ST. LOUIS -- Missouri Valley Conference Commissioner Doug Elgin announced today that the league has re-named one of its honors -- the Paul Morrison Award of Merit -- in recognition of more than 60 years of service by the former Drake University sports information director and athletics business manager.
The Paul Morrison Award of Merit is presented to honor those individuals who have made significant contributions to their respective league-member institutions, the Missouri Valley Conference or collegiate athletics, in general.
“It is rare in athletics that you have the unique opportunity to recognize individuals who operate under the radar,” said Commissioner Elgin, who is in his 20th year with The Valley. “These individuals are invaluable and tireless in the manner in which they make a difference for their programs.”
“I can’t think of a better tribute to a man who has made so many contributions to not only Drake University but the Missouri Valley Conference as well than to name this award in Paul’s honor.”
Morrison, who is in his 62nd year working at his alma mater, was the very first recipient of the league’s Award of Merit in 1997, and since his selection, four others have been so recognized -- Dr. Lee Bevilacqua of Creighton (1998), Glen McCullough of Bradley (1999), John Sanders of the Missouri Valley Conference (2004) and Roland Banks of Wichita State (2006).
Award of Merit winners are included in the Missouri Valley Conference Athletics Hall of Fame. The league began selecting inductees in 1997.
Morrison, who turned 90 on July 25 of this year, still serves as a consultant and historian for the athletics department. Although he officially retired in 1986, he continues to give Drake 40 to 50 hours of volunteer service each week and travels to all Bulldog men’s basketball games, serving as the team’s
official scorer on road trips.
A 1939 graduate of Drake, Morrison joined the Drake staff in 1945 to lead the University’s News Bureau and also served as the school’s first sports information director. He was inducted into the College Sports Information Directors of America Hall of Fame in 1974 and received the Drake Distinguished
Service Award in 1978.
A recipient of the Drake Double D Award and the University’s Medal of Honor, Morrison will be attending his 632nd Drake football game on October 6, when the Bulldogs play host to Butler in a 1 p.m. Homecoming Game at Drake Stadium in Des Moines, Iowa.