Morse Hall dedicated on campus

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On Thursday, June 13, Western Washington University dedicated the Karen W. Morse Hall, the university’s Chemistry Building renamed in honor of Western President Emerita Karen W. Morse.

A lecture hall in Western’s Science, Mathematics and Technology Education (SMATE) Building named after Joe Morse, a retired WWU chemistry professor and the first director of SMATE, also was dedicated on Thursday.

“Over the course of her 15-year tenure Karen was, remarkably, able to lead Western through a period of tremendous growth – of the campus, the faculty, and the student body – while strengthening a national reputation for quality and an intimate, small-college feel. For its present and future strengths, Western owes Karen Morse a great deal,” Western President Bruce Shepard said at the dedication of Karen W. Morse Hall.

At the dedication of the SMATE lecture hall, Shepard said that “as the first director of SMATE, it is only fitting that Joe’s foundational contributions to one of Western’s strongest, most respected programs should be preserved by naming one of its classrooms for him.”

Karen and Joe Morse both thanked those in attendance. Karen Morse said that she and Joe were deeply touched and honored

People gathered at the two ceremonies included Western President Emeritus Jerry Flora, current and former trustees, faculty, staff, students, alumni, donors and members of the community. Speakers at the ceremonies included Peggy Zoro, chair of Western’s Board of Trustees, Shepard, Karen and Joe Morse, College of Sciences and Technology Dean Jeff Wright, retired CST Dean Arlan Norman, and retired SMATE Director George “Pinky” Nelson.

On Dec. 14, Western’s Board of Trustees approved naming the university’s Chemistry Building after Karen Morse and the SMATE lecture hall after Joe Morse.