When Calvin Johnson '59 arrived on Olivet Nazarene College's campus in 1955, he had $50 to his name - barely enough money to pay for his books. He had no money for tuition or room and board, but he was permitted to enroll for classes on a handshake agreement.
Olivet permitted Calvin take classes as he worked vigorously as a paint technician to cover his tuition costs. "Olivet carried my expenses for that first year," Calvin recollects. "I paid as much as I could as I went along. I worked two full-time jobs in the summer so that I could keep up with my education."
This experience taught Calvin the importance of student support. "If it wasn't for Olivet carrying my costs, I don't know how I would have made it work," explains Calvin. "I've always felt like I should do my best to help chemistry students, like me."
Because they know firsthand the struggles of making their way through college, Calvin and his wife, Constance '60, have been faithful supporters of Olivet for a long time. One of the ways that they have chosen to support the University is through a Charitable Gift Annuity.
"It's an arrangement that's been mutually beneficial because Olivet receives a gift and I'm able to get an immediate tax deduction along with a check from Olivet on a regular basis. We looked at a number of different options and the Charitable Gift Annuity seemed to be the best one for us," explains Calvin.
"I would highly recommend that others consider the Gift Annuity program for the same reasons that I did. You get something in return through a tax deduction and through regular Annuity payments, but more importantly, you're helping students who really need your support."
"I don't know why Olivet was so generous to me during my time there, but I'm so grateful that they were. I've enjoyed a wonderful career, and I want to support Olivet as often as I can."