Only days before former CSU President William E. Morgan's death, he was told that a $1.5 million gift was bestowed upon CSU to establish an endowed chair in his honor.
Chrissie Snow, director of gift clubs, said most endowments are given after a person's death to honor a person's life, but community members wanted Morgan to know he left a mark on the university with the William E. Morgan Endowed Chair in Liberal Arts.
"He just started crying and asked, 'Where do I sign up?'" Snow said.
The community members or organizations involved in the donation include the Monfort Family Foundation, Bohemian Foundation, Thomas and Jean Sutherland, Robert S. and Joyce Everitt, and Bryan and Axson Morgan.
"Bill Morgan is an extraordinary leader whose efforts have benefited the university and our community immeasurably," said Cheryl Zimlich, board adviser of the Fort Collins-based Bohemian Foundation, in a press release prior to his death on Thursday. "We wanted to surprise Colorado State University with a gift that would both honor President Emeritus Morgan and enrich education for generations of students."
Heather Hardy, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, said the endowment should bring a prominent professor to the College of Liberal Arts and a variety of needed resources.
"The fund may be used to provide a salary supplement and operating funds to enhance the education, research and service programs of the position," Hardy said. "Expenses may be used to provide such support as summer stipends, graduate-student support, research-related expenses, and expenses such as travel, software, research materials, equipment and other supplies."
Although the donation was announced, the chair position will not be filled until the complete gift has been received in 2009, Hardy said.
Kathleen Henry, CSU research foundation president, said the CSU Foundation is in charge of collecting the $1.5 million for the William E. Morgan Endowed Chair.
"CSU Foundation is legally separated from CSU (and) exists to provide services to the university," Henry said. "We receive, we manage and we invest private gifts to the university."
The foundation will collect the donation until the money has been received and invests every penny.
The William E. Morgan Endowed Chair is the second endowed chair in the College of Liberal Arts and the 17th at CSU.