Fitness center at NSU to be named for longtime coach and athletic director

ABERDEEN, S.D. ( – A significant gift from Avera to Northern State University will strengthen the organizations’ ties – and honor a longtime NSU coach and athletic director.

Thanks to Avera’s recent donation, the fitness space on the top floor of the NSU Barnett Center will now be named the Bob Olson Strength and Conditioning Center. Olson, who retired in 2012 after a 37-year career at Northern, previously served on Avera’s Board of Directors.

The gift also extends Avera’s agreement with NSU Health Services through 2034. Health Services is housed in Northern’s Student Center, and this building will now be named the Avera Student Center.

In addition, the Avera gift includes support for the Educational Impact Campaign (EIC). The EIC includes the South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, including the newly opened SDSBVI; the completed Athletic and Recreation Fields; and the NSU Regional Sports Complex, which will begin construction this spring.

NSU President Dr. Tim Downs said Northern and Avera are two of the region’s longest-running organizations, and he’s thrilled they can expand their community partnership. The partnership affirms a shared goal of assuring Aberdeen remains a strong and sustainable community.