Distinguished Alumni to be Honored at The University of Olivet Homecoming

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Your The University of Olivet family is inviting you to come home this fall for Homecoming. Join fellow Comets Friday, Sept. 29 to Sunday, Oct. 1 to reconnect with classmates, honor deserving alumni, enjoy the beauty of campus, cheer on the Comets and visit your favorite Greek organization.

Students kick off a week of “Comet Carnival” celebrations Monday, Sept. 25. Special events include Midnight Breakfast, Family Feud Night, Celebration in The Square, a pep rally and a parade. In addition, the annual Fall Service Day will be held Wednesday, Sept. 27. OC students never take a break from individual and social responsibility!

Several events to celebrate the 40th and 50th reunions for the classes of 1977 and 1967 are planned throughout Homecoming weekend, as well as golf outings for Greek and athletic alumni. Other special events will honor the 2007 championship football team and 50-year anniversary of the C.S. Mott Academic Center. In addition, alumni are invited to visit the The University of Olivet Archives (top floor of Burrage Library) and the Alumni Art Exhibit in the Kresge Foundation Art Gallery throughout the weekend. View the full list of events and register online now.

You’ll definitely want to attend this year’s Alumni Awards Celebration on Friday, Sept. 29. Two of The University of Olivet’s finest will be honored with Distinguished Alumni Awards, and we know you’ll want to help honor each of them.

2017 Distinguished Alumni


Marty (Mason) Jennings ’67

Marty (Mason) Jennings ’67 has served The University of Olivet as the alumni director for 15 years. In her role, Marty coordinates events throughout the state, encourages fellow alumni to visit campus, and ensures Comets stay connected. Most prominently, Marty leads the Homecoming Committee, directing alumni volunteers, faculty and staff from nearly every campus department to plan and execute fun and memorable events for alumni of all ages.

Marty grew up in Akron, Pennsylvania and earned her fine arts degree in 1967. During her time as a student, Marty was a dedicated sister to Soronian Literary Society and has continued to love and advocate for the organization. After graduating, Marty moved back east and became a buyer for a major department store in Baltimore. Later, she spent seven years in Hawaii, where she was a department store buyer. Prior to returning to Olivet in 2002, Marty lived in Pittsburgh and worked as a merchandiser for Vanity Fair and served as a tour manager on cross-country road tours and cruises.

Regardless of where she’s been in her life, Marty’s love of The University of Olivet never wavered. Having the opportunity to serve as alumni director has been a dream come true. Marty loves most the amazing alumni she’s met from around the world and hearing their stories.

“I have worked closely with Marty over the last 15 years since her arrival at Olivet. She has demonstrated time and again her dedication, commitment and love for The University of Olivet,” Pamela Heos ’77, The University of Olivet Alumni Council president, said. “Her actions, sometimes very quiet and unassuming, have always put the college and her alumni first and foremost. She is the perfect example as an alumna who all The University of Olivet alumni should aspire to be. Dedication, commitment and love for our alma mater makes us stronger, unified and in support of The University of Olivet. We congratulate her in a job well done and wish her all the best. I know she will never be a stranger to The University of Olivet even in her retirement.”

Marty will retire shortly after Homecoming. She looks forward to moving to Minneapolis to be near her two sons and seven grandchildren.

Jim McCloughan ’68

On July 31, 2017, Jim McCloughan ’68 was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroism over a two-day period when he served as an Army combat medic in the Vietnam War. In 1969, Jim saved the lives of nine fellow soldiers and one Vietnamese interpreter at a battle near Nui Yon Hill of Tam Ky, Vietnam. Jim braved enemy fire to retrieve wounded comrades and refused evacuation to stay with his men, despite being wounded himself.

“Jim always gave his very best in whatever he did,” said Al Nagy ’68. “His commitment to The University of Olivet, his teammates and friends always have been and continue to be his priority.”

Before being drafted in 1968, Jim earned a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and a teaching certificate from The University of Olivet. As a student, Jim was a member of the 1967 championship football team, was part of OC’s first wrestling team and also played baseball. His athletic achievements earned him a spot in the The University of Olivet Athletic Hall of Fame in 1978.

Jim earned his Master of Arts from Western Michigan University in psychology, counseling and personnel in 1972. For 38 years, he served as a teacher and coach at South Haven High School. Today, he continues to serve as a Michigan High School Athletic Association wrestling official.

Jim and his wife, Cherie, still make South Haven their home.

Game Day

Homecoming excitement continues Saturday, Sept. 30 when the Comets take on Hope College at 2 p.m. on the new turf field at Cutler Event Center. Prior to the game, the Lamplighter will host the Red and White Tailgate, and events will resume with a concert and social under the tent following the game.

Learn more or contact Marty (Mason) Jennings ’67 at 269.749.7644 or mjennings@uolivet.edu for questions. Register online now.


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