This scholarship was established in 2019 in memory of Rev. Theodore B. Olsen, Jr., by his wife, Joanne, and their children, Andrew (Jane) Olsen, Theodore (Melanie) Olsen, and Carolyn Olsen.
Ted Olsen (1940-2015) graduated from Northwestern College in 1962 and Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary in 1966. He began serving in the parish ministry at St. Mark in Brown Deer, Wisconsin. In 1971, the Lord called Ted to serve as professor of religion and social studies at Dr. Martin Luther College, where he served until 1978. The next four years he served as parish pastor at Zion in Gainesville, Florida.
In 1982, Ted began his service as president of Martin Luther Preparatory School in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. And in 1994, God led him to accept the call to be the first president of the newly formed Martin Luther College, where he served until 2007. Ted’s 33 years of ministry in the synodical school system demonstrated his passion for ministerial education.
His family established this scholarship to support students training to be early childhood teachers, which was a ministry dear to Ted’s heart. In 2019, when this scholarship fund was established, the Early Childhood Education program at MLC was nearing 100 students, due in no small part to Ted’s vision for a Christian education for small children. Ted was instrumental in planning the Early Childhood Learning Center, which in 2019 was at maximum capacity with a waiting list.
Income from the Ted Olsen Early Childhood Education Scholarship fund will be awarded as grants of $1,000 to students in the early childhood education major who demonstrate financial need. Multiple students may receive the grant each year.