Dedication of WWU Karen W. Morse Hall Set for June 13
Western Washington University will dedicate the Karen W. Morse Hall on Thursday, June 13.
On Dec. 14, Western’s Board of Trustees approved naming the university’s Chemistry Building after WWU President Emerita Karen W. Morse. A lecture hall in Western’s Science, Mathematics and Technology Education Building named after Joe Morse, a retired WWU chemistry professor and the first director of SMATE, also will be dedicated on June 13.
The dedication events will begin at 11:30 at the SMATE building and will continue until 1 p.m. at the Karen W. Morse Hall. Plaques will be unveiled at both sites and there will be a brief program, bagpipers and a reception with light refreshments. Both the campus community and general public are invited.
Parking enforcement will be waived in the gravel C lots at the south end of campus from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the Morse Dedication events on June 13.
Karen Morse served as Western’s president from 1993 to 2008. During her tenure, campus infrastructure markedly improved: new facilities were constructed, essentially creating the South Campus as it is known today. In addition, carefully planned enrollment increases occurred and faculty numbers increased, resulting in a markedly improved student - faculty ratio.
The former Chemistry Building, renamed the Karen W. Morse Hall, was completed in June 1993, with the chemistry department moving into the new building from Haggard Hall during the summer of that year. Several years ago, a 4,300 square-foot addition was added to the west side of the building to provide more research and instructional space.
Karen Morse, a former chemistry professor, was widely published in her field, has three patents to her name, is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and was awarded the Olin-Garvin Medal, the highest award given to a woman for her contributions to the field of chemistry.
Other South Campus buildings were completed while Morse was president and include: Biology (1993), SMATE (1996); Campus Services (2002); Wade King Student Recreation Center (2003); Communications (2004) and the Academic Instructional Center, or AIC, (2008). A number of major renovations also took place, including at the Viking Union, Edens Hall and Bond Hall.
Both Karen and Joe Morse were strong proponents of efforts to enhance Western’s education in the sciences, as reflected by an especially strong College of Sciences and Technology with its many fine departments and especially the superb chemistry department and SMATE program. As the first director of SMATE, Joe Morse provided the operational base for the new building and, working with the departmental faculty in the sciences and the Woodring College of Education, established the framework for SMATE’s faculty and staff appointments.
Karen W. Morse, right, and her husband, Joe, left, pose with Western Washington University President Bruce Shepard at a campus event on Friday, Dec. 14. Photo by Rachel Bayne | for WWU
The Chemistry Building at Western Washington University has been renamed the Karen W. Morse Hall in honor of President Emerita Karen Morse. File photo by Daniel Berman | Communications and Marketing intern