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Drake University Mourns the Loss of Mr. Drake – Paul F. Morrison

first_img“Paul Morrison’s contribution to the Drake Relays is immeasurable,” said Blake Boldon, Franklin P. Johnson Director of the Drake Relays. “As Paul said many times, ‘For more than a century, the Drake Relays has been Des Moines’ window to the world.’ Paul was the narrator of our story for many decades and a committed historian until his very last day.” Morrison’s legacy at Drake stretches more than a century as his parents, Marion and Leonta, met at Drake in 1902. Paul followed his parents to Drake, enrolling in 1935 and graduating in 1939 with a degree in journalism. Morrison served in the Army in the Pacific during World War II, ascending to the rank of sergeant. Upon his return from the war, he worked briefly for The Gazette in Cedar Rapids before being hired in 1945 as Drake’s first full-time director of the news bureau. He served as sports information director and athletics business manager during his career, from which he retired in 1986. The day following his retirement, he returned to work as a full-time volunteer for the athletics department and continued to faithfully serve Drake and its student-athletes until his passing. He served as the Drake Athletics historian, amassing an incredible archive of material dating to Drake’s earliest years and chronicling its modern successes. Those archival materials, historically kept in the Fieldhouse, have been transferred to the Drake University Archives this year for improved preservation and many items are now available for the public to see on the second floor of Cowles Library. Morrison attended more than 700 Drake football games, 80 Drake Relays, and counted 15 members of his family as Drake alumni. He was married to his wife, Pauline, in 1949 and enjoyed 42 years of marriage before she passed away in 1991. He was also preceded in death by a daughter, Mary. “Paul led with love – love of his Bulldog family and Drake University,” said Megan Franklin, Drake University’s interim director of athletics. “His gift of connecting with letter winners always allowed Bulldogs to feel attached to this University while assuring their legacy was appreciated and celebrated. Paul’s life is a story of commitment that will be treasured and celebrated for generations to come. We will always be in this together, as Paul liked to say.” Drake Athletics and Drake University mourn the loss of one of Drake University’s most iconic and cherished individuals, Paul Morrison. Morrison, who earlier this year celebrated his 100th birthday, passed away Thursday, Nov. 30, in Des Moines, Iowa.Morrison Celebration of Life Information “Paul represented everything that is great about Drake University,” said Drake University President Marty Martin. “He was a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather. He was a loyal and trusted friend to so many in our community. He was an outstanding servant-leader in Drake athletics for decades, including long after he had officially retired. Paul was a man of good will and good cheer in everything he did. And, he always showed up! We will miss Paul dearly for a very long time.” Funeral arrangements will be announced when available.Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more