Augustana remembers professor Orlando Olson who passed away the afternoon of July 25, 2017. Professor Olson taught physics and mathematics from 1964 to 1998 and was also the builder of one of Augustana’s most famous landmarks, “Ollie’s Crossing” (also referred to as “Ole’s Cross”), a bridge that connected the ravine residences to the rest of campus for over 30 years before being replaced in 2009.
Built completely by hand in just over a month, the wooden bridge stood as a testament to Olson’s dedication and passionate spirit in his work and for his campus. Olson fondly recollected, “It’s a romantic thing to build a bridge,” and succeeded with the support of the Augustana community, never having to ask for volunteers but always having readily available helping hands. Olson has left a legacy at Augustana as a sublime engineer, building support not only in the infrastructure but also in the numerous students and colleagues he inspired.
Professor Olson suffered from Alzheimer’s over the past two years and passed away at the Rosehaven Care Center in Camrose, Alberta. He will be remembered fondly, and greatly missed.
If you’d like to leave condolences, comment here and we will pass your words on to the family. The funeral will be held at Messiah Lutheran Church, 50 Street & 48 Avenue, Camrose on August 3, 2017 at 3:00 pm. Memorial donations can be made to U of A Augustana Chaplaincy or the John Howard Society.