Olsens create named professorship in College of Engineering

A Kansas City area couple has established a named professorship in the College of Engineering at Iowa State University through a gift commitment of $625,000.

Charles and Jane Olsen of Leawood, Kan., have created the Charles R. and Jane F. Olsen Professorship in Engineering. The position will be used to retain and recognize an outstanding faculty member with research and teaching emphasis in the areas of sustainability, clean water and the environment.

“It is our desire that this professorship lead to further understanding and knowledge in these areas ultimately contributing to a positive difference in the quality of life for Iowans, the global community, and the world,” said Charles Olsen.

“It is Chuck’s and my desire to give students in the College of Engineering the opportunity to study, research and be guided by faculty members who have exemplified extraordinary skills in teaching and whom are recognized as innovative and accomplished researchers in their specific field of study,” said Jane Olsen.

The College of Engineering will announce the recipient of the first Olsen Professorship in the near future. The individual chosen will be selected for their professional accomplishments in research and/or the education of students. Preference will be given to a faculty member from the department of agricultural and biosystems engineering.

“The college is deeply grateful to the Olsens for their generous gift,” said Jonathan Wickert, dean of the College of Engineering. “Their vision and commitment allows us to make an impact in areas that are of great importance to society. This professorship will play a key role in the college’s mission to make a difference through research and education.”

Charles Olsen is the chief executive officer of ACS headquartered in Lenexa, Kan. He is a 1960 agricultural engineering graduate of Iowa State. Jane Olsen is also an alumnus of Iowa State, graduating in 1961 with a bachelor’s degree in child development.

The gift is part of Campaign Iowa State: With Pride and Purpose, the university’s $800 million fundraising effort. More than $840 million in gifts and future commitments for facilities and student, faculty and programmatic support have been made to Campaign Iowa State.