Olivet marches on D.C.

ONU marching band selected to participate in Inaugural Parade

Olivet was announced, through a press release by the inaugural committee on Friday, as one of 40 organizations to participate in the Presidential Inaugural Parade on Jan. 20.

The announcement caused an uproar on social media, leaving people to question Olivet’s motives behind the decision to participate and whether or not this was a political statement.

President Bowling responded to the criticism, “The University does not support any candidate or party – we are not monolithic or of one mind. Such is the nature of a university. We are not making a political statement by participating.”

Bowling went on to say that Olivet would have participated if former Secretary Hilary Clinton had won the election, as well as for President Obama if they had been invited for his inaugural parade.

Dr. Matt Stratton, university director of athletic bands, submitted an application for the marching band to participate in the parade. Last year, the marching band was a part of the New Year’s Day Parade in London and has achieved a reputation of excellence.

“God has been taking us places and so we’re going and performing,” Stratton said in an interview with the Chicago Tribune.

Despite this, students and alumni flooded social media with comments ranging from how this opportunity is an “honor” to “participating is anti-Christian.” Several people have even gone as far to say this was Olivet endorsing the beliefs held by the President-elect.

Bowling added that, “Clearly there is a high degree of intolerance at both ends of the political spectrum, which in this case is assigning to Olivet a position(s) we do not hold.”

“The way I see it is not supporting the man, but our nation. This event is historical and wasn’t made for just Trump himself, this is a major process for the United States presidency and I personally am honored to represent ONU and Illinois in this parade. You may not like the guy, but this is a solid way for us to bring Christ to the capital,” said Thomas Rankin, a Sophomore marching band member.

Junior marching band member Sarah Buffa said that many band members do not support Trump and are instead participating for the experience. “If people can just understand we are not doing this for Trump then we would be fine. There seems to be a misunderstanding that we are going to support him. Not true. Musically this will be great for our program and for Olivet. People will know our name and see what we have to offer.”

“This parade I feel will give Olivet an even more professional profile than it already has, musically as well as politically if everyone against it will just allow us the experience without all the unnecessary controversy,” Rankin said. “Overall, this experience will be great for the University and an amazing opportunity for us members of the band.”

“I believe God is working in every situation. I will march in this parade with great pride trusting my Lord every step of the way. He is working and will continue to work even with Trump in the White House,” Buffa added.

This post will continue to be updated as the story develops.

Allie Alexy, Executive Editor

Allie Alexy
Allie Alexy

Allie believes that stories and words have an incredible ability to change lives. More often than not, you can find her sipping coffee with a good book in hand (or sitting in one of her many early morning classes). Allie has a strong desire to watch Christ transform the millennial generation and use them in a way the church has never seen before. She currently serves as Executive Editor for the GlimmerGlass and you can follow her on social media @alliealexy.

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13 Comments

  1. It sounds like a great opportunity, and we are praying for you. May God use you to be a great witness.

  2. What an opportunity and experience for them! I wish there had been a marching band when I was there. Congratulations! We will be praying for them as they travel. Thank you Dr.Bowling and students for responding the way you have.

  3. This is history! It’s an honor to be selected. Go. March. Represent.

  4. So sad some have to make every thing into something political. Go with pride and enjoy the experience. God opens doors for you to show your faith.

  5. Sometimes things are political. At a time when numerous people and organizations are standing up for morality and refusing to be part of the inauguration, I am heartbroken that Olivet is willing to be counted among Trump supporters. It makes me so ashamed of my alma mater to read about how they are “following Christ” in their support of a man who cheats on his wives (yes, multiple wives), makes fun of individuals with disabilities, bullies anyone who disagrees with him, demeans and disrespects women, swindles workers and anyone else he can, doesn’t pay taxes, and is hateful toward all minorities and the entire LGBTQ population. Beyond this, the lack of any dissenting voice in this article portrays all of Olivet in support of Trump. I am saddened by the lack of journalistic integrity from the GlimmetGlass, the newspaper I served as Executive Editor from 2001-2004. Writing the opinions of those who agree with you is not journalism.

  6. I think this an excellent opportunity for the band and university. Please don’t politicize everything! How exciting to be part of history!

  7. ONU We stand with you.

  8. It so refreshing to hear a wise and common sense attitude about this! My sister in law is an alumni of Olivet. May God bless you, your staff, and your students even more!

  9. SANU is praying for you as you witness God’s love beyond the American people. We are a missional people, called to serve and make positive influence to the communities we serve.

  10. God first. Represent HIM with pride and honor!😘

  11. I was disappointed when I read the intolerant
    negative messages on FACEBOOK. I appreciate this positive response. We are to be light in this world. I am sure Olivet’s marching band will have opportunities to spread the light of God’s love. What a great opportunity.

  12. Proud that our Alma Mater gets national exposure. May God receive the glory,

  13. Wow!! Such Wonderful news!! What an awesome privilege and opportunity and responsibility!!! –To have a strong Christian presence and witness in such a major national event! wow! a true mission outreach!! Out of all the universities in the entire state, OUR OLIVET was chosen!! Praying for these students and leaders that they will be a light and a witness and an example of Christian excellence and loving kindness.

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