Minnesota State University, Mankato’s business school, in partnership with the late David C. Olson’s family, associates and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, has created a scholarship to honor Olson who was the president of the chamber and chair of the Minnesota State system’s board of trustees.
Olson died of cancer in 2014 at the age of 57.
Nearly $180,000 has been raised toward the $250,000 goal. The scholarship each year will provide a student enrolled in Minnesota State's MBA program a $7,500 scholarship and internship opportunity at a Minnesota chamber of commerce.
“We thank David’s family and colleagues for their commitment to this important endeavor,” said Minnesota State Mankato President Richard Davenport. “David worked to create business opportunities throughout Minnesota communities and higher education opportunities for Minnesota students. This scholarship will help students carry on David’s work.”
“Hardly a day goes by that we don’t think or say, we need more business leaders active in Minnesota public affairs,” said Bill Blazar, a senior vice president of the chamber and long-time colleague of Olson. “The Olson scholarship will be one real step toward solving this problem…supplying these leaders.”
Brenda Flannery, dean of Minnesota State Mankato’s College of Business, said: “David’s impact was widespread, as witnessed through the tremendous generosity and support that continues to come in his name. This has opened up another real-world experience opportunity for students and business to connect and benefit from one another.”
Minnesota State Mankato MBA student Ellie James has been selected as the first recipient. Her scholarship will provide an internship with the Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce. James earned a bachelor’s degree in management from Minnesota State Mankato in 2011 and plans to earn an MBA degree in May 2018.James will assist the Owatonna chamber in developing strategies and programs to address workforce needs in the region.
Olson, who earned a master’s degree at Minnesota State Mankato, served for 23 years as president of the Minnesota Chamber and for six years on Minnesota State’s board of trustees.
For more information, contact Nick Linde, director of development for Minnesota State Mankato’s College of Business at 507-389-2578 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.