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The Past, Present and Future of The University of Olivet: A Founders’ Day Reflection by Anthony Brown

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During The University of Olivet’s celebration of its 179th Founders’ Day on Feb. 15, 2023, Anthony Brown was one of three students to share their reflections on the past, present and future of The University of Olivet.

“It’s kind of funny how I ended up at Olivet. I knew nothing of this school, but somehow, I found my way onto this campus, and never did I look back.

When The University of Olivet was founded, it sought to give people of color, men and women, from anywhere the opportunity to get an education. Coming to Olivet, I didn’t know how I would fit in coming to a small school. I didn’t believe I would see a lot of people who looked like me. Most small liberal arts colleges have around 8% people of color. The University of Olivet has 28% people of color on campus. This is huge because fitting in is something we all try to do, and one of the best ways to fit in is to find people you are comfortable with. Diversity is a big thing; having diversity allows people to grow, developing new ideas and strategies from people with different backgrounds and ways of thinking.

When I first came to Olivet, I was nervous. I didn’t know anyone. I was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I also went to the number one most diverse high school in Michigan, East Kentwood High School. Coming from a big school and coming to a college that was small made me fearful because I didn’t think I would like being in such a small town. Since I’ve been here at Olivet, I’ve matured much as a person. I can rely not only on the people around me but myself. I have learned as an individual to manage my time by doing things productively and accordingly.

I wish to do good in this world, hoping for change by stepping forward and trying to unlock the door for others to walk through. Why be in a better position than others and not help them get to the same place? When Olivet was founded, the vision seen was to give students from all different backgrounds the opportunity not only to learn but to simply do good.

What does your future hold? The University of Olivet aims to build within us social responsibility taking care of the people around us and our environment for the betterment of our community. No matter which way it goes, you have the opportunity to be great.”

Anthony Brown is a junior double majoring in psychology and sociology/anthropology. He is a part of the football team and is also a member of ELITE.

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