Jessie WoodringOlson Hall Director
For many years, if you’d asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I always had the same response. I wanted to be a teacher. I went to Gordon College for my undergraduate degree and got my degree to teach high school chemistry. But, through that journey, I realized that my definition of education included so much more than just delivering lectures and balancing reactions in front of a class. Having been involved in Residence Life during my time at Gordon, I came to value and deeply appreciate the process of educating the whole person—mind, spirit, and body. Now working in Residence Life at Taylor after studying at Taylor for my Master’s degree, I have the privilege of participating in the transformative work of educational community.
One of the greatest gifts of community is the grace that we extend to one another—grace that allows for second chances, encourages a love of learning, and gives one other permission to change and grow. Olson Hall has captured my heart as a beautiful example of the Lord’s generous love and grace. Here, I am constantly reminded of the presence of grace in community. Olson Hall is a place where women are all in to the community that they are building. Grace Olson Week in October celebrates the life of the hall’s namesake with a photography show, Grace Race scavenger hunt, and Annual Grace Olson Pageant. We also enjoy our Hello Saturday events with breakfast and a female speaker from our community and celebrate the spring at our Olson-Wengatz cookout. No matter the wing, you will find that the women of Olson are always looking to know each other better and to make the most of their time at Taylor.
As a Massachusetts native, the cornfields of the Midwest were never on my bucket list, but the more time I spend here, the more I develop affection for country roads, yellow-green fields of beans, and the welcoming hospitality. I feel thankful for the ways that the Lord has called me to this place and this space; Olson Hall has my heart!