Susan A. Olde OBE has spent more than two decades giving back to causes around the globe. She is a philanthropist, mentor and advocate with a passion for the arts, education, the environment and medical research.
In recognition of her philanthropic efforts, Mrs. Olde was honoured by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II who named her to the Order of the British Empire (OBE).
Mrs. Olde was married to the late Ernest Jacob Olde IV, who was the founder of Olde Financial Corporation, a discount stock brockerage firm which was sold in 1999. Since her husband lost his battle with cancer, she has devoted herself to her children and her philanthropic causes.
In her free time, Mrs. Olde enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren in Canada, Cayman Islands, United Kingdom and the United States.
Read the latest stories about the charities and organizations Mrs. Olde supports.
Through efforts such as donating meals to school children and supporting a variety of cultural institutions, Mrs. Olde’s contributions impact the lives of others.
Mrs. Susan A. Olde OBE has financially supported medical research in part due to her own personal fight with cancer, but also based on the tremendous impact cancer has had on many of her friends and family. She has worked closely with the Mayo Clinic through her support of the Division of Rheumatology and Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, and her contributions have advanced kidney cancer research at the Mayo Clinic.
In April 2019, Mrs. Olde donated funds for the purchase of COVID-19 testing kits for the people of the Cayman Islands.
“I would like to pay particular tribute to the private sector collaborators we worked with. The generous donation of Mrs. Olde…demonstrate the real strength that we can bring to this fight when we combine government and private sector resources and expertise.”
“Mrs. Olde is a humble person and isn’t looking for a lot of recognition. She wants to make an impact and do something good for humanity.”
Mrs. Olde is currently the chairperson for the management board of the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands (NGCI), the country’s leading visual arts organization which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2017. Since 2005, Mrs. Olde has focused her time and resources on preserving the artistic heritage of the Cayman Islands while creating new opportunities for artists.
In 2015, the NGCI Art Fund was established with the support of Mrs. Olde to fund major acquisitions of works by local artists.
In July 2016, Mrs. Olde launched the Chairman’s Circle Initiative, a new tier of National Gallery membership, aimed at generating funds to support NGCI education and outreach programmes.
Mrs. Olde was also instrumental to and supported the creation of the NGCI Collection of published works, which highlight the permanent collection and provides a comprehensive history of art of the Cayman Islands.
In 2020, Mrs Olde responded in the late hours of March 8th to an environmental emergency. Gallery staff and volunteers temporarily relocated the Gallery’s art collections to a safe place to avoid potential damage to the national collection.
Mrs. Olde is a member of the Board of Honourary Directors of the Royal Opera House (ROH), Covent Garden and has been involved in its successful “Open Up” initiative.
Mrs. Olde has supported the Bryan Hymel Scholarship at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia.
Mrs. Olde serves as a Director of the American Friends of Covent Garden. In July 2019, she hosted a gala event in Los Angeles to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the American Friends of Covent Garden and to recognize the contributions of Wallis Annenberg, President and CEO of the Annenberg Foundation.
Mrs. Olde has contributed to the publication of several books, most notably:
“Mrs. Olde is a true philanthropist who is deeply committed to providing opportunities to further arts and culture in the Cayman Islands. It is a pleasure to work alongside someone with such a dynamic vision.”
In 2003, the Olde family gifted St. Ignatius Catholic School a music building to honour the late Ernest Jacob Olde IV. Mrs. Olde has served on the school’s board and established the first mainstream learning support center in the Cayman Islands, spearheaded by Dr. Yianoula Alexikas-Lannigan PhD, of Palm Beach County, Florida.
Mrs. Olde has served on the board of the Young Caymanian Leadership Awards (YCLA), and has been involved in education initiatives with Millfield, Somerset UK; Kellogg College, Oxford, UK; Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK; University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN, USA; KidsCan, New Zealand; and the Cayman Islands Little League, Cayman Islands.
“Mrs. Olde has done a lot for the local community and is deeply respected in the Cayman Islands. She is very personable and generous, and it is a real pleasure working with her.”
In September 2004, Hurricane Ivan caused severe damage to the Caribbean Islands and other islands in the region.
Mrs. Olde was instrumental in the post-hurricane recovery of the Cayman Islands through her financial support which allowed for the distribution of food, tarpaulins and generators to residents; the repair of over 100 houses; and the supply of materials to allow people do their own repairs. She further extended her financial support to assist with improving the lives of people in need in Haiti, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Grenada and Monserrat, to name a few.
“I hope that many other individuals, foundations and corporations will follow Mrs. Olde’s example, and show how much they care about Cayman, especially at a time when our community was in need of so much more help to assist in the recovery process.”
Mr. Bruce Dinwiddy CMG
former Governor of the Cayman Islands