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Morgan reflects on the last 26 years

University of La Verne President Steve Morgan is retiring after serving the school since 1985. During Morgan’s 26-year tenure, the university’s assets grew from $27 million to more than $100 million and the public administration, legal studies, athletic training and doctor of psychology programs earned national accreditation. Morgan is also a La Verne alumnus, class of 1968, having earned his bachelor’s degree in social sciences at La Verne College. / photo by Allison Lavelle

Kristen Campbell
Editor in Chief

As President Stephen Morgan finishes the final months of his 26-year presidency, he reflects on how he has changed the University of La Verne and how it has changed him.

Morgan said he does not think his job will wind down, but rather he will fall off the cliff on the eve of June 30, and wake up on the morning of July 1 and ask, “What do I do now?”

In the last 26 years, what do you feel is your greatest accomplishment?

I think I look at it more as a total picture. I think the University of La Verne is stronger now and I do not take credit for anything.

I hope I brought the community together to move in a similar direction. I think we have done that. As a result we are a stronger institution than we were 26 years ago when I began my presidency.

Do you feel we as a University are more “on the map” as far as recognition?

Yes I do. I feel we have a greater presence, not only in our region, but also beyond. I feel the rankings in U.S. News and World Report and Forbes Magazine have helped. I think the scholarship of our faculty’s publications and presentations have helped put us on the map. They have also given us a broader recognition, which is what we have always hoped to achieve. I think the stellar work of the Campus Times and their national awards have helped us as well.

What made you decide that your time was done here?

Well I’ll be 65 years old on June 2 and I thought that it was a normal time to retire and the timing seemed appropriate.

It also seemed a good time to have a change of leadership at La Verne and to give me the opportunity to repot and find something else to do with my life.

Is there anything you will miss?

I will definitely miss the students and my interaction with them. I really enjoy interviews with the Campus Times and La Verne Magazine.

I enjoy classes and seeing students around campus in the dining halls. It has been very nice to get to know everyone and see them grow and go off into the world. I will miss every bit of that.

Also, this is a community I have been a part of for a long time. I love this community and am proud of being a part of ULV.

I’ll miss being on campus but I do not think I will miss the parts of my job that are most stressful and most demanding.

Certainly it will be a change not coming here every day.

Do you think you will come back and visit?

I will come back by invitation. I have promised Dr. Lieberman that I would clear the decks and stay out of her way. I only think that is fair considering all of the time I have been here. I will be careful about when I come to campus and for what.

Once July 1 hits, what are your plans for the future?

My wife Ann and I have some nice trips planned for next year and I have been talking with some organizations with the possibility of doing some consulting work for them.

I would look forward to working in a professional way. It is not quite all consuming as the job I have had for 26 years, but having my hand in professional activities would be rewarding.

I think it would be rewarding because I am still very healthy and my mind is still active. I would like to continue to use my mind and my body in useful ways if I can. I have a lot of experience that

I feel I can share with organizations and people.

I also hope to have more time with my two grandchildren and the other that is due in June.

If your grandchildren looked into your time at ULV, is there one thing you would want them to be proud of?

That’s a very good question. I would hope that they would look at the University and say, ‘My grandfather was the president there and it is a great institution and has a lot of great people affiliated with it.’

Do you have any recommendations for our incoming president?

I am impressed with Dr. Lieberman. She is very good at asking questions and listening. So I hope she will take time to get acquainted with our community.

She will be a strong leader and brings a lot of good experience to La Verne. And as I’ve watched her make the transition, I certainly believe she will take time to get to know our people.

She already understands our values and that is important to perpetuate them from generation to generation. I have full confidence in her.

Do you have any last things to say to the La Verne community?

It has been a great privilege to be the president for 26 years and the privilege has been working with the people of this community.

It is a special group of people, which makes La Verne special. I will miss everyone greatly.

Kristen Campbell can be reached at kristen.campbell@laverne.edu.

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