2022 Olivet Christmas Ornament

Introducing the 2022 Olivet Christmas Ornament. Manufactured by the creators of the Official White House Christmas Ornament, this year's piece features Birchard Gymnasium. Birchard Gymnasium was the largest auditorium on Olivet's campus for almost 25 years, hosting countless concerts and events. In addition to a basketball court and elevated running track, the original building featured a swimming pool, three-lane bowling alley, rifle range and even student housing. There have been many additions over the years, including a new foyer, fitness center and office space.

The building's namesake is alumnus F. Carlton Birchard '30, who returned to his alma mater to teach religion. He was well-regarded among students and fellow faculty members. In his spare time, Birchard led the 600-member Alumni Association and pastored three churches. However, just four years into his teaching career, his life was cut short by complications from a ruptured appendix. He was 27 years old.

Today, F. Carlton Birchard's Olivet legacy lives on, and not just through this building. Nearly 25 of his children, nieces, nephews and grandchildren attended Olivet, and his brother-in-law, Re. Fred Hawk, would eventually serve as Chairman of Olivet's Board of Trustees. Carlton Birchard's time on Earth and at Olivet was short, but his last words live on as a reminder for us all: "As for me, Thy will be done."

Order today with a new $50 donation. You will receive a $35 giving receipt and your donation will go to The Olivet Fund. Please call the Alumni Office with any questions, 815-939-5258.