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Profile: Andy Harder, ’80

Andy Harder
Karen Harder, Andy Harder, '80

Recognizing that Chicago is one of the largest markets in the country for prospective college students, Andy Harder, ’80 is focused on recruiting students from the Windy City with the help of the referral program. Chicago is a difficult market to tap into, and Andy knows from experience that a traditional college fair is not going to help attract Chicago’s high school students to a small college in Michigan.

“I believe we need to recruit one student at a time with people who know them best like a coach, equestrian trainer, pastor, or youth minister,” he said. “This isn’t about making a referral to a senior. It takes time to build these relationships.” Since many students are desperately looking for scholarships, Andy feels that the referral program has the added benefit of making a personal connection to students and their families.

As an alumnus with a son who is currently attending Albion, Andy knows about the advantages of an Albion College education, especially when it comes to forming personal connections. During his time as a student, he was fortunate to have built relationships with some of the legendary leaders in Albion’s history. “It’s the relationships that are made at Albion that make a difference. These people made a lasting impact on my life, and I’m thrilled to observe the same kind of leadership being demonstrated at Albion today,” he said.

With the understanding that many people in Chicago haven’t even heard of Albion, Andy is working hard to connect the dots by reaching out to local alumni. “There are many ties to Albion in Chicago, but we need a coordinated strategy to make those connections in order to identify students that will visit and ultimately attend,” he said.

By pulling together all of the pieces and creating a solid network of alumni in the area, he’s hoping to generate excitement about the transformation that’s happening in Albion. “I like to ask prospective students if they want to be a participant or a spectator. At Albion, the level of campus involvement is differentiating, and the result is a deeper educational experience where lifelong relationships are formed.”

For more information about the Alumni/Parent Referral Program, visit or call the Office of Admission at 800/858-6770.

Transfer Profile: Annie Ford, '17

Annie Ford

What made you pick Albion College?

I picked Albion because I felt comfortable here. I didn't want to go to a big school where I would just feel like a number. I loved the small class sizes and professor's interest in the students. The Institute for Healthcare Professionals was a deciding factor for me. The institute offers specialized help during all steps of the application process for medical and dental school.

So far, how is Albion different from your previous school?

I previously attended Lansing Community College (LCC) for one year. Albion is different from LCC because class sizes are smaller. LCC is a commuter college so I was not living at school or getting involved on campus like I do here at Albion. The classes I take at Albion have challenged me more which has taught me to learn things more in depth.

What are you studying? What are you involved in?

I am a pre-dental student with a major in biochemistry and a minor in cell and molecular biology. I take part in numerous clubs and organizations on campus. I am a member of the women's golf team. I am in Alpha Phi Omega, a national community service fraternity, and Alpha Chi Sigma, a professional chemistry fraternity. I host prospective students as a Briton Ambassador. I am involved with the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship group. I am also a tour guide.

What are you plans after graduating from Albion?

After graduating from Albion, I plan to further my education by attending dental school.

What was the transfer process like for you?

The transfer process for me was surprisingly easy. As a freshmen at Lansing Community College I knew I wanted to transfer to Albion, so I took classes that I knew would transfer. I talked a lot with the registrar and my admissions counselor thought out the transfer process so that I knew what to expect. Everyone was very helpful and answered all of my many questions.

What's been the most pleasantly surprising thing you've seen at Albion?

I have been most pleasantly surprised by how friendly and welcoming everyone on campus is, from students, to staff, and even the president. I felt like since I was coming in as a transfer student I would have a hard time meeting people in my class, but that wasn't the case. Everyone is willing to help each other, and I wasn't expecting college to be one big community.

Transfer Profile: Marcus Olah, '19

Marcus Olah

What made you choose Albion College?

Albion reached out to my while I was attending Henry Ford College in Dearborn, MI. On a tour, I spoke with English professor Nels Christensen who was able to answer my questions in a sincere way that didn't feel like a sales pitch. I was attracted to the small classroom size and the liberal arts approach to studying. I am someone who is interested in many different, seemingly disconnected subjects and the variety of classes we are encouraged to take fits what I like most about learning: making connections.

What was the transfer process like for you?

The transfer process was quick, there was maybe a month in the '16 summer between making the decision and being moved in. I visited Albion once, to see the campus for the first time; a second time, to schedule my classes; and the third visit, my car was packed and ready to move in.

What have you found to be the biggest difference at Albion from your previous experience?

I think that because of the teacher to student ratio, I am able to receive more attention from the professors on my weaknesses in a subject, or if there is something comes easy to me, I feel that I am pushed more to improve further. Rather than having a minimum to achieve, my education here feels much more tailored to making me better than myself. Ultimately, I get out of classes what I put into them.

What has Albion done for you?

Albion has given me an opportunity to explore my interests in a focused and challenging way. In the past year I have been able to narrow my interests further and have developed a clearer understanding of the work expected in my various fields of interest. It has also given me the chance to lay down roots in a campus and a town.

Transfer Profile: Ray Robinson, '19

Ray Robinson

What made you choose Albion College?

I chose Albion because I thought It was a beautiful college, both from a campus setting standpoint, as well as academically. I also got to move closer to home.

What was the transfer process like for you?

The transfer process was different from my past experiences in a good way. I didn’t know at first that Albion College existed, even though I lived 20 minutes away in Jackson. I set up a visit to meet with Mandy Dubiel. She made me feel like I was born to be a part of this college, let alone the athletics and education. The reason why It was different was because I never been to a college that felt like home.

What have you found to be the biggest difference at Albion from your previous experience?

The biggest difference at Albion is the community. Everyone accepts who you are and welcomes you with open arms. The campus was love at first sight, like a fall scene from a movie.

What has Albion done for you?

Albion has made me a better man than I was before. Albion pushes me to be great, and to never settle.

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