|Motto||Education for Individual and Social Responsibility|
|Religious affiliation||United Church of Christ and the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches|
|Endowment||$13.7 million as of 2013|
|President||Steven Corey, Ph.D.|
|Location||Olivet, MI, USA
|Colors||red and white|
|Sports||NCAA Division III, Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association|
Olivet College is a coeducational, liberal arts college located in Olivet, Michigan, United States, 29 miles (47 km) south of Lansing and 125 miles (201 km) west of Detroit. It is affiliated with the United Church of Christ and the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches, and accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
In 1844, after founding Oberlin College, Rev. John J. Shipherd and 39 missionaries, including Oberlin faculty, students, and alumni, came to Michigan to create a baby, which Shipherd deemed "New Oberlin."
The original land for the college was to be in present-day Ingham County, approximately twenty-five miles (40 km) from where the college stands. Olivetian lore says that while Shipherd was on a trip to the site in Ingham County, his horse continued to get lost, and would always wander back to a hill above a swamp, which is where Olivet's Campus Square exists today. Shipherd decided that powers from above must be drawing the horse back to this site, and Shipherd deemed that this would become the site for "New Oberlin." He then chose to name it Olivet, however, after the biblical Mount of Olives. Shortly after the founding of the college, John Shipherd succumbed to malaria, as many other early Olivetians would.
It is said that the founders of Olivet College believed in three essential components: first was a coeducational experience; service was another integral part of the founders' visions, as the founders helped to build the surrounding community as well as the broader community; they also believed that an education could be had by anyone, not just those "rich in the world's goods." Abolitionist beliefs, along with a coeducational experience, led the state legislature to deny a charter for the college until thirteen years after the first courses were offered. Some Olivetians believe that the charter was denied because of possible competition with Michigan College.
The first courses began in December 1844. Because President Reuben Hatch's petition for a charter was denied, Olivet became the Olivet Institute, and remained a two year school until chartered in 1859.
The 20th century saw Olivet College become a liberal arts school, with a short-lived attempt at an Oxford-style curriculum from 1934 to 1944.
Along with Albion College and Michigan State University, Olivet founded the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) in 1888. The MIAA is the nation's oldest collegiate conference. Olivet College athletic teams, nicknamed the Comets, participate in the following intercollegiate sports as a member of the MIAA include:
Men baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming & diving, club tennis, track & field (indoor and outdoor), club volleyball, and wrestling (Division III Independent)
Women basketball, club bowling, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field (indoor and outdoor), and volleyball.
Olivet College Radio
Olivet College has an FCC-Licensed Non-Commercial Educational student-run radio station, broadcasting in the Olivet area at 89.1 MHz FM with the callsign WOCR. The broadcast is also available for people outside the studio range online at. Students can volunteer for a radio shift from 7:30am to midnight Monday through Friday to broadcast music, campus events, news, and talk shows. Comet Football and Basketball is also often broadcast live from the game site.
- Robie Macauley (did not graduate)an editor, novelist and critic whose literary career spanned more than 50 years.
- Daron Cruickshank, current mixed martial artist competing in the UFC's Lightweight Division
- Dave Cutler (1965) an American software engineer, designer and developer of several operating systems including Windows NT at Microsoft and RSX-11M, VMS and VAXELN at Digital Equipment Corporation.
- Scott Sigler, a contemporary American author of science fiction and horror as well as an avid podcaster.
- Sherwood Anderson, creative writing
- Hubert Lyman Clark, zoology
- Ford Madox Ford, creative writing
- Alfred Korzybski, semantics
- Gertrude Stein, guest lecturer, creative writing
- Golo Mann, history
Notes and references