Lois Morgan ‘54 loved her time at Millersville University. She pursued a degree in elementary education and was dedicated to her studies. She put herself through school by working 28 hours a week for the local newspaper, which unfortunately did not leave her much time for extracurricular activities.
“My education at Millersville was very important to me. My only disappointment was that I wasn’t able to spend extra time on campus to participate in field hockey or take part in the plays,” she says. “I’ve always enjoyed field hockey. I’ve always enjoyed watching sports of all kinds.”
It was that passion for athletics, and desire to give back to the university she loves, that inspired Morgan and her late husband, Milton, to give back and provide academic scholarships for athletes. The couple has provided significant financial support for Marauder athletics over the years. Following her husband’s passing, Morgan knew she did not want to stop supporting MU in his honor.
“Knowing that kids come out of school with so much debt, I was hoping that our donations, in some small way, might help alleviate that,” Morgan explains. “After Milt passed, I thought I shouldn’t let this go. If I was in a position to do this, I should.”
This year, Morgan established a $500,000 endowment, called the Morgan Scholarship Fund for Women’s Athletics. It is the largest endowed gift in Millersville Athletics history. The first scholarships from this endowment will be awarded this coming year.
“Lois is someone who genuinely cares about the student-athlete experience and understands the impact of receiving an incredible education while also competing for championships,” says Miles Gallagher, director of athletics at MU. “Her commitment is going to impact the lives of countless students and we are incredibly thankful for her support.”
Millersville Athletics is committed to providing a “Marauder championship experience,” to all student-athletes. This is the focus of the athletics’ portion of the University’s $32 million campaign, “Imagine the Possible.” Approximately $6 million of that total will go to support Marauder Athletics, and Morgan’s gift is an example of what’s possible through private support.
The Morgan Scholarship Fund for Women’s Athletics will provide enhanced scholarship dollars to recruit and retain the most talented female student athletes on the field and in the classroom; will balance Title IX scholarship funding for men’s and women’s programs; and will create a more equal playing field of available scholarship dollars among conference rivals.
In order to recognize this extraordinary gift, the academic center in Jefferson Hall was renamed in Morgan’s honor at a ceremony on Dec. 1. The Morgan Academic Center for Student Athletes will be a place players can study and get tutoring support for their classes.
“Hopefully this center can grow,” says Morgan. “College freshman in particular could use help like this. It’s a new experience for them, away from home. It’s so important to have that initial academic support to soften the blow so to speak, so they can get into a routine and good study habits. If you learn how to use your time, you can be a value to the college and the community.”
While Morgan is not able to get out to see as many field hockey games as she’d like anymore, she still has a passion for the sport and other women’s teams at MU. She hopes this endowment makes a difference for student-athletes, and she’s hopeful that women’s athletics will continue to grow at Millersville.
“I’m so proud of what has gone on at Millersville University,” Morgan says. “What we hear about is positive. People don’t realize the impact that colleges can have on kids. It gives them their values for life.”