As a two-sport athlete, Olivia Brees is a pretty well-known Wildcat. She was the NAIA Pitcher of the Year and the first female athlete at Baker to win the Google Cloud College Division Academic All-American of the Year Award, and she helped the softball team win its first conference title in 37 years last season. She also garnered academic and athletic awards as a member of the volleyball team. However, Brees wasn’t always sure that she wanted to rock the Baker Orange. As a student at Jefferson West High School in Meriden, Kansas, Brees had not heard of Baker University until her sister started looking at colleges.

“She played volleyball here all four years,” Brees said. “Being able to experience her choosing this school, visiting her frequently, watching her play, it helped develop my love for Baker, especially the campus. I’ve loved it from the moment I laid eyes on it. I don’t know who wouldn’t. It’s beautiful.”

Brees studied elementary education at Baker while being active in the Alpha Chi Omega sorority, the School of Education Ambassadors, Student Senate, and, of course, volleyball and softball. She has spent the last semester student teaching at Edgerton Elementary School. After receiving her diploma at the Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 15, at 1 p.m. at the George F. Collins, Jr. Sports and Convention Center in Baldwin City, Brees is looking forward to continuing her teaching career.

“I will move back home to Topeka next semester and substitute teach around the area,” Brees said. “My plan for the fall of 2020 is to find a graduate position somewhere in the hope of continuing my education and earning my master’s degree.”

Brees goes into her future grateful for her past choices.

“Being able to play both volleyball and softball and the small school atmosphere made the decision for me. It just felt right, and I don’t think you can explain it any other way. If you know it’s the right choice, it’s the right choice.”

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