Former Centre president Richard Morrill to speak at Founders Day celebration
Richard L. Morrill, Centre College’s 18th president (from 1982-1988), will deliver the keynote address at Centre College’s Founders Day ceremony on Wednesday, Jan. 19. The event is free and open to the public and will be held at 11 a.m. in Newlin Hall of the College’s Norton Center for the Arts on campus.
Morrill is currently chancellor of the University of Richmond, and in January 2010, he assumed the role of president of The Teagle Foundation. With assets of $180 million, the New York-based foundation is dedicated to providing intellectual leadership and financial support to strengthen educational opportunity and undergraduate learning in the liberal arts and sciences.
Morrill has served on the foundation’s board since 1989, complementing his long career of leadership in higher education. He served as president of the University of Richmond from 1988-98. Before coming to Centre, he held the same position at Salem College in Winston-Salem, N.C.
Morrill has been president of the Southern Association of Schools and Colleges, a board officer of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and a member of the national panel sponsored by AAC&U that issued the influential 2002 report, “Greater Expectations: A New Vision for Learning as a Nation Goes to College.”
While at Centre, Morrill completed a successful capital campaign begun under his predecessor, Thomas A. Spragens. Under Morrill’s leadership, the original goal of $30 million was passed, and the campaign expanded. The Fund for The Future would eventually raise almost $40 million. Morrill undertook a major reform of the general education program at Centre and developed a strategic plan that set goals for growth and advancement for the next decade. Both of these initiatives received praise from higher education leaders for their thoughtfulness, methods and ambition.
During Morrill’s presidency, Centre began to receive increasing national recognition as one of the “best buys” among leading smaller colleges; set national records for the percentage of alumni contributing to its annual fund-raising campaigns; achieved its highest ever enrollment, even while implementing a policy of increasingly selective admissions; improved faculty salaries; constructed the F. W. Olin Science Hall with a grant from the prestigious Olin Foundation and constructed the Bingham residence hall; and undertook major renovation projects of the Grace Doherty Library and Young Science Hall.
Morrill currently serves as the non-executive chairman of the Tredegar Corporation; president of the Richmond Symphony Foundation; and board member of Albemarle Corp., Williamsburg Investment Trust and the Library of Virginia Foundation. He previously served as chairman of the board of the Richmond-based Christian Children’s Fund, one of the country’s largest charities serving at-risk children around the globe.
Morrill has authored numerous publications on values, leadership and liberal education, including his most recent book, Strategic Leadership: Integrating Strategy and Leadership in Colleges and Universities.
He earned his bachelor’s degree in history magna cum laude from Brown University, the B.D. in religious thought from Yale University and a doctorate in religion and ethics from Duke University.