On Wednesday, February 24, Verlyn Olson will be recognized with Augustana’s 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award at our annual Community Awards Banquet. The former MLA for Wetaskiwin-Camrose has been a longtime supporter of Augustana Campus and we are delighted to honour him with this award, which is presented to an alumnus/a in recognition of outstanding achievement in one’s vocation.
Verlyn graduated from Camrose Lutheran College High School – now the University of Alberta’s Augustana Campus – in 1972, followed by two years of undergraduate study. He went on to receive his Bachelor of Arts in History with Distinction (’75) and a Bachelor of Laws (’78) from the University of Alberta. Verlyn returned to Camrose to article with the firm of Andreassen Ziebart, becoming an Associate in Andreassen Ziebart Olson in 1979 and then a Partner in Andreassen Olson Borth in 1983. Verlyn was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2000.
The successful lawyer left his practice in 2007 to run for the Progressive Conservative party in Wetaskiwin-Camrose. He won the riding in 2008 and served on a number of standing committees before being appointed Minister of Justice and Attorney General in 2011. He was named Deputy Government House Leader and Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development in 2012. Verlyn returned to private life in 2015.
“Verlyn Olson is a sterling example of servant leadership,” says former Premier, Hon. David Hancock. He has never, in my experience, put himself or his position first – always leading toward collaborative approaches and understanding. Verlyn has served Augustana, Camrose and Alberta well and is an exceptional representative of Augustana’s graduates.”
“Since his graduation as a student of Camrose Lutheran College, Verlyn has been active as a member of the Augustana Board of Regents, a stalwart member of the Viking Cup Committee for over 20 years and a strong supporter and advocate for Augustana’s development as a Faculty of the University of Alberta,” says former Wetaskiwin-Camrose MLA LeRoy Johnson. “He is a strong advocate for all programs at Augustana – not least for the Fine Arts, where his family have excelled.”
Verlyn has a distinguished history of community service in the region, including work in athletics, culture, health care and education. He was a founding member of the Camrose Sport Development Society, co-founded the Pretty Hill Film Festival (now Nordlys Film & Arts Festival), and served on the Camrose Lutheran College Board of Regents for eight years. He is currently a mentor at the University of Alberta’s new Peter Lougheed Leadership College and is a great supporter of all things Augustana.