Sep 26, 2015
Sept. 26, 2015
President Morgan vows to honor Westminster's history while embracing the future
SALT LAKE CITY -
Westminster celebrated a milestone in its 140-year history by formally installing Stephen R. Morgan as its 18th president. After devoting more than 30 years of service to the college in a variety of administrative roles, President Morgan's inauguration marked a special moment for the campus and Morgan's family. He grew up just blocks away and was a cheerleader at Highland High School.
"How does the son of a local grocery store manager, a first-generation college graduate from the University of Utah with a degree in accounting, become the president of this great institution? Perhaps the answer is what English Parliamentarian Thomas Buxton once said: 'With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable,'" said Morgan in his inaugural address.
President Morgan came to Westminster as an auditor and quickly became part of the college's fabric-serving as treasurer, executive vice president and vice president for institutional advancement. Morgan's versatile leadership style has made him a key asset to the college's executive team. He has advised six past presidents on almost every major campus decision since 1981. He has been instrumental in shaping Westminster into the institution it is today-a college that transforms students and contributes $180 million a year to the local economy.
Inauguration is a distinguished ceremony steeped in the traditions of higher education and it's an opportunity for new presidents to set the tone of their presidency. President Morgan vowed to preserve Westminster's deeply rooted history while embracing the future.
"Being open-minded toward change is the most important asset that a leader can have. In this world of higher education, the game changes every day. There are always new problems and challenges to navigate, and while there are solutions to every problem, the solutions from ten years ago, five years ago or even last year will probably not be the best solutions today," said Morgan. "Just as we help our students develop the habits of mind that will enable them to continue to learn, Westminster and its leadership must also become lifelong learners. When we courageously embrace change, we become a strong, clear voice of authenticity, efficiency and innovation in the ongoing conversation that is Westminster.
The inauguration ceremony included past college presidents, trustees, alumni, Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker and current students.
"He has been working to create the best Westminster College possible for longer than I've been alive," said Costa Lasiy, president of the Associated Students of Westminster College. "He has been behind many of the initiatives that have even made it possible for students like me to be here. From supporting international student recruiting to building residence halls and fundraising for scholarships, Steve Morgan has played a big role in my education. As students we know we are in good hands with President Morgan."
Morgan earned a bachelor of arts in accounting from the University of Utah and is a certified public accountant (CPA). An avid runner, he has completed 26 marathons and is a member of the St. George Marathon "20-year club," after running the race for 20 consecutive years. His greatest joy in life is his family: wife, Sandy, and children, Amanda, Danny and Alex-all of whom are Westminster alumni-as well as his seven grandchildren.
More information about President Morgan is available at westminstercollege.edu/president.