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Ohio Wesleyan Receives $1.4 Million Commitment to Create New Professorship
Gift from 1945 OWU Graduate to Support Addition of Faculty Position in Natural Sciences

May 18, 2011

OWU graduate Edward F. Morris, M.D., and his wife, Eleanor Pongratz Morris, have made an estate commitment to establish the Morris Family Professorship in the Natural Sciences.
Photo courtesy of Edward F. Morris ’45
DELAWARE, OH – Ohio Wesleyan University has received a $1.4 million estate commitment from a 1945 graduate and his wife to create an endowed professorship in the natural sciences.

The commitment comes from OWU graduate Edward F. Morris, M.D., a retired radiologist, and his wife, Eleanor Pongratz Morris. The couple lived and worked much of their life in Akron, Ohio, and now split their time between Cape Cod, Mass., and Tulsa, Okla. Their gift will be used to establish the Morris Family Professorship in the Natural Sciences.

In accordance with the couple’s wishes, the Morris Professor will be an esteemed faculty member who has “demonstrated the ability to develop the intellectual curiosity of [Ohio Wesleyan] students and inspire students to challenge themselves inside and outside the classroom.”

While at Ohio Wesleyan, Morris studied zoology, played basketball, and joined the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. Today, he is a member of the Tower Society, which recognizes people who make estate gifts to the university.

Morris and his wife have five children, including four sons who graduated from Ohio Wesleyan. To date, four generations of Morris family members have attended the university beginning with Morris’s aunt, Carrie Fissel, Class of 1901, and including his mother, Catherine Fissel Morris, Class of 1912, and his sister, Carolyn Morris Conarroe, Class of 1949.

“The Morris family is so special to Ohio Wesleyan,” said President Rock Jones, Ph.D. “The family’s history has been interwoven with Ohio Wesleyan for nearly 115 years. To receive this gift to support our faculty and enhance our curriculum is a tremendous honor. We hope to continue educating members of this wonderful family for generations to come.”

Read more about giving to Ohio Wesleyan.


Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier small, private universities, with more than 90 undergraduate majors, sequences, and courses of study, and 23 Division III varsity sports. Located in Delaware, Ohio, just minutes north of Ohio’s capital and largest city, Columbus, the university combines a globally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities that translate classroom theory into real-world practice. OWU’s close-knit community of 1,850 students represents 45 states and 52 countries. Ohio Wesleyan was named to the 2010 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with distinction, is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” and is included on the “best colleges” lists of U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Learn more at www.owu.edu.