Olsson Associates has committed $260,000 over the next 10 years to support faculty members, students, academic programs and facilities at UNL’s College of Engineering.
The Nebraska-based engineering and design firm with 24 offices in seven states has established two new support funds at the University of Nebraska Foundation while also increasing its permanent endowments for student scholarships and its faculty teaching excellence awards. The gifts support the university's current Campaign for Nebraska fundraising initiative.
"We've had a long-term partnership with the University of Nebraska and its campuses," said Olsson president Brad Strittmatter, who leads Olsson’s 600+ employees. "Our support of the university will help the programs, students and faculty, which is a great benefit for everyone in our communities."
Tim Wei, dean, recognized Olsson Associates for being among the college's top corporate partners. "Olsson Associates definitely shares our vision to become one of the top colleges of engineering in teaching and research in the nation," Wei said. "We're incredibly thankful for its partnership and wide range of support."
Strittmatter said supporting the university comes naturally for their firm, because John E. Olsson created a company culture that places a value on support for education, community involvement and advancing the engineering profession.
In addition to financial support, Olsson Associates supports the college in other ways. Company employees routinely provide class lectures and, as available, the firm offers internship and employment opportunities to students and graduates.
Olsson founded the company in 1956. He was 30 years old and had graduated from UNL just five years earlier. A native of Queens, N.Y., he ended up in Nebraska by chance, having visited relatives in Lincoln and becoming interested in attending the university during his visit. He began Olsson Associates as its sole employee, added staff and services, and led the firm until 1976. He remained active in the firm until retiring in the early 1990s and continues to live in Lincoln.
Olsson enjoyed serving the College of Engineering through its Technology Advisory Council, and he received the college's Outstanding Alumnus Award in 1996. In 2002, a room was named for the Olsson family in Othmer Hall in recognition of their longtime support and volunteer service.
- Robb Crouch, NU Foundation