New Vice President of University Advancement

Sophia Sailer, news reporter

On Nov. 5, Winona State University announced Jon D. Olson was appointed as Vice President for University Advancement and Executive Director of the Winona State University Foundation.

Olson will officially step into his position on Dec. 1, 2020.

Olson has 15 years of high education practice and received his Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from St. John’s University and his Master of Sports Administration and Facility Management from Ohio University.

Scott Ellinghuysen, vice president of finance and administrative services at Winona State, said one of Olson’s most qualifying features is his fundraising abilities.

Andrea Northam, the current interim vice president for university advancement, says that her favorite part about the job is meeting with people and working on solutions to problems.

“I got to have some more firsthand experience working with our foundation board. It’s a group of about 32 individuals who volunteer their time to look at how they can best serve our students and our academic programs,” Northam said. “It was really neat to meet those individuals and to work with them closely over the course of the last year.”

With COVID-19 leaving most people stuck indoors and practicing social distancing guidelines, the hiring process has been more complicated, but Ellinghuysen said this job search was done pre-COVID.

“We were fortunate that the candidates stuck with us through the spring and summer, culminating in the hire in the fall of 2020,” Ellinghuysen said.

Northam said the most important thing to do while working during COVID is to think about others.

“For me, it’s about the greater good,” Northam said. “And if there are inconveniences that I experience or disappointments, that’s a lot less than the repercussions there might be for me not staying home, for me not behaving cautiously.”

Northam said she is excited to see Olson join the Winona State faculty.

“He’s got a lot of energy,” Northam said. “This is his line of work and he has a lot of experience, so I kind of want to see what someone who really does this for a living can do versus the experience I had this last year,” Northam said.

Northam also said she is very content with how students are handling COVID.

“Ultimately, I’ve been here 15 years because I believe in what we do,” Northam said. “I believe that watching the next generation of [Winona State} Warriors come through inspires me.”