More than Tradition: The Gentlemen of Homecoming 2015

Photo from Image Group Photography
Photo from Image Group Photography

Andrew Fischer

This English major and ESL minor is successful on wet and dry land. Andrew’s mom, a swimmer herself, taught him how to swim at an early age. Before becoming a three-time NAIA National Champion and eight-time All-American, his knowledge of swimming saved his life at four years old after being pulled under water by a whirlpool at the mouth of Kariega River.

Today, he swims with the Olivet team. Last year, he also swam across Lake Michigan with a group that raised over $20,000 for Team World Vision.

It is also the swim team that has influenced Andrew most. Their support and encouraging words helped him gain a new perspective after a hard season.

Last summer was spent teaching English in China and South Korea. “The trip was very rewarding, and having the opportunity to share God’s love with children in China who might never necessarily hear about God’s love was incredible,” he said.

Andrew has been an active member of Spiritual Life, a co-leader for Prayer Warriors for the last two years, and a copy editor and assistant sports editor for GlimmerGlass. He’s also in the English Honor’s Society, Sigma Tau Delta.

Photo from Image Group Photography
Photo from Image Group Photography

Jacob Gouge

Jacob’s passion is to love God and others.

He’s a youth ministry major and has been a resident assistant, Student Life and Recreation Center supervisor, an intern at Shepherd Community Center and youth leader at Chicago Heights Church of the Nazarene.

Jacob has also been on three MIA mission trips. During his trip to the Congo, he shared his testimony with a group of students at the English school there. His testimony influenced a man, whom he got to pray for and encourage. “I will never forget that because of the hunger, this young man had to know Jesus and have a deeper relationship with Him,” he said.

He’s been most influenced by his freshman connections mentor, Tom Ward, and they have since been good friends. Jacob has been encouraged in his faith and challenged by him in leadership.

Jacob enjoys basketball, spending time with friends, going to Kelley Prayer Chapel and playing NBA 2K and FIFA.

Post-graduation, Jacob plans to get a master’s degree in ministry and have graduate assistantship with the student life and recreation center. “[My] goal is to eventually work in a church and live intentionally and missionally amongst the people of the community that I end up in,” he said.

Photo from Image Group Photography
Photo from Image Group Photography

Levi Himes

Levi’s no Indiana Jones, but the avid traveler and outdoorsman has probably had just as many adventures.

Levi has been to Hawaii, Utah and across the west coast for fun, leisurely happenings. He’s also traveled abroad for missions to Haiti, Jamaica and Thailand.

During a hike with friends in Utah at the canyons of Escalante, Levi faced a bit of danger. He climbed out of a slot to get a better view, then to another spot. “In the midst of it, the sandstone became very unstable and a large rock broke free cutting my wrist and falling to the base of the canyon, crashing into the walls just before landing directly in front of my friend,” he said.

Levi isn’t always on risky hikes, though – he’s also interested in art, writing letters and cooking. Since visiting Thailand, he’s tried making Khao Soi. “It is a very spicy curry/ Thai pepper dish with chicken and egg noodles, in a mixture of coconut milk and chicken broth. It is absolutely delicious but it packs some heat as well,” he said.

The ministerial mission major currently serves as Senior Class Chaplain and a preaching ambassador. Levi is also a runner for the Chicago marathon team with World Vision.

Levi described his “life at Olivet” as “a cataclysmic susurrus.”

Photo from Image Group Photography
Photo from Image Group Photography

Kyle Johnston

Kyle’s “Life at Olivet” has been a “life-changing experience,” he said.

The youth ministry major has participated in intramural sports, Mr. ONU, Spoons 4 Forks and works in Admissions.

He’s also a resident assistant in the Olde Oak apartments and was formerly a resident assistant in Hills hall for two years. Kyle has loved getting to know people and invest in them while being invested in, he said.

He enjoys being a member of the improv comedy club, Spoons 4 Forks. “It’s helped me to make boring situations more fun,” he said. “I’ve never had to use improv to get out of a bad situation, but that’d be fun.”

His resident director Brandon Davey has had positive influence over him during college. “He has showed me what being a man of God looks like and how they act,” he said.

Post-graduation, Kyle hopes to either attend graduate school or get a job in a church working with teenagers or college students, he said.

Romans 8:28 is his favorite scripture, which says, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

Photo from Image Group Photography
Photo from Image Group Photography

Brandon Maranion

“Wait, I’m graduating?” are three words that describe Brandon’s “life at Olivet.”

Though Brandon will probably for- get Sodexo’s London broil, the Christian Education and Communication Studies double major won’t forget his four best friends. “‘The big five’ met as little freshmen on second floor Chapman, but we’ve done life together here at Olivet,” he said. “It’s been through this community that God has drawn me closer to Himself and after three years together, I can say that none of us are the same.”

The friends he has been able to live and grow with are his most cherished aspect of college life. Whether its random adventures, chill days, taking day trips and photos or just having conversations, he likes to do all of the above with friends. “The people here have been a huge blessing to me,” he said.

Brandon has been involved in LifeSong, Music Ambassadors, Admissions, Residential Life, and Associated Student Council.

“1 John 4:12 has been a theme verse for me as I continue to understand God’s love in my life,” he said.

Jada Fisher

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