MILWAUKEE (WITI) — Dr. Robert C. Olson, a Marquette University alumnus, has posthumously donated $1 million for professional faculty and staff development, Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J., university president, announced Thursday, April 18. Dr. Olson was a 1953 graduate of the Marquette University School of Medicine, now known as the Medical College of Wisconsin.
His three surviving children, all Marquette University alumni, evenly divided the donation among their areas of personal interest: communication, physical therapy and student leadership.
“This generous contribution from a legacy family will allow us to continue a larger drive for new excellence at Marquette University,” said President Pilarz. “This gift offers an incredible opportunity for future generations of Marquette students to begin their own legacies by sharing their talents, dreams and hopes for the future.”
The family noted that the support for professional development is intended to encourage existing students and staff to “push each other out of their comfort zones” and “reinforce imagining what learning will look like in our future.”
“Lifelong learning was so important to Dad, and his love of learning helped us know that we wanted professional development to be a part of that legacy that he gave back,” Jane Olson said.
The gift will support scholarship awards and development in the following areas:
- Marquette’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program: Sponsors to one of only 13 neurological physical therapy residency programs nationwide.
- Diederich College of Communication: Home to over 950 students.
- Marquette’s Division of Student Affairs: Prepares students to become community leaders.