Long-time Shoreline Community College faculty counselor and Professor Emeritus Marty Olsen passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, April 13, 2014.
Olsen joined Shoreline in 1973 and retired in 2009; 36 years of service to thousands of students. At a retirement gathering, Olsen said it was the opportunities to work with students who had academic challenges, special needs or difficult life circumstances and then witness their growth and development that made his position much more than just a job.
“I remember a call from a woman who came to me to drop out of college because she did not think she could ever get through Math 80,” Olsen said in 2009. “She was calling to inform me that she had been selected as president of the Women in Engineering Group and was graduating with honors in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Washington.”
At his retirement, Olsen said he planned to simplify his schedule, adding, “I’m determined not to give advice to anyone unless they ask me for it. That may be challenging for me.” That self-assessment proved prophetic because Olsen went on to do counseling work as a consultant after leaving the college.
“Marty’s commitment to students and the community college mission is a lesson and legacy for us all,” Interim President Daryl Campbell said.
Prof. Amy Kinsel, President of the Shoreline faculty union, said Olsen was active in the union and involved in many other aspects of faculty life at Shoreline. Kinsel noted that Olsen recently attended services for two other members of the Shoreline community, faculty member Karen Toreson and Phyllis Topham, a faculty member who retired along with Olsen in 2009.
Services are pending and will be announced as soon as details are available.