John H. Olson, a former managing director of Morgan Stanley, received the Outstanding Alumnus Award from New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) during its annual black-tie benefit known as Celebration.
The festive evening of dining and dancing was held Nov. 14 at the Pleasantdale Chateau, West Orange. The proceeds from Celebration will benefit the Dorman Honors College Scholarship fund, which provides financial support to some NJIT’s best and most motivated scholars.
Olson, of New Vernon, recently retired from a distinguished 36-year financial services career. His last position was managing director of Morgan Stanley, one of the world’s leading financial services companies providing investment advice, asset management, investment banking and credit services to individuals, companies and governments around the world.
Olson received his B.S. (1961) and his M.S. (1966) from Newark College of Engineering (NCE). NCE grew into NJIT in 1975 with the addition of the New Jersey School of Architecture.
Olson began his career in engineering management with Public Service Electric and Gas Co. Then, in 1967, he joined the investment firm of E.F. Hutton & Co. in New York City and became the assistant manager of their headquarters office.
In 1972, after he joined Reynolds Securities, the company evolved through a series of acquisitions and mergers with a number of firms, including Dean Witter and Sears Roebuck. This was followed by a spin-off from Sears and a merger with Morgan Stanley in 1993.
Throughout his career, Olsen has actively participated in alumni and executive leadership roles at NJIT. He is a past trustee and chairman of the Alumni Association Scholarship Fund. He has also served on the cabinet for the Campaign for NJIT: Design for the Future and chaired the fundraising committee for the Saul K. Fenster Exceptional Scholars Fund. He currently serves as chair of the Leadership Circle, which is comprised of the top donors to NJIT’s Annual Fund, and chairs the NJIT Investment Committee and the Fundraising Committee of the Board of Overseers. He is also on the Executive Dinner Committee for Celebration 2003.
Olsen has been a generous contributor to NJIT. He continues to build two endowed scholarships named for his and his wife’s parents. In 1987, he was honored with the Alumni Association Service Award, and in 1995 he received the Weston Distinguished Alumnus Award.