Impact Update for the Strength and Hope Campaign

A Year of Impact: Advancing today’s mission; sustaining Olivet for generations.
Wayne DeBoer headshot

Wayne DeBoer

December 18, 2023 Academics, Giving

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The Campaign for Olivet has united all members of the Olivet community in a commitment to the priorities most relevant for our time. Thank you for leaning in through your prayers and gifts! Dr. Gregg Chenoweth, president, says, “You trust us with your treasure, to ensure our graduates are on the Great Commission and new diploma-holders are disciples — commissioned to a calling, not just career.”

What we’re giving ourselves to — together
Persistence: supporting student success
Affordability: increasing student access
Virtue: preparing thought leaders
Effective Stewardship: securing Olivet’s future
Recruitment: expanding Olivet’s influence

Priorities and progress, thanks to you
1. Enrollment growth broke a six-year negative trend – This includes the largest undergraduate student body in four years and the first year-over-year growth of new student starts in the School of Graduate & Continuing Studies.

2. Affordability for target populations – The average educational cost to students was reduced from the previous year for the first time in memory. Also, May 2022 graduates held an average college debt that was one-quarter less than the national average, and 10 percent of current traditional-aged students are tuition-free this year.

3. Fewer students wait for mental health counseling – By staffing up, we’ve seen mental health counseling waiting lists reduced from 100 to zero. More than 100 students use self-paced online-format mental health modules.

4. Students increasingly influence peers toward racial harmony – An Olivet group toured the American South — listening, sharing and learning — advocating with sensitivity among more than 300 peers they met during the trip.

5. Greater readiness and clarity to disciple students – Approximately 400 students stood at a Revival service to indicate they are getting spiritual help. Faculty and staff are being trained in discipleship, to move more students into practicing (at minimum) three spiritual disciplines simultaneously. Olivet encourages the habits of worship, prayer, Scripture reading, bearing witness, displaying stewardship, service and fellowship in the Body of Christ.

6. Continued missional alignment on cultural moral issues – Several chapels and employee meetings have supported Olivet’s orthodox identity and we affirm convictions on Biblical sexuality in all campus environments. We have defined new opportunities to encourage students toward compassion and strong thought leadership.

7. Operational efficiencies will result in significant cost reduction – Actions taken over the past year will allow Olivet to see $3.9M of energy and software savings over these Campaign years.

Students benefit from your generosity
Throughout her freshman year, “Samantha” was burdened by significant accessibility and academic needs. She was failing all of her courses. A persistence coach connected with Samantha through the Rick and Debbie Dykhouse Center for Academic Excellence. The coach met with Samantha weekly, helping her with reading and study skills, and instruction on how to advocate for herself. As a result, Samantha passed every freshman level course with Bs and Cs!

An unfolding future of continued impact
With gratitude, we joyfully share this progress in addressing our priorities. Your significant partnership allows us to celebrate more than one million monthly listeners to Shine.FM; U.S. News & World Report ranking Olivet 10th in the Midwest for Best Value; Money Magazine naming Olivet a Four-Star Best School; and more!

Thank you for your generosity, which inspires and encourages all of us. You strengthen the Olivet experience, and students thrive with new confidence through your partnership.

To learn more about donating to Olivet Nazarene University, contact the Office of Development at or 815-939-5171.

Wayne DeBoer headshot

Wayne DeBoer

Wayne DeBoer, MOL ’15 is the Director of Development Operations at Olivet Nazarene University.

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