The University of Olivet has announced that its ambitious comprehensive campaign raised more than $47.18 million, surpassing its goal of $44 million. The campaign, Responsible Learners — Responsible Leaders: The University of Olivet 2020 and Beyond, is unprecedented in its boldness, scope and vision for the College.
“The success of these fundraising efforts is a tribute to the dedication and generosity of our alumni, students, parents and friends,” The University of Olivet President Steven M. Corey, Ph.D., said. “The 2020 and Beyond campaign has reinforced our long-established strengths while strategically investing in programs that support academic, co-curricular and capital improvements. At a time when colleges and universities are faced with challenges, The University of Olivet has succeeded in a remarkable way. We continue to prove our commitment to the value of higher education as we enhance the experiences of future leaders. This success has given us tremendous momentum and reaffirms our commitment to preparing graduates for rewarding careers and developing global citizens of honor, integrity and character.”
These last four years have been the most successful years of fundraising in the College’s history. The campaign kicked off with a silent phase in 2015. It was publicly announced on Sept. 29, 2017, and concluded June 30, 2019, at the close of the College’s 175th anniversary year.
The campaign focused on a carefully determined set of goals:
- Enriching the student experience.
- Learning to lead on the playing field.
- Creating a vibrant campus and community.
- Growing and sustaining the College for the future.
More than 2,700 donors from around the country — including more than 1,450 alumni — contributed to the campaign. In addition, more than 1,273 were first-time donors to the College. The campaign received 11 gifts of $1 million or more, accounting for $31.179 million of the total raised. The campaign also received 40 estate gifts and increased the future expectancy of its endowment by $20.7 million.
Notable Campaign Achievements
The Student Center:
Considered the pinnacle project of the 2020 and Beyond campaign, the construction of a new $17 million Student Center is entering the final stages of planning with a target opening of 2021. The Center will provide a central place on campus for students to connect, work and study.
“The Student Center is important because it will serve as a common place to bring everyone together,” Michaela Kaliniak ’19 said. “Whether you’re a commuter, an athlete, a Greek, a band member or an artist, this center will be able to showcase everyone’s talents in a common place, not just in our separate buildings.”
The Gruen Engagement Center:
On May 18, 2018, The University of Olivet dedicated the Gruen Engagement Center, the former home of Professor Fred Gruen, Ph.D., now used as a place where students and faculty gather to collaborate. The engagement center also provides lodging and hospitality space for campus visitors.
Launched in the summer of 2018, the RN-BSN program, one of six new academic programs, partners with Kellogg Community College and offers three pathways to obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The program is growing rapidly, and students agree that the flexible learning style allows them to cater the program to their needs.
“The hybrid of online and classroom instruction allows me to truly learn,” student Rick Wilson said. “The OC RN-BSN program is a great fit for my learning style. I find classes thought-provoking and interactive, and the knowledge we are learning is directly applicable to my professional role.”
Men’s and Women’s Bowling Program:
The campaign supported the expansion of the men’s and women’s bowling teams, two of six new athletic programs, resulting in additional opportunities for students to continue their passion throughout their college career.
“Offering talented student-athletes the opportunity to continue competing throughout their college career is mutually beneficial,” Athletic Director Ryan Shockey said. “It’s an opportunity for colleges to engage a new group of students, and it provides a competitive sporting opportunity for men and women.”
Health and Human Performance Lab:
In 2017, the Health and Human Performance Department debuted a new lab, furnished with state-of-the-art equipment that provides students with real-world experience to prepare them for their future careers. The lab was funded by one of eight teaching and learning grants.
“Being able to give students a space to practically apply the skills they have developed is essential to prepare them for successful futures,” Nick Juday, associate professor of health and human performance and chair of the Health and Human Performance Department, said. “I’m pleased that The University of Olivet is a place where we offer students a top-notch education.”
In addition to these achievements, the campaign accomplished the following projects.
- Physical Impact Across Campus:
- Pyne Pavilion.
- Dole Hall Welcome Center.
- Hosford History Center and Lawrence Archives.
- Roznowski Learning Commons.
- · Academic Program Expansion — Six new majors, two new minors and several academic program enhancements:
- Includes accounting, criminal justice, gerontology, graphic design, Marching Band and music, social work, sports psychology, sports and recreation management, Difference Makers Service Corps and the Women’s Leadership Institute.
- Athletic Program Expansion — Six new and four expanded athletic programs:
- Includes men’s tennis, cheer/STUNT/dance, outdoor recreation and competitive clay target program, esports, men’s and women’s track and field and men’s and women’s cross country.
- Academic Program Enhancements — Eight teaching and learning grants awarded:
- African American Male Success Initiative, band and choir room improvements, faculty inclusion and diversity programming, journalism and mass communication equipment and software, liberal arts core revisions, psychology observation laboratory renovation and science research mini grants.
“Every dollar contributed to the 2020 and Beyond campaign is enhancing the strength and vitality of the College and allows us to serve our students in immeasurable ways,” Corey said. “The success of the campaign is having an immediate impact on our students, and in turn, our graduates are positioned to be the next generation of responsible leaders.”