The longest serving president in Creighton University history has died.
Father Michael Morrison died Thursday in Wisconsin at the age of 81. Current president Father Daniel Hendrickson made the announcement in a letter to students, staff, and faculty.
Father Morrison served as Creighton president from 1981 to 2000. During his 19 year tenure the number of endowed chairs grew from two to 21. Ten buildings were constructed, including the V.J. and Angela Skutt Student Center, Fr. Richard McGloin Residence Hall, and the Lied Education Center for the Arts. In 2004, after his retirement, Morrison Stadium, one of the nation's premier soccer facilities, was dedicated in his honor.
Academically, the University expanded in many areas under Father Morrison's tenure, particularly the health professions. Foremost were the establishment of an undergraduate occupational therapy program in 1985, the nation's first doctoral program in physical therapy in 1993, and the nation's first clinical doctoral program in occupational therapy in 1995. And, in the last four years of his presidency, Creighton first began its string of No. 1 rankings in U.S. News & World Report for best Midwest university.
Funeral arrangements are pending.