In the Business
Nelson Olf knows the significance of higher education, as well as its costs.
That’s why the business faculty member established the Nelson Olf Business Management Scholarship, hoping it might help students overcome financial obstacles and strive for success in the business world.
“I love teaching. It’s a matter of being able to provide wisdom as well as knowledge,” Olf said.
“Teaching gives me a purpose for getting up in the morning. All my life, I’ve had a purpose for myself.”
In the 1950s, Olf attended what was then Oregon State College on a Naval ROTC scholarship. He earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering along with a commission in the Marine Corps that took him to Japan and Puerto Rico, and eventually to Vietnam.
After Vietnam, Olf later earned his MBA from Portland State University by taking night classes while stationed in Portland. When he retired from the Marines, he worked for Diamond Industries and taught at Portland State, Linfield and the Oregon Graduate Institute.
He joined the faculty of Pacific University in 1994 and retired briefly in 2009, but he was drawn back to teaching.
“I gained a great deal of pleasure teaching here and want to help Pacific continue to be a fine university,” he said. “Pacific has continued to do great things.”
Among those great things is the establishment of the new College of Business, which Olf believes will open even more doors for students.
The college is starting with existing undergraduate degrees in accounting, finance, marketing, international business, and business administration, with graduate degrees in the near future. The curriculum will be grounded in the liberal arts and sciences with a strong focus on experiential learning, including international study, internships and student-developed microbusinesses.
Students coming out of the new college will benefit from the support of an internship and career placement counselor, who will help them find not only that first job, but the first step on their lifelong career path.