Olivet College

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Olivet College
MottoPro Christo et Humanitate
Motto in English
For Christ and Humanity
TypePrivate college
Established1844; 177 years ago (1844)
Religious affiliation
United Church of Christ
National Association of Congregational Christian Churches
Endowment$18.8 million as of 2020[1]
PresidentSteven M. Corey
ProvostMaria G. Davis
Academic staff
47 [2]
Undergraduates978 (as of winter 2020)[3]
Location, ,
United States

42°26′28″N 84°55′22″W / 42.4410°N 84.9228°W / 42.4410; -84.9228Coordinates: 42°26′28″N 84°55′22″W / 42.4410°N 84.9228°W / 42.4410; -84.9228
CampusRural (56 acres)
ColorsRed and White    
SportsNCAA Division III, Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association
Olivet College Burrage Library
The Margaret Upton Conservatory of Music
Riethmiller Blackman Art Building, which houses the college's art studios, exhibits, and classrooms.

Olivet College is a private Christian college in Olivet, Michigan. Olivet College is affiliated with the United Church of Christ and the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches and stands in the Reformed tradition of Protestantism. The college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.[4] It was founded in 1844 by missionaries from Oberlin College, and it followed Oberlin in becoming the second coeducational college or university in the United States.[5]


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 college, 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.

After assuming leadership in 2010, President Steven Corey announced the "Olivet College 2020 and Beyond Strategic Plan", which includes renovating existing buildings and facilities, creating a new student center, increasing endowment, and expand the student population to 1,500.[6]


Olivet offers 32 programs that lead to a bachelor's degree and a master's degree of Business Administration in Insurance. Student-to-faculty ratio is 16:1. Olivet College has approximately 1,040 students, 40% female and 60% male. 74% of classes have less than 24 students, and there is a 16:1 student/faculty ratio.[7] The college has a 59% retention rate for first to second year students.[8]

For the 2018–2019 school year, tuition is currently $26,748, room and board is $9,590, yearly fees are $912, and miscellaneous costs are $3,966. Approximately 99% of students receive some sort of financial aid.[9]

Academic rankings
U.S. News & World Report[10] 48


Along with Albion College and Michigan Agricultural College (now 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, tennis, track & field (indoor and outdoor), club volleyball, wrestling (Division III Independent), and boxing. Volleyball became a full varsity sport in 2015–16 (2016 season), competing in the Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League. The men's boxing team won the United States Intercollegiate Boxing Association championship in 2016.[11]

Women basketball, bowling, boxing, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field (indoor and outdoor), volleyball, and cheerleading.

Olivet College Radio[edit]

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.[12] 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.

Charles Stewart Mott Academic Center, which is one of three buildings that houses the college's classrooms.

Notable alumni[edit]

The college's admission office on the left wing of the building; Dole Residence Hall on the right wing.

Notable faculty[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "2020 Olivet College President's Report". Retrieved 29 July 2021.
  2. ^ "2020 Olivet College President's Report". Retrieved 29 July 2021.
  3. ^ "2020 Olivet College President's Report". Retrieved 29 July 2021.
  4. ^ "Higher Learning Commission". www.hlcommission.org. Retrieved 2017-07-08.
  5. ^ Harris, Leslie M.; Campbell, James T.; Brophy, Alfred L., eds. (2019). Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies. University of Georgia Press. p. 211. ISBN 9780820354446.
  6. ^ "Strategic Plan » Olivet College". Olivet College. Retrieved 2017-07-12.
  7. ^ "Quick Facts » Olivet College". Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  8. ^ "Olivet College Graduation & Retention". 20 February 2013. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  9. ^ "Tuition & Fees » Olivet College". Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  10. ^ "Best Colleges 2021: Regional Universities Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved September 24, 2020.
  11. ^ "Past USIBA Champions". Archived from the original on 2019-08-23. Retrieved 2019-08-23.
  12. ^ "Radio » Olivet College". Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  13. ^ Olumhense, Eseosa (24 August 2013). "Meet the Nigerian Face Behind one of Africa's Most Popular News Satires". Premium Times. Retrieved 9 March 2016.
  14. ^ "Daron Cruickshank UFC Bio". Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  15. ^ Kennedy, Thomas. "A Last Conversation With Robie Macauley". Agni Fiction. Boston University. Retrieved 4 December 2011.

External links[edit]