By Camille Dager, originally published by Mennonite Church USA and can be found here
Mennonite Church USA Executive Board staff has named 2023 Goshen (Indiana) College graduate Olivia Krall as archives coordinator for the MC USA Archives in Elkhart. Krall holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Goshen College, with minors in political studies and sociology.
“Olivia has a deep respect for history and is passionate about our journey as Anabaptist Mennonites,” said Iris de León-Hartshorn. “Her research skills, commitment to MC USA and enthusiasm make her an excellent fit for this role and the Executive Board staff.”
During her last semester at Goshen College, Krall served as the visitor services assistant at the Elkhart County Historical Museum, Bristol, Indiana, assisting with archival projects, helping to engage researchers with the museum’s resources, and contributing to exhibit planning and creation.
“I love getting research requests,” she said. “My favorite part [of working at the museum] was hunting down solutions to questions in the archives or in books. I found that so interesting and satisfying.”
In her new role, Krall says that she is “excited to help people along in that journey and to make sure that the archives are accessible and available to people within MC USA and in the broader community.”
Krall served as a student assistant in Goshen College’s history department from May 2021 to January 2023. During the summer of 2021, she also served as a summer intern with the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute in Washington, D.C. In addition, Krall completed a Study-Service Term through Goshen College, in which she studied and served in Senegal. Her research project for the term focused on the 125-year history of the Catholic Church in the town where she was staying.
A distinguished student, Krall graduated with a flawless 4.0-grade point average and was honored with several scholarships and awards. Most notably, she was selected as one of eight students to receive the Goshen College 2023 President’s Graduating Leader Award. The award is given annually to outstanding Goshen College seniors who demonstrate academic excellence and leadership inside and outside of the classroom.
“Our history is a strong piece of identity that helps us understand who we are and where we’re going,” said Krall, explaining why she is excited about her new position. “I think it’s important to have an understanding of who we are as an organization, of how our values have served us, and in what ways they’ve affected our organization. This not only helps us understand the things that we should continue to do but also helps us see our mistakes so that we can continue to grow and change.”
Krall enjoys spending her free time enjoying her “weirdest and most fun” hobby: welding metal. She is a talented sculptor, who uses welding tools and locally sourced scrap metal to create works of art. She currently has one piece on permanent exposition at Waterford Crossing, a retirement home in Goshen (at left), and two temporary placements in Goshen and Bristol, Indiana.
Krall is a member of First Mennonite Church, Indianapolis, Indiana, in Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference.