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Former UM President James Olson dies

James Olson (UMKC photo)


Kansas City, MO – A former President of the University of Missouri system has died. James Olson led UM from 1977 to 1984.

He died Wednesday night in Kansas City at the age of 88.

Before being president, the Iowa native was chancellor at UM-Kansas City for 8 years (1968-1976). He was then appointed interim president of the four-campus system and became president in 1977.

"One thing I admire about Jim is that he never really left university life behind," said UMKC interim chancellor Steve Lehmkuhle. "He possessed an abiding curiosity, and he spent his days studying and learning. As a lifelong scholar, he had few equals."

Olson is survived by his wife, Vera, and two daughters.


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