Scholarship History:

Ralph Olson ’48 was a city kid who grew up to be a forester.  He was also a loyal alumnus who took great joy in traveling from Minnesota to Chicago to share the story of his career as a professional forester with the students of Lane Tech in the 80s and 90s. Active in his field for more than sixty years, and the owner of an 80-acre tree farm, Olson was passionate about the natural environment and advocated for others to appreciate it as he did. It was his sincere wish that upon his passing in 2021, a scholarship be established for Lane students interested in continuing his legacy as a steward of the planet.  The Olson family wishes the scholarship to be awarded to a student who has expressed a desire to pursue forestry, natural resource management, environmental studies, or a related field. Established 2023

Scholarship Award:

$5,000 total award to one (1) graduating senior.


  • Have an expected Spring, 2023 graduation date.

  • Exhibit academic achievement and financial need.

  • Demonstrate awareness of and commitment to the environment.

  • Have proof of acceptance to an accredited college or university.

  • Intend to major in forestry, natural resource management, environmental studies or related fields.

  • Achieve an unweighted GPA of 3.0 or higher.

Essay [250-350 word maximum, length may vary]

Your essay submission will be an opportunity to express who you are as a person and to convey why you should be awarded this scholarship.  Please choose one of the following topics:

What sparked your passion for the environment?


As a person growing up in a large city, how do you view the management of natural resources as important for the world?

The deadline to apply for this scholarship is Monday, April 17, 2023 at 5pm.