Sign Language. She has been working at Auto-Owners as a PIP Adjuster. The couple is currently hosting a foreign exchange student from Denmark named Malle.

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