Jon Olson

Theater Arts, '00

Jon OlsonJon Olson is a Colorado native, but for three and a half years, he called Castleton his home.  

Since graduating in 2000 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater Arts, Olson has been working as the lighting director at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities in his home state of Colorado. He says that Castleton is the place that nurtured his love for theater and that during his time at the college, he made friends he considers family.  

“Even though I only see some of them once a decade, it feels like no time has passed. Castleton will forever run in my blood,” he said. 

A literal dream is what led Olson to Vermont. As a freshman at University of Northern Colorado, he dreamt of Vermont. This random act led Olson to decide that he needed a change. 

 “I let my heart lead the way and took a plunge,” he said 

Although he was 2,000 miles away from home, Olson knew that he would succeed at Castleton.  

“I thrived in the smaller, intimate classroom settings. I was able to take charge of my education,” he explained. “I loved the small town. I loved New England.” 

Looking back, he says he has he can’t pinpoint his single, strongest memory at Castleton because he had made a lifetime of memories. A few things that stick out in his mind are working as a resident advisor for two years, the cast parties, and traveling around the region with friends on weekends.  

Olson credits his success at Castleton to Harry McEnerny, claiming he was “more than just a professor.” Olson added that McEnerny was "a mentor, racquetball partner, and most of all, friend.” 

Olson reflected on how much has changed at Castleton since his graduation, including the name change from state college to university.  

“We had rugby, hockey, lacrosse, and baseball, but no football. Not to mention a stadium,” he said. “I’m curious to know how the theater has changed. I know that I left my mark on the performing arts building while I attended and I know it is still there.”  

Olson is hopeful that those still pursuing their degree are taking advantage of everything that Castleton has to offer.  

“Enjoy your time at Castleton and to make friends and memories. Be humble and allow yourself to make mistakes and grow,” he said. “If you do that, it can be an experience that will last a lifetime.”