During The University of Olivet’s Opening Convocation on Aug. 23, 2023, Kimora Cain was one of three students to share their reflections on the impact of The University of Olivet.
“The University of Olivet is not merely a place of academics; it is a place where dreams take root, aspirations find wings, and friendships that last a lifetime are forged. Within the confines of these walls, generations of students have sought knowledge, wisdom, and enlightenment, and today, we continue this noble tradition.
As we reflect on the journey that has brought us here, we are reminded of the unique essence of our small town. Olivet is not just a location on a map; it is a close-knit community where neighbors are friends and friends are family. Our university stands as a beacon of hope, a source of inspiration, and a catalyst for positive change.
At this university, we offer clubs that bring together like-minded individuals, creating connections and networking opportunities. These clubs foster community, belonging, and the pursuit of passions, skills, and experience. Joining them alongside your academic studies cultivates discipline and time management. Consider joining a club this semester.
Joshua Gillespie is the advisor for HASSA and played a pivotal role in my introduction to the organization. From the beginning, he stood out as someone who warmly embraced newcomers and actively extended invitations to join his initiative. His welcoming arms and genuine enthusiasm created a sense of belonging and eagerness within me. For Black Student Union, Dr. Todd Long is the advisor. His approachability, openness to new ideas, and willingness to listen have been instrumental in creating an environment where I always have a place. They go beyond their title; they embody a spirit of leadership, mentorship, and inclusivity. Their initial gesture of extending a welcoming hand has impacted my journey within the Olivet community and set the tone for how I plan to live the rest of my life.
This institution has always aimed to provide a well-rounded education that goes beyond books and classrooms. We believe in nurturing not just academic excellence but also engraving values that shape responsible and compassionate individuals. Here, we encourage our students to think critically and to embrace diversity in all its forms.
The journey of The University of Olivet has been one of resilience and progress. From its humble beginnings to the way learning is today, we owe this success to the collective efforts of our dedicated faculty, supportive staff, and of course, our brilliant students. Our accomplishments have been the result of a shared vision that values education as a tool for empowerment and social transformation.
As we move forward, we do so with a sense of purpose and determination. Our small-town university may be modest in size, but it boasts an abundance of passion, talent, and potential. Together, we will continue to build a future where knowledge knows no bounds, where innovation flourishes, and where our graduates become ambassadors of positive change.”