Olivet College

Olivet College
Olivet College
Established 1844
Type Private
Endowment $7.1 million[1]
President Steven Corey, Ph.D.
Academic staff 41
Undergraduates 1,145
Location Olivet, MI, USA
Colors red and white
Sports NCAA Division III, Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association
Mascot Comets
Website www.olivetcollege.edu

Olivet College is a coeducational, liberal arts college located in Olivet, Michigan, United States, 30 miles (48 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.[2]



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.


Olivet offers 28 programs that lead to a bachelor's degree, a master's degree in Education, and dual degree programs with two higher education institutions in Michigan. Student-to-faculty ratio is 18:1.


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, soccer, swimming & diving, track & field, wrestling (Division III Independent)

Women basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field, volleyball, lacrosse

Olivet College Radio

Olivet College also has a student run radio station, WOCR operating on FM frequency 89.1.

Listen to 89-1, WOCR, The Hottest Variety broadcasting live from the campus of Olivet College in Olivet, Michigan. No matter where you are, you can listen to WOCR for the Hottest Variety of music, information on events taking place on campus and sports commentary and news on "Off the Bench." You can also catch live coverage of Olivet Comets basketball and football games on WOCR. WOCR is on the air Monday through Friday beginning at 7:30 a.m. and offers special sports programming on Saturdays during basketball and football seasons. WOCR is an FCC-licensed non-commercial educational radio station operated by students at Olivet College.

Notes and references

  1. ^ As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. http://www.nacubo.org/Documents/research/2009_NCSE_Public_Tables_Endowment_Market_Values.pdf. Retrieved February 2, 2010. 
  2. ^ Quick Facts

External links

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