Experiencing life together: Tommy Lambrecht, student body president at Olivet

“I would have never dreamed that I would ever be living the life I am right now.” — Tommy Lambrecht, student body president at Olivet

January 3, 2019 Campus Life

Tommy Lambrecht is in his second year of serving as Olivet Nazarene University’s student body president. He is a senior, double majoring in youth ministry and history. Following is his personal testimony about his Olivet experience.

Olivet students_Tommy Lambrecht_student body president_Associated Student Council_history_youth ministry_Web.jpg

I would have never dreamed that I would ever be living the life I am right now. 

On Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015, Olivet student leaders helped me carry my items to Chapman Hall, room 327. I had driven all the way from Richmond, Virginia, to the unfamiliar state of Illinois to study both youth ministry and history. There was a mix of excitement, nervousness and uncertainty about what life would be like.  

Classes and student life began fairly quickly. I fell in love with campus events, such as Ollies Follies and Block Party, and with the community on my floor in Chapman. 

Through the different student life events, I became interested in Associated Student Council (ASC) and decided to run for freshman class chaplain. I was elected and immediately fell in love with ASC and the servant leadership aspect it brings to Olivet’s student body. 

The following year, I was re-elected to serve as the sophomore class chaplain. My junior year, I was selected to serve as the ASC student body president.  

One common theme across my time at Olivet is growth. Growth has risen from experiences that I would consider good memories, and also from challenging and tough periods in my life. 

When I was a freshman, I tore my ACL and had to have surgery in the middle of the semester. Through this experience, I learned that Olivet is a community, supporting and loving me even through my darkest valleys. 

My life at Olivet has provided me with so many meaningful experiences that have furthered not only my education, but also my relationships with others and with God. One of my favorite aspects of campus life is chapel services that take place twice a week. This is a time for the entire student body to come together and just pause to proclaim collectively our priorities as a community. 

At Olivet, I have had the opportunity to serve in Argentina, France and Michigan through Olivet’s Missions In Action program. These trips were wonderful experiences that broadened my worldview. I connected with other brothers and sisters in Christ locally and around the globe. Those relationships I formed on mission trips will be relationships that I carry with me for the rest of my life. 

One of the biggest blessings of my life at Olivet is my relationships with my professors. Dr. Teresa Garner ’87/’91 M.A. and her husband, Pastor Ken Garner ’88/’01 M.A., professors in the School of Theology and Christian Ministry, are two people I have spent a lot of time with. I volunteer at the church where Ken is the senior pastor and meet with them at their house every month. The opportunity to learn about ministry from Dr. Garner — not just in class, but also in an actual church setting — has been an integral part of my ministerial education. 

Olivet’s Department of History and Political Science has prepared me to continue my studies in history at the graduate level. While I was working on my senior capstone paper, I had the opportunity to meet regularly with Dr. Stephen Lowe ’88 and Dr. David Van Heemst ’96 M.P.C./’98 M.A., who were my faculty mentors for the project. They encouraged me and helped me get a partnership with the local history museum, where I gained access to a vast collection of resources for my paper about Kankakee, Illinois. 

I owe much of the life I’m living now to my experience at Olivet. 

To learn more about life at Olivet, contact the Office of Admissions at admissions@olivet.edu or 800-648-1463.

Reprinted from Olivet The Magazine, Winter 2019 issue.

Student on main campus wearing pink sweater and holding water bottle.

Where Your Future Begins

We Believe. You Belong Here. Discover why Olivet is a place where faith meets calling. Take the first step today.

Plan a Visit Start my Application