Five Minutes with Myles Harper, Associate Director of Stewardship and Donor Engagement

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Myles Harper, associate director of stewardship and donor engagement, is a new member to the The University of Olivet family, but has already made a large impact on the campus community. In his role, Myles is dedicated to ensuring all who give to The University of Olivet know the impact of their support and how much students, staff and faculty appreciate their gifts of time, talent, treasure and more. Myles’ passion for working in advancement began during his own time as a student working in Oakland University’s telefund program. After witnessing the positive results all gifts make firsthand, Myles now wants to help others realize how they can make a difference in the lives of today’s students.

Why do you love The University of Olivet?

The people at Olivet are supportive and eager to share. Not only are they willing to give you their thoughts and opinions, they’re excited at the opportunity to show you their world. That’s a great testament to the passion Olivetians have for their institution.

Where does your passion for working in higher education stem from?

I grew up with parents who placed a great value on education and traveled frequently, giving me a lot of exposure to different colleges and universities. Knowing the transformative effect that higher education has on individuals and entire families, it’s rewarding to contribute to such a positive mission.

What’s the average day in your role, or some of the unique things you are responsible for?

One of the less routine things I get to do is plan dedications for donor-funded projects. The recent dedication of the Gruen Engagement Center was a great experience and it was touching to meet the Gruen family who grew up in the house and made the restoration possible. The center will now serve as a place where today’s students and faculty can collaborate in a social setting, while also serving as a lodging and hospitality space for visitors such as professors-in-residence, campus speakers and special guests. I’m very excited to see its impact on campus.

Why do you encourage students to attend The University of Olivet?

It’d be very difficult to slip through the cracks at Olivet. The faculty actively works to prepare each and every student for success. You can count on being supported, encouraged and appreciated throughout your education and beyond.

What do you look forward to in your role?

There’s a lot of excitement surrounding the 175th anniversary of our founding and I’m looking forward to celebrating that incredible milestone at Homecoming this year. I am especially eager to connect with alumni at the awesome events planned during Homecoming weekend.

What advice do you share with students and alumni?

As a recent college graduate, I’d suggest to students that they get involved in a variety of extra-curricular activities, even those that aren’t geared toward advancing your current career choice. Especially for people who don’t have a direct career path, it’s important to explore your options and find your own way.

What is an interesting or little known fact about yourself?

My hometown is Llanfairfechan in North Wales, and I had the experience of being an international student. I hope to one day endow a scholarship for other international students. Financial aid for international students is extremely limited, especially for undergraduates, so providing even a modest scholarship would be a big draw for international talent.

Learn more about The University of Olivet and how you can make a difference in the lives of students by contacting the Office of Advancement at 269.749.7630.


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