Olson Hall is home to 300 women, making it Taylor’s largest women’s hall and helped for increased enrollment when it was constructed in 1966. It was first called East Hall but was renamed Olson Hall in 1974. The hall follows a typical residence hall layout with rooms lining both sides of a long, central corridor. Each of its three floors is divided into wings.
Olson has a tradition of unique and themed pick-a-dates, a casual group date, including Murder Mystery, Tri-State, and Speedway car race pick-a-dates. On nice days, you can find students scattered on Olson’s front lawn, known as “Olson Beach.” Other hall activities include Christmas caroling around Upland, the Grace Olson Pageant in honor of the hall’s namesake, and more.
Namesake: Grace Olson
Among Taylor faculty, Grace D. Olson ’27 holds a place as one of the most influential and universally revered. However, in 1950, university turmoil led to Olson’s forced resignation. An insecure administration misread Olson’s radical devotion to the institution, and its faculty as a threat to power. Olson was a model of a servant leader, adopting her role as faculty advocate only in order to serve.
Her return to Taylor in 1952, at the request of new campus leadership, provided Olson the opportunity to capitalize on her position as the formerly disenfranchised faculty champion. Instead, she returned and quietly demonstrated a humble spirit of service, forgiving what most viewed as her mistreatment at the hands of unpopular administration, and simply recommitting herself to the work she had left. Olson served Taylor from 1945 to 1971 in the registrar, as director of admissions, history professor, head of the history department, and chair of the social science division.