Olson Hall is home to 300 women, making it Taylor’s largest women’s hall and providing for increased enrollment when it was constructed in 1966. It was first called East Hall but renamed Olson Hall in 1974. The hall follows a traditional residence hall layout with rooms lining both sides of a T-shaped corridor. Each of its three floors is divided into wings.
Olson has a tradition of unique and themed pick-a-dates, 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 in Upland and the Grace Olson Pageant in honor of the hall’s namesake.
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. Throughout this, 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 an unpopular administration, and simply recommitting herself to the work she had left. Olson served Taylor from 1945 to 1971 in the registrar office, as director of admissions, history professor, head of the history department, and chair of the social science division.