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Former University president Paul Olscamp dead at age 77

Former University president Paul Olscamp died Oct. 14 at age 77 in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.

He was the eighth president at the University, from 1982 and served for 13 years, until 1995, when he retired, according to an obituary released by the University.

Lee Meserve, a biology professor who has been at the University for 42 years said “It’s always sad when someone that has helped the University passes away.”

While he was president, Olscamp also started the Candian Studies program, along with gaining funding from the Ohio Board of Regents that aided in attracting top scholars, along with funding from the Ohio Board of Regents to appoint three Ohio Eminent Scholars, in photochemistry, moral philsophy and industrial/organizational psychology.

During his time as president, Olscamp also aided in the expansion of the University library, along with providing computers and more research and academic equipment throughout campus.

Richard Edwards,mayor of Bowling Green, worked with Olscamp during the early years of his time as president. Edwards said one of the things Olscamp worked hard on was the research areas, which was “the hallmark of [Olscamp’s] presidency.”

Richards also described Olscamp as someone with an incredibly good sense of humor.

Meserve said something that kept following Olscamp around was the statement, “We have a walking problem, not a parking problem,” when undergraduates were complaining about the parking situation on campus.

Meserve also said Olscamp and his wife, Ruth, who was a faculty member, were well-known on both campus and in the community, along with their support of collegiate sports and the attractiveness of the athletic department at the University.

During Olscamp’s tenure as president, the Fine Arts Building, the Perry Field House and East Hall were constructed. Olscamp was also responsible for the building of the Physcial Science Labortory Building. In 1994, Olscamp Hall was built, which was the first technologically-equipped building at the University.

Brian Kochheiser, USG president, said Olscamp “worked to improve BG as a university,” during his time in office. Kochhesier also said that Olscamp worked to increase academic scholarships available to students.

Before coming to the University, Olscamp was president at Western Washington University, where he served for seven years. While there, he helped guide the university through financial challenges, much like what happened to the University during the 1980’s.

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