Olga Strimple: UNO Student 1915-1919; UNO Alumni Association, 1922-1944
2017 - Present

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Part Four Alumni Association

Olga returned to UNO as President and Executive Secretary of the Alumni Association in 1941, and remained president until 1944; she was their first paid employee. In her years on the board, she worked to gain accreditation for the Omaha chapter of the American Association of University Women. She later became the Executive Secretary of the Association, and its first paid employee. Olga was awarded a lifetime membership in October of 1945; her contributions were so significant that her resignation in 1948 was rejected by the Board. Instead, she was granted a six-month leave of absence.  Minutes from the meeting include the notes from the actual discussion, and report “Dr. Thompson said that Mrs. Strimple had developed this association work, had taken it on a part time bases [sic], but gave full time service and that we owe her gratefulness for what she has done.” Olga finally resigned from the Association in 1949. Cecil, her loving husband of nearly three decades, passed away shortly thereafter.

 

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Part Five Our Changing Future

Olga demonstrated her strength, kindness and poetic nature in an article for the Gateway entitled “Our Changing Future,” which was published on October 2, 1942. This article reads more like a letter to the students and staff of UNO, urging them to meet the tough times brought on by World War II with “fortitude” (Strimple, Gateway archives). Olga writes, “Our world is changing faster than it ever has….Often we are resentful of changes and cling to the old familiar ways,” yet explains that Americans must learn to adapt to the changing world around them: “We must have faith—faith that beyond this war lies peace” (Strimple, Gateway archives). The spirit of perseverance is one that seems to follow Olga throughout her poems and throughout the both rewarding and devastating moments of her life:

But time goes on,

It is not long

For those who