3 Questions for Erik Olson


Diane Huang

Keynote speaker Erik Olson talks to the Upper School about the environment and forming his identity.

Ellie Findell, RubicOnline Editor

Q: What was your time at SPA like? What were your favorite classes, activities?

A: I was on the Rubicon as well. My favorite classes were the sciences as well as Russian, a language course that SPA taught way back when.  

Q: How did your SPA experience prepare you for your adult life?

A: As I mentioned I loved the sciences, particularly Chemistry which I majored in in college.  I went to college thinking I was going to be a doctor and then later got a Rhodes Scholarship to go to Moscow. So I thought why not continue Russian, which I had learned to love  during high school.  SPA provided me with a wealth of opportunities, I know for a fact I wouldn’t where I am today without the Shepard Scholarship. 

Q: What don’t SPA students know about you?

A: I am absolutely obsessive about music and probably to go around 25 live concerts each year. Actually this is interesting, I only went to SPA because a friend of mine applied so I did too and the Shepard family had some available scholarships so I got one. I had never thought of private school being a possible option because my family was on public assistance growing up. The Shepard scholarship covered almost all of tuition and the rest I paid for by working a side job on the janitorial staff in my free time at SPA. One time I even crawled inside the industrial boilers in the basement (this wouldn’t be allowed nowadays) and scrapped charcoal off them with a wire brush.