Manchester University
Oak Leaves

April 8, 2016

Accounting and finance professor Frank Olive

Professor Olive Retires after 17 Years

Aaron Lloyd

Frank Olive has been an accounting and business professor at Manchester since 1999 and has been a vital part of the business department since his arrival. At the end of this school year, the professor of over 30 years, military veteran and father of four plans to retire from the classroom to relax, focus on his garden and cook for his wife. 

Olive grew up in Washington, D.C. and earned his undergraduate degree there as well. He played intercollegiate football, basketball and baseball in D.C. and majored in mathematics and English. As his schooling went on, he eventually graduated with a degree in physical education.

When Olive graduated, he immediately joined the military service, serving as a military officer in Southeast Asia. When he returned from his service, he taught in Alexandria, VA while he attended graduate school. While in Alexandria, Olive also served as a coach. “I was rather successful but I just could not see myself doing that for 30 or 40 years,” he said.

To fund his time in graduate school, Olive sold real estate with a friend of his who owned a real estate company. That is when Olive became interested in finance.

After obtaining his master’s degree in education, Olive decided to take a job at the University of Maryland.  Olive used his GI Bill for tuition and took accounting courses at night while he taught all day. “I’d work all day and then take a course that started at 4 and ended at 7 and then one that started at 7 and ended at 10,” he said. “Then I would stop at a 7/11 on my way home for bread and milk for my family. I was lucky to have my wife put up with me.”

Following a couple of years of this routine, Olive received his bachelors in accounting and also earned his MBA and passed the CPA exam in the state.

During his time in Maryland, Olive began to teach accounting courses as an adjunct professor and realized how much he enjoyed doing it. He was soon offered a job at a university in Massachusetts and served as a professor for accounting and finance for 18 years, during many of which he served as the chair of the department as well.

When the university he was at began to lose money and students, Olive decided to look elsewhere for a teaching job. He and his wife were charmed by a small-town, private university then called Manchester College. “We decided we liked it best here,” he said. “We liked the people, we liked the fact that they knew what they were talking about, and we like their mission statement.”

Several times, Olive spoke of how much he admired the individuals who work to make Manchester the home to so many people.  He singled out the maintenance workers, librarians, and career service employees and how they have been so kind to him since he arrived and haven’t changed one bit towards him.

He’s deeply appreciated the people he has worked with for the last 17 years at Manchester, but the people he will remember most were the ones sitting at the desks in front of him. “I have loved to watch the students evolve over the four years that I knew them,” he said. “We know how the kids are when they arrive and I enjoy seeing how they leave. I receive Christmas cards still from students I taught 20 years ago, I love seeing their families.”

If Professor Olive was to teach his last lecture on any topic of his choice, he said that it would be on treating someone like you would want to be treated. “In our society, that is something that is overlooked and forgotten; I would just like to inform students that this is what they should do,” Olive said.