Dear Alumni and Friends,
It is with great, great sadness that I share with you the news of the passing of our beloved University Professor, Dr. Gordon D. Morgan. This issue of BAS e-Zine is written in his honor and as a tribute to his remarkable life. Dr. Morgan was a person whose life was his legacy. His contributions to the scholarship and student experience at the University of Arkansas are immeasurable. He was recently honored by the University with a residence hall dedication in his name.
Dr. Morgan was a true trailblazer. He was the first African American professor hired at the university in 1969. He was hired as an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and retired in 2012, earning the rank of University Professor and emeritus status.
Among his many accolades include receiving a National Endowment for the Humanities Teaching Fellowship and the prestigious Silas Hunt Legacy Award.
He was a member of the Black Alumni Society (BAS). He received the 1998 Living Legacy Award and the 2000 BAS Citation of Distinguished Alumni. As President of the Black Alumni Society and on behalf of BAS, we are saddened by his passing but are honored to have had an opportunity to learn from him, inside and outside the classroom. I, like many of you, benefited from his sage advice, guidance, leadership and presence on the University campus. Dr. Morgan was a lifelong learner, as well as a life-long teacher. He will be missed.
As I reflect on his legacy and life’s work, I am quickly reminded of our BAS theme: “Connect, Engage and Inspire”. Dr. Morgan embodied all of these qualities. He and his wife, Dr. Izola Morgan, established the Gordon Morgan Family Scholarship for Black and minority students here at the University. As we honor his legacy, we too can be that spark, that inspiration, and that support to the Black student body at the university.
Upon hearing of Dr. Morgan’s passing, BAS Member Dr. Andrew Moxey (‘83), Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of the Bahamas, shared, “Dr. Morgan was one of the positive forces on the faculty and an advocate for Black students at the University of Arkansas. He was a wonderful human being.”
Again, he will be sorely missed. We thank and appreciate his family for allowing us to be a part of his life.
Ritche Manley Bowden
Black Alumni Society, President
Arkansas Alumni Association