“Mr. Drake” Paul Morrison Passes Away at 100

Paul Morrison (WHO-HD)

DES MOINES, Iowa  —  Drake University’s oldest and proudest alumnus and fan has passed away.

Paul Morrison died on Thursday at the age of 100 in Des Moines.  Morrison’s life was intertwined with Drake University.  His parents met at the school in 1902.  He followed in their foot steps and enrolled at the school, graduating in 1939 with a journalism degree.  After serving the nation in World War Two he returned to Drake in 1945 and began a 41 year career working for the school and its athletic department.  The day after retiring from the school in 1986 he returned as a full-time volunteer in the athletics department.

Channel 13 has chronicled Morrison’s dedication.

This summer our Justin Surrency talked with Morrison as he crossed the century mark on his 100th birthday.

In 2015 we joined Morrison has he attended his 700th Drake Bulldogs football game.

Drake officials shared their memories of Morrison's career in a press release on Thursday.

“Paul represented everything that is great about Drake University,” said Drake University President Marty Martin. “He was a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather. He was a loyal and trusted friend to so many in our community. He was an outstanding servant-leader in Drake athletics for decades, including long after he had officially retired. Paul was a man of good will and good cheer in everything he did. And, he always showed up! We will miss Paul dearly for a very long time.”

“Paul led with love – love of his Bulldog family and Drake University,” said Megan Franklin, Drake University's interim director of athletics. “His gift of connecting with letter winners always allowed Bulldogs to feel attached to this University while assuring their legacy was appreciated and celebrated. Paul’s life is a story of commitment that will be treasured and celebrated for generations to come. We will always be in this together, as Paul liked to say.”

“Paul Morrison’s contribution to the Drake Relays is immeasurable,” said Blake Boldon, Franklin P. Johnson Director of the Drake Relays. “As Paul said many times, ‘For more than a century, the Drake Relays has been Des Moines’ window to the world.’ Paul was the narrator of our story for many decades and a committed historian until his very last day.”