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Mountaintop moments: Jameson Forshee and Jillian Karrick, Class of 2013

Posted: May 02, 2013


Jameson Forshee and Jillian Karrick, Class of 2013, began their life together at Olivet.

“My dad was so sure I wouldn’t come to Olivet,” says Jillian Karrick ’13, a nursing major from Portage, Mich.

That’s a bold statement, considering Jillian’s strong family connections with Olivet. Both of her parents, Gregory ’82 and Wendy (Dunlop) ’84 Karrick, are alumni. Her cousin, Kris Dunlop ’04, was student body president while he was a student. Her uncle, Rev. Kevin Dunlop, has served on the Board of Trustees, and her grandfather, Rev. Roland Dunlop, was on the Board many years ago. All her cousins have attended Olivet.

“I wanted to break the mold,” she says. “But the first five minutes I was on campus, I knew God was calling me to Olivet.” By the end of that day, she had made her deposit and declined her acceptance to another university.

Her fiancé, Jameson Forshee ’13, had a similar experience. “My dad and mom are Olivet grads, and my sister, MaryRachel [’10], graduated from here in pre-law,” says the business administration major from Grand Blanc, Mich., son of James ’79 and Brenda (Starner) ’82 Forshee. “The first time I was on campus, I knew Olivet was the place for me.”

During spring break 2011, Jameson and Jillian discovered one of the most important reasons God led them to Olivet.

Meeting on a mountain

A love of snowboarding, shared in Facebook posts, pulled this couple together. In search of a bigger mountain to challenge their expertise, Jillian and her dad planned a trip to Crystal Mountain in northern Michigan for March, 2011. When she posted this as her status, Jameson commented that he and his dad were also planning a trip to that location.

“When we pulled into the parking lot at Crystal Mountain, Jameson and his dad were pulling in at the same time,” Jillian recalls. “We briefly said ‘hello’ and then went our separate ways.”

Later that day, the Forshees and Karricks reconnected. “Our dads ended up talking together, and so did we,” she adds.

Back at Olivet after the break, Jillian learned that her friend, Jeremy Height ’13, was now Jameson’s roommate.

“Our worlds and hearts came crashing together,” Jameson says.

Perfect day for a proposal

After dating for 18 months, Jameson was sure he wanted to spend the rest of his life with Jillian. What better place for a memorable proposal than an autumn day at the top of Crystal Mountain?

“It was raining that day,” Jameson says. “I told Jillian I was taking her to an art fair. When we got there, I had to go inside and convince one of the managers to let us go to the top of the mountain.”

“I saw how nervous Jameson was,” Jillian says. “I began to put together what might be happening.”

By the time they had reached the spot Jameson had in mind, the rain had stopped and the fall colors of a Michigan October brought the landscape to life. “I talked for 15 or 20 minutes about our history together and how much I loved her,” Jameson says.

“When he finally proposed, I said ‘yes’ at least 30 times while I was screaming and jumping around!”

They Skyped by smartphone with Jillian’s parents and her younger sister, Madison, to share the news. Then, Jameson told her they would go to his parents’ house to share the news.

When they arrived at the Forshees’ house, Jillian was surprised to find that the Karricks were also there — along with other family and friends — waiting to celebrate the engagement.

On June 29, 2013, Jameson and Jillian will be married.

Value beyond measure

Sharing their college experiences together and seeing each other be formed as adults has been a very special experience for Jameson and Jillian.

During the past year, Jameson has served as president of the Associated Student Council. He was also named as Olivet’s Lincoln Laureate and as one of 53 students selected to represent Olivet for Who’s Who Among College Students.

As a nursing major, Jillian has served in nursing homes and hospitals for the local community. She has been actively involved in mentoring younger students and participating in student activities like Ollies Follies.

“You only get one time at college,” Jameson says. “The rest of our lives, we’ll be able to reference our Olivet stories and experiences together. We’ll always have those inside jokes together. Olivet has given us a base, an anchor.”

“Our parents met here,” Jillian adds. “We are encouraged by their strong, successful marriages. This is how we were formed. This is what we strive for and how we are going to continue.

“Only God could have written our story.”