Dr. Olson received his medical degree from UNMC in 1944,completing his obstetrics and gynecology residency at UNMC in 1949. A military veteran, Dr. Olson primarily practiced at Methodist Hospital during his career. He was appointed to UNMC's volunteer faculty in 1952 and served in this capacity for 60 years, most recently as senior consultant.
He had a large obstetrics and gynecology practice in Omaha and delivered thousands of babies during his career, retiring in 1986.
A native of Palmyra, Neb., he and his late wife, Dorothy, were married for 66 years prior to Dorothy's death in 2010.
See sidebar: Friends, colleagues remember Dr. Olson
The Olsons were longtime contributors to UNMC for a variety of women's health and university initiatives.
In 2005, they provided funding for The Olson Center for Women's Health outpatient facility, which occupies the entire fourth floor of the Durham Outpatient Center and is the largest outpatient clinic on the UNMC campus. This was their fifth major donation to the department of obstetrics and gynecology since 1986.
The Olson Center for Women's Health was initiated in 1993 through their generosity, and in addition to housing an outpatient clinical facility, it has recently surpassed $5 million in research funding awards to UNMC and UNO researchers.
The Olson Center's outpatient facility is one of only a handful of truly multidisciplinary women's centers in the country. In addition to Ob/Gyn, the UNMC departments of internal medicine, surgery, radiology, and psychiatry also are represented, as well as the hospital's mammography, ultrasound, and physical therapy departments.
"Nobody in Nebraska has done more for women's health than Leland Olson." UNMC Chancellor
- funding for two research floors in UNMC's The Lied Transplant Center to create the Olson Biomedical Laboratories;
- providing funding support for the Center of Nursing Science at UNMC;
- creation of a resident research fund and a distinguished chair for UNMC's obstetrics and gynecology department;
- funding for one of the earliest -- and now largest -- endowed chairs in the UNMC College of Nursing; and
- two endowed chairs at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
"Nobody in Nebraska has done more for women's health than Leland Olson," said UNMC Chancellor Harold M. Maurer, M.D. "It was his passion. He truly made a difference for our students, residents, faculty and patients. He will never be forgotten."