The Roundup -

Olson Receives Lifetime Achievement Award For Griz Support

 

John Olson left, is presented the award from University of Montana athletic director Kent Haslam, center, and Sidney Chapter GSA president Bill Brenner

John Olson, who is known throughout the area as a strong advocate for the University of Montana and Griz athletics, was recognized with the first lifetime achievement award given by the Sidney Chapter of the Grizzly Scholarship Association during the banquet held at the Sidney County Club on May 25.

Bill Brenner, president of the Sidney chapter, noted Olson has been involved with the Sidney GSA, University of Montana Foundation and the university's hoop club.

"This is the first award and it probably won't be given every year," Brenner said during the program.

Kent Haslam, athletic director for the University of Montana, noted that Olson is a member of the national advisory board for Grizzlies athletics.

"I'm just stunned," Olson said when accepting the honor. "I'm overwhelmed."

Olson, president and CEO of Blue Rock Companies, is past chairman of the University of Montana Foundation, which raised more than $131 million in a successful capital campaign. John and Marilyn Olson received UM's Community Service Award in 2006. They were recipients of the Neil S. Bucklew Presidential Service Award that recognizes extraordinary effort to foster an understanding of the University of Montana's needs and strengths throughout the community and the state.

During the banquet, Haslam, women's basketball coach Robin Selvig and football coach Bob Stitt stressed that the support received from eastern Montana is never taken for granted. "Great things are going on at the university as we speak," Haslam said.

Groundbreaking for the $14 million Washington-Grizzly Champions Center has taken place. The center will house a new 7,000 square-foot locker room for the Grizzly football team, a new 12,500 square-foot strength and conditioning center for all student-athletes and team meeting space.

The new academic center has resulted in an all time high grade point average of 3.17 for university athletes. There have been 14,000 visits by student athletes.

Haslam said the athletic department is committed to success in academics, success in athletics and success in community.

 

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