Barry McNamara  |  Published August 30, 2023

Olson Promoted

New director of facilities management has worked at Monmouth since 2015.

JEFF OLSON: New director of facilities management joined Monmouth's staff as a plumber in 201... JEFF OLSON: New director of facilities management joined Monmouth's staff as a plumber in 2015.MONMOUTH, Ill. – Monmouth College has once again looked internally to fill its director of facilities management position, promoting veteran staff member Jeff Olson.

Olson, who joined Monmouth’s staff in 2015, succeeds Sarah Young, who held the position the past eight years after serving the College as a maintenance mechanic.

“Jeff has overseen our plumbing trades since he joined our staff,” said Holly Tharp, Monmouth’s vice president for finance and business. “During that time, he has exhibited great knowledge and skill in his core job area. He has also demonstrated his eagerness to assist other areas of facilities management and to take on increasing levels of responsibilities. Jeff is a natural leader and has an unflappable presence that serves anyone responsible for facilities management on a college campus well.”

While in the Marine Corps, Olson was trained in the electrical field, and that was the line of work he first pursued as a civilian. But an opportunity to work in plumbing opened instead, and he’s been in that profession since 2000.

“Jeff is a natural leader and has an unflappable presence that serves anyone responsible for facilities management on a college campus well.” Holly Tharp


Prior to joining Monmouth’s staff, Olson ran his own plumbing business. He’ll remain a plumbing contractor while also leading the physical plant team on campus.

“There’s a lot of work that needs to be done,” said Olson. “I’m looking forward to working with Holly and the rest of the College’s team. It’s all doable. We’re going to focus first on campus beautification – especially some landscaping projects – as well as some infrastructure things.”

Olson said the right people are in place to help him and the College achieve its goals.

“I’ve got a lot of hard-working people on my staff,” he said. “All of the guys are working pretty hard, and that includes the custodians, too. They’re working hard to keep up, and they’re doing pretty good at it.”

Olson has a strong tie to the College, as two of his children – Ethan and Bailee – graduated from Monmouth in 2020 and 2021, respectively, and his daughter, Morgaine, is a junior. Additionally, his wife, Melissa Painter Olson, graduated in 1998, and his mother and sister have both held positions on campus.

As Olson grows into his new role, another area of growth comes from his impressive beard, which he said is about two years old.

“I don’t do a lot of things well, but I can grow facial hair,” he said. “I started losing it off the top of my head, so I started growing it down below.”

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