It is with heavy hearts we announce the passing of steadfast financial aid advocate, colleague, and friend Timothy Christensen. Known for his compassionate demeanor and attention to detail, Tim served at NASFAA from 1987-2008, moving up through the ranks to eventually oversee the office of Planning, Development, and Administration.
Having worked in the profession for more than 20 years, Tim had a significant impact on the financial aid and higher education community, working to create and implement the scholarship program set up for the children of victims of the 9/11 attacks.
Before coming to NASFAA, Tim attended the University of Michigan, earning his bachelor's degree and an MBA while working in the financial aid office, where he developed “a lifelong passion for improving student access to and success in postsecondary education,” his obituary noted.
Tim then left Michigan and came to Washington, D.C. to join NASFAA. While at NASFAA, Tim served on the Board of Trustees of Scholarship America. After his time at NASFAA, Tim became a private consultant and worked as a contractor for two years helping schools to transition from guaranteed federal loans to loans provided directly by the Department of Education, before retiring in 2013.
Tim’s dedication to NASFAA’s mission and serving vulnerable students was remembered by colleagues and friends alike who described him as a thoughtful, wise, and caring individual.
“His love for NASFAA and the students we assisted was unparalleled,” one former colleague, Dave Gruen, 2008-09 NASFAA national chair, wrote in commemoration.
“He worked behind the scenes on so many issues — sharing information that was of great benefit to members of the board, as well as to the entire membership,” wrote 1992-93 national chair Paul Aasen.
Beyond his work in financial aid, Tim had a passion for music and was an accomplished organist and pianist. He also loved cooking and eating with his partner of more than 30 years, Walter Ochinko, whom he married in 2013. Among his many achievements, helping to create the Logan Circle Heritage Trail was one of his proudest. In retirement, Tim enjoyed traveling, reading, attending concerts and musicals, and volunteering with the Logan Circle Community Association.
NASFAA is grateful for the impact Tim has had on the financial aid community as a whole. Our sincerest condolences and best wishes go out to Tim’s family and friends. He will remain in our thoughts.
Per Tim’s family's wishes, memorial donations can be made in Tim's memory to Scholarship America.
Publication Date: 3/24/2021