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Commemoration Committee

Don Tuski ’85, Ph.D., President Emeritus, 175th Celebration Committee Chair
Major: Biology
Former President, Olivet College
President, Pacific Northwest College
Olivet College means to me multiple opportunities for leadership and to be engaged in the community and society. It’s a place where you can learn lots of different things from a very dedicated faculty and staff…. I think a lot of great things about Olivet College because of the opportunities it gave me in so many ways.

Don Tuski chose to attend Olivet College to study biology and play basketball. He was also a member of Phi Alpha Pi Society. He went on to earn his master’s degree and doctorate degree in anthropology from Michigan State University.

Don has been involved in higher education continuously since he was an undergraduate. He served as a soccer coach and residence hall director, and later as professor, associate vice president for academic affairs, dean and vice president of academic affairs, acting president, and, finally, president.

During Don’s tenure as president at Olivet, the enrollment grew from 759 in 2001 to 1,147 in 2009. At the same time, fundraising was focused on improving better scholarships and facilities. Don was directly involved in raising over $22 million, which provided support for a new events center; auditorium; chemistry and physics lab; smart classrooms; football field and track; housing; and an art building.

Beginning in 2010, Don served as president and professor of anthropology at Maine College of Art. During his six years, enrollment increased by 22 percent and revenue by 30 percent, along with increased selectivity.

He became President of Pacific Northwest College of Art in July 2016. A new program in footwear design was launched in 2017 in partnership with Pensole Footwear Design Academy, and the incoming class for Fall 2018 is expected to be the largest in school history.

At all three schools, Don has continued to teach at least one class each year, which keeps him connected to students and has made sure that career services were well supported.

Click here to view Don Tuski’s full video on our YouTube channel

Charles Blackman ’46, Ph.D., Honorary Chair
Major: Education
Olivet College Trustee Emeritus
Olivet College reinforced my interest in teaching and the importance of the quality of the relationship between faculty and student…. It effected my behavior as a person.

Charles Blackman had been at Olivet College for less than a year in 1941 when he stepped into an informal fill-in role as math tutor after his professor was assigned to a different class. Charles was a social science major who had intended to pursue a career in highway traffic safety, but when he was offered the opportunity to teach, he never looked back.

He was a member of Kappa Sigma Alpha and was elected president of the student body his senior year.

After graduating, Charles taught at the middle school level in North Muskegon and later spent 35 years at the Michigan State University College of Education before retiring in 1991.

Charles serves as a trustee emeriti on the Olivet College Board of Trustees. He received the Olivet College 1844 Award and is a Distinguished Alumnus and Leadership in Individual and Social Responsibility Award honoree.

Click here to view Charles Blackman’s full video on our YouTube channel

Pamela Heos ’77
Major: Art History
Director of Alumni and Donor Relations, Thomas M. Cooley Law School
Olivet College Board of Trustees Ex Officio and Alumni Association Board Chair
So many memories, so many feelings, so many cherished friendships that still remain, and the impact of special professors who genuinely took an interest in me. It was a life changing and transformative experience of which I have much to be grateful.

Pamela Heos has served as director of alumni and donor relations for Thomas M. Cooley Law School since 2005. Previously, she served as a major gift officer for Olivet College.

Pamela began her professional career as the docent and volunteer coordinator for the Indianapolis Museum of Art and as assistant to the director for the Indianapolis Art Center. Later, Pamela was a commercial interior designer for 17 years for Richardson, Munson & Weir Architects.

Pamela serves as chair of the Olivet College Alumni Association Board and as an ex officio member of the Olivet College Board of Trustees. She also serves on the advisory board for the Michigan State University Museum and is a member of the American Hellenic Education Progressive Association (AHEPA) and the Ladies Philoptochos Society of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, Lansing.

Click here to view Pamela Heos’ full video on our YouTube channel

Timothy Hodge ’83, DO
Major: Biochemistry and Biology
Emergency Medicine Physician, Sparrow Hospital
Olivet College Board of Trustee
Olivet College means three primary things to me: one, opportunity; two, growth; and three, service. I think about the opportunity given to me to attend Olivet and to do some of the great things I did while at Olivet. I was president of Student Senate — what a tremendous leadership opportunity. I was a student in the classroom with people like Dr. Ed Speare who took me all the way to Maine to learn about marine biology…. I also had the great opportunity to serve our community, and continue to do so today. Service is what I’m able to do because of my education at Olivet College.

Dr. Timothy Hodge is currently a board certified emergency medicine physician and practices at the Sparrow Hospital’s Level I Trauma Center in Lansing, Michigan. He also serves as chief executive officer of emergency medical associates, a emergency department physician staffing company. Tim is the vice-chair of the Olivet College Board of Trustees and also is a member of the Sparrow Hospital Board of Directors and Physicians Health Plan Board of Directors. He’s also a past president of Olivet College Alumni Association Board.

Tim was born in Detroit and grew up in Bangor. While at Olivet College, he was a starter on the varsity soccer team, president of Student Senate, president of the American Chemical Society and a member of Kappa Sigma Alpha Fraternity. He graduated with academic honors in 1983 before attending medical school at the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Tim served proudly as an officer in the United States Navy after his medical training, including participation in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

Most recent accomplishments include completing a Master of Business Administration in Healthcare.

Click here to view Timothy Hodge’s full video on our YouTube channel

Audra Carson ’87
Major: ACF and Business
Community Engagement Coordinator, Sinai-Grace Guild Community Development Corporation
Olivet College is a place that is welcoming to everyone, to have the opportunity to receive an education educational experience. Nearly 175 years ago Olivet — that beacon on the hill — welcomed everyone. That mans a great deal to me, and it’s remarkable to be reconnected to the college at this point in time.

A lifelong Detroit native, Audra Carson grew up in a household where community engagement was paramount. As someone who believes in being a responsible steward of the environment and a servant in one’s community, Olivet College was a perfect fit for Audra.

After graduating from Olivet College with a degree in business, Audra began her professional career as a business analyst for MetLife. Later, she spent 15 years as a business analyst for another health care provider.

In 2009, she decided to make a total career change and founded De-Tread. The organization works tirelessly for a greener and brighter future by finding solutions to the Detroit – and global – issue of post-consumer tire blight.

Today, Audra is the community engagement coordinator at Sinai-Grace Guild Community Development Corporation. The organization’s mission is driven by residents, businesses and community leaders who are committed to holistic and equitable revitalization toward a thriving healthy and sustainable northwest Detroit.

Click here to view Audra Carson’s full video on our YouTube channel

Craig Jenkins, Jr. ’08
Major: Insurance & Risk Management
Global Risk Management, Perrigo Company
Olivet College Alumni Association Board Member
Olivet College is the opportunity to learn more about yourself, the world around you and about how you fit in it…. When you go to a small school like Olivet, opportunities shine through a lot more because there is so much focus on you from your professors and fellow students, and there’s an opportunity to really connect with those people.

Craig Jenkins is proud to be a seventh generation Michigan native. He and his wife, Ananda, reside in Delton. Craig serves as a member of the Alumni Association Board, and even though Ananda is not a graduate, the couple both have a passion for Olivet College.

Craig works in global risk management at Perrigo Company, a global pharmaceutical company, at the corporate office located in Allegan.

Click here to view Craig Jenkins’ full video on our YouTube channel