An Enduring Legacy

As a member of the Our Common Bond campaign cabinet, current parent and University School of Milwaukee Trustee, Sarah Olson Zimmerman ’92 is excited for the future of the School. But she also recognizes that it is important to remember and honor those who have supported the School to make it what it is today. “Everything that my children are experiencing now as USM students is because prior generations of donors made gifts to create and support those opportunities.”

Zimmerman knows first-hand the importance of those gifts. More than 30 years ago, her grandmother, parents, and aunt and uncle collectively contributed to build the Upper School’s Bradley Dining Room in memory of her great-grandmother, Margaret Bradley. Today, as the School embarks on its fundraising efforts for Our Common Bond, the family has come together once again to support the construction of the Jack Olson ’67 Commons in memory of her late father, who served as a USM Trustee in the 1990s. “More than 30 years after that initial gift, it’s clear the School has outgrown the original space,” she said. “So we felt it was appropriate to re-invest in a new dining and gathering space.” Contributions to the family gift include Zimmerman and her husband, Steve; her mother, Lynde B. Uihlein MUS’63; her brother, John U. Olson ’95; and her aunt and uncle, Julie ’68 and David ’67 Uihlein, and their children Alex ’98, Liza Uihlein Sadoff ’99 and Charlie ’02.

Aligning with the family’s enduring dedication to USM, the Olson Commons will provide increased space for USM’ student and faculty tradition of dining together while enjoying conversations, connections, and collaboration. It will accommodate 240 students and faculty for lunch, an increase from the current capacity of 170, and will be an important area on campus for building relationships and fostering community. The flexible-use space will be conducive to a variety of community-based events, such as study groups, House meetings, collaborative learning, parent and alumni gatherings, special events, banquets, and presentations.

“I’m grateful to my family for coming together to make this gift in memory of my dad,” Zimmerman said. “I was really thrilled to see the excitement we all shared in the gift, and the chance to honor him. It’ls out turn to step up now and make the same opportunities possible for future children. Not just today’s students—but those who come after, too.”

Photo above: (From left) Nathaniel Zimmerman ’25 with his grandfather, the late John “Jack” Olson ’67, Joseph Zimmerman ’22, Sarah Zimmerman ’92, and Steve Zimmerman in 2013.

To learn more about the Our Common Bond comprehensive capital campaign, please visit

Leave a Reply