If you’ve ever visited the The University of Olivet campus and spent time with the students and staff, you quickly feel included. Whether it’s a smile from a student as you walk across the Square, or a warm greeting from a professor as you walk down the halls of Mott, you always feel welcome. That feeling of inclusiveness was one of the many reasons Xavier Vance decided to attend The University of Olivet.
Coming from a large high school in the Detroit suburb of West Bloomfield, Xavier wanted to attend a smaller school where she could have a closer relationship with her professors and peers. Once she visited the The University of Olivet campus, she knew Olivet was the college for her.
“When I visited The University of Olivet, I loved the smaller size of campus and that there were people here who I could have a one-on-one connection with. And it’s beautiful here! That was what did it for me.”
When she first started at Olivet, Xavier said she immediately wanted to jump in and get to know everyone, and being on a smaller campus made that easy. “I’m one of those people who tries to meet as many people as possible, and I joined the women’s lacrosse team my first semester so I quickly felt included,” said Xavier. “Honestly, you’ll get included no matter what. It’s a tiny town, everyone knows everybody. People notice you and want to include you!”
Now headed into her junior year, Xavier is gearing up for her busy school schedule. She is dual majoring in business administration and journalism and mass communication, and eventually plans to study film as well. She’s also goalie on the The University of Olivet women’s lacrosse team, is a member of the Global Citizen Honors Program and the Hosford Society of Scholars, volunteers for the Comet connection mentorship program, and is going to be a resident advisor in Dole Hall. To say she’ll be busy is an understatement.
Xavier also currently has two jobs, she is on the orientation committee and is a student assistant for the Office of Advancement. “I love that I get to dress up, be professional, and learn from the staff here at Olivet. Seeing them do their work makes me want to do well here, I’m learning so much.”
Xavier especially loves working with the incoming freshmen on the orientation committee. She was nervous at her orientation and enjoys helping new students feel comfortable at The University of Olivet. “I like to ask them what they want to do here, what they’re hoping for and encourage them to get excited about their future. This is a great place to be!”
Her passion for The University of Olivet shines through when you speak to her, and you can tell she truly enjoys the time she spends on campus. Part of that enjoyment comes from her classes, and her supportive professors. “The professors are great here. You can talk to them about anything, basically any time that you need to. They will help you with whatever questions you have and whatever problems you have. Dr. Kirk Hendershott-Kraetzer (professor of english) and Dr. John Homer (professor of business) have both really helped me pave my path at Olivet.”
Xavier will have Dr. Homer for the third time this year, something she is very happy about. “You definitely get to know people here. I love that I get to have some of the same professors more than once, and I always have at least one friend in each of my classes.”
A Bright Future
With everything she has accomplished already, it’s easy to see Xavier has a bright future ahead of her. Eventually, she hopes to be running her own film theater company, “maybe 10 years from now.” In the meantime, she likes to write scripts and short stories, work on her camera skills and learn as much as she can about the film industry.
When asked what she would tell her freshman self about attending The University of Olivet, Xavier said, “You have no idea what’s in store for you! You’re going to grow a lot and it’s all going to be for the better. Be excited. Get ready. Hold on tight. It’s going to be crazy, but you’re going to love it!”