Olsen Joins Office of Foundation Relations

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Julie Olsen

Julie Olsen has joined the Office of Foundation Relations in the Division of University Advancement. In her new role, Olsen will design, plan and implement fundraising strategies in collaboration and consultation with deans, unit leaders and development colleagues. She will be responsible for identifying, cultivating, stewarding and soliciting prospective and existing foundations. Olsen will report to Kellie Knight, assistant vice chancellor for the Office of Foundation Relations.

“Julie is a talented professional who brings extensive knowledge in donor development and fundraising to this new position in foundation relations,” Knight said. “She will elevate funding opportunities with private foundations across the university landscape as we continue to advance the great work of our faculty and institution. We are excited to have her as part of the team and look forward to seeing all she accomplishes in the future.”

Olsen is a seasoned major gifts professional and has been with the U of A since 2013 when she first joined the development team as associate director of development for the College of Education and Health Professions. She then served in the same capacity for the College of Engineering. Olsen most recently served as director of development for the Graduate School and International Education since 2016. In this role, she directed fundraising strategy for the Graduate School and Division of Research and Innovation to secure annual fund, major, principal and planned gifts. Prior to joining the university, she worked as the annual giving director for the Walton Arts Center and as the director of development for the EOA Children’s House in Springdale.

“I am honored to join the Office of Foundation Relations team to advance the university’s strategic priorities,” Olsen said. “The university’s faculty, students, staff and alumni have made tremendous contributions to the economic vitality of our state and region in partnership with our foundation stakeholders. I look forward to helping strengthen these relationships and building new partnerships by sharing the many opportunities available to invest in research and programs across campus and advance the university’s economic impact in our state, the region and beyond.”

Originally from Nebraska, Olsen earned two bachelor’s degrees, one in business administration and one in voice performance from Hastings College, as well as a master’s degree in music from the University of Texas at Austin Butler School of Music. She is an active member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education and the U of A Women’s Giving Circle.

About the University of Arkansas: As Arkansas’ flagship institution, the U of A provides an internationally competitive education in more than 200 academic programs. Founded in 1871, the U of A contributes more than $2.2 billion to Arkansas’ economy through the teaching of new knowledge and skills, entrepreneurship and job development, discovery through research and creative activity while also providing training for professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the U of A among the top 3% of US colleges and universities with the highest level of research activity. US News & World Report ranks the U of A among the top public universities in the nation. See how the U of A works to build a better world at Arkansas Research News.

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