Reflecting on my time at Olivet College, I’m reminded of so much – the casual and intimate-sized campus, friendships made with other students from all walks of life, and the one-to-one relationships developed with my professors. Combined with a challenging curriculum in a small class atmosphere, these things helped shape my professional and personal character. All of this sits at the foundation of an Olivet College educational experience. I am who I am because of my time spent on that small campus in rural Michigan.

I grew up in a suburban Detroit blue-collar town. With little or no desire to attend a large university, the transition from high school to Olivet College was a smooth one. I was looking for a personalized education that offered community, support, and growth – a place that I could call my own; a place to thrive athletically and academically; a campus with a strong reputation for accepting a diverse population. And that’s exactly what I found at Olivet College.

A proud Olivet College graduate, I’m grateful for what it has done to shape my life. I understand what it’s like to come from a large family in a small town with little financial support available to follow your academic dreams. Fortunately, the emotional and personal support was abundant! With the help of good grades, performance grants and financial aid, I was afforded the opportunity of not only a higher education at Olivet, but to play a sport I loved (football), become a member of a great fraternity (Phi Alpha Pi), and even experience a professional semester my senior year in Washington D.C. My English major has served me well in my professional life as a marketing employee, manager, and agency owner.

In owning a small business-to-business marketing agency specializing in the highly competitive and fast changing high-tech market, I often think back to those times at Olivet – the educational and personal lessons learned, the struggles I overcame, the opportunities provided. From a young man from a small town with hopes of playing football, getting a strong education, and tapping into my passions to successfully running my own business – I owe a great deal to Olivet College and my experiences gained.

It begs the question: How can I give back to a place that gave me so much?

I choose to support Olivet College each year and have established a legacy gift to help future students accomplish their goals. My hope is to give to others the opportunities allotted to so few. My financial support is not a testimony to me but rather a testament to Olivet College and the education and life skills it offers. The real question is this: If alumni like us don’t offer financial assistance and support to current and prospective students at Olivet, who will?

Throughout our lives, our individual character and resolve is sure to be tested – especially with today’s cultural and socioeconomic divide. As alumni, we can provide financial stability to Olivet College – the same place that taught us values and instilled in us the role(s) we play as socially responsible adults and as citizens of a great country. We have the chance to pay it forward. May we continue to live the Olivet motto. May we be more and do good for our future Comets. Let’s make a difference. Support OUR college and its mission.

Join me in providing future generations with the opportunities that we, too, were once given. I encourage you to support Olivet College through annual gifts and consider making a planned gift to help our future Comets thrive in the years and decades ahead.