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  • Kori Ramirez

What's new around campus? Smiling faces

Jamillia Johnson, Olivet College

As summmer quickly came to a close, Olivet made their final additions all around campus. Maybe your athletic team got a new coach, working with some new friendly faces, or you met new people on your first day back to campus. Regardless of what you’ve seen around Olivet exciting changes are upon us.

Jamilia Johnson is the newest addition to our the admissions team here at Olivet. Johnson was brought to Olivet from Michigan State University and now is holding the position of admissions representative.

“This was a record breaking year, and we hope to keep getting bigger and encouraging students to come to Olivet, ” Johnson said, “We hope to connect people on social media. We post what is happening so people know what’s going on and can stay connected to us.”

Johnson, who attended MSU, has had a drastic change in scenery being at Olivet. “Personal connections are the most important thing here,” Johnson said.

Many athletes here at Olivet are also experiencing big changes. Six teams have new head coaches including the men’s and women’s cross country and track teams. Karen Lutzke takes over as head coach, and she also welcomes Andrew Benkovsky as her new assistant. Benkovsky was an all American here at Olivet, graduating in 2015.

“The goal is to grow,” Lutzke said, “More numbers equals more competitiveness.” Lutzke was the asstiant coach to Benkovsky when he was attending Olivet.

“I’m excited to coach the people I ran with, but to help the team grow with the sport I love. I hope to be an influence on the runners as not only a coach but as a peer,” Benkovsky said.

Returning students can take a look around campus, and see that the newest addition to Olivet is the large freshmen class.

Mari Brown, a freshman joining the basketball team is a part of the second largest class to enter Olivet, with close to 100 freshmen entering this academic year,“This class being so big is going to be the most successful class to leave Olivet,” Brown said.

Brown, who came from the Muskegon area high school, said this was a big change for her.“The work level is way up from high school, it is harder but it is better too,” Brown said, “I wanted to come to a small school and play basketball which is why I choose Olivet.”

On the surface, some new things around Olivet might not be big changes but with small school like Olivet even the smallest changes makes a huge difference.

On the academic side, seven new full-time faculty have been added to academic departments, including the writing program, psychology, business, Interdisciplinary Studies, chemistry and biology.

There are five new full-time athletic staff members, and new faces in Studen Life as well.

Last year, more than 55 clubs and organizations were active here, and with the dozens of new students, more clubs may be on the horizon.

Facilities got facelifts all around the campus, from a new paint job at the Kirk Center, to landscaping work around the library, and maintenance around student housing. Trees and shrubs were also trimmed and removed, and lighting was repaired across campus.

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