The Impact of The University of Olivet, by Vivien Stevenson

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During The University of Olivet’s Opening Convocation on Aug. 23, 2023, Vivien Stevenson was one of three students to share their reflections on the impact of The University of Olivet.

“In the short two years I have been at The University of Olivet, I have been impacted a ton. Between the people I’ve met and the things I’ve done, I’ve had a very special college experience that will stick with me for a long time.

At the It’s on Us Rally the first week of classes, Mike Leija said something that really stuck with me. Mike said that the best thing about Olivet is the people. And I would have to agree with him.

Olivet has introduced me to some of the best people I know today. Dr. KayDee Perry is the reason I decided on Olivet. I recall having a Zoom call with her during my senior year of high school. She spoke to my mom and me with enthusiasm and excitement. Her enthusiasm made me excited and gave my mom a sense of ease and relief upon sending her oldest to college. Dr. Perry spoke very highly of Olivet in a way that I didn’t fully understand until I was here experiencing it.

Joshua Gillespie is the person I go to whenever I need a good laugh or a listening ear. Bobby is one of the happiest and kindest people I know. Laura Barlond-Maas is the reason why I’m up here today. As well as multiple other staff members who have become part of my college experience.

In addition to the staff, I’ve met some of my best friends at Olivet too. While I came into college knowing a few people already, I met a lot of new faces as well. The people that I live with, eat lunch with, do homework with, walk to class with, make Taco Bell runs with, all of the people that will likely be in my life for a long time, I give Olivet credit for. I give Olivet credit for my involvement in the Greek community. Every single one of my Greek brothers and sisters, as well as multiple other members of the Greek community, are some of the closest, most genuine friends that I have ever had.

In terms of experiences, Olivet has given me a multitude of opportunities to not only get involved, but to make my own impact. I’ve been able to go on service trips to Port Austin. I’ve been able to get into classrooms and do observations because I want to be a teacher after graduation. I’ve also found connections for even more opportunities through Greek life.

The people that you meet and the things that you take part in, both for yourself and others, impacts you. I can confidently say that I have been impacted by both here at The University of Olivet. I hope that in your time here, you can too.”


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