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Morse, Richard L. D. (1916-2000) | Morse Department of Special Collections

Name: Morse, Richard L. D. (1916-2000)
Variant Name: Dick Morse
Fuller Form: Richard Lawrence Day Morse


Historical Note:

Richard Morse was born in Grinell, Iowa, on December 27, 1916. He earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin (1938), conducted graduate studies at the University of Chicago, Iowa State and Columbia University and received a Ph.D. from Iowa State University (1942). Following distinguished service with the U.S. Navy in World War II, Morse held teaching positions at Iowa State (1945-47), Florida State University (1947-55), and Kansas State University (1955-87), where he served as professor and head of the Department of Family Economics.

With a background in family and home economics, Morse served as a lifelong advocate for families and consumers and, eventually, became nationally and internationally known as a giant in the field of protecting consumer rights. Many of Morse’s most notable accomplishments involved his tireless efforts to have legislation passed on the federal and state levels to benefit citizens in the areas of truth-in-savings and truth-in-lending, including serving as a consumer and banking counselor for the United States Congress and Presidents John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. A "crusader" for the consumer, Morse held numerous important positions on the local, regional, and national levels including, President of Consumer Education and Protection Association for Kansans, twenty years of service on the Board of Directors of Consumers Union, appointee to Presidents John Kennedy’s and Lyndon Johnson’s U.S. Consumer Advisory Council, a founding member of the Kansas Citizens Council on Aging, member of the Governor's Advisory Council on Aging, and Commissioner of the Manhattan Urban Renewal Agency. In 1987, Richard Morse donated his personal papers to the Special Collections Department of K-State's Libraries and collaborated with the staff to establish the Consumer Movement Archives as a repository for the collections of consumer leaders and organizations.

Following Richard Morse's retirement from K-State in 1987, he and wife, Marjorie, dedicated their time and energy to improving the K-State Libraries through their service as co-chairs of the Essential Edge fund-raising campaign (1988-1993), leaders in the Friends of the K-State Libraries organization, and by enhancing the collections and programs of the Special Collections Department. In recognition of their financial support of Special Collections and involvement with the Consumer Movement Archives, the Richard L.D and Marjorie J. Morse Department of Special Collections was named in their honor in 1997. During K-State's commencement activities in 2000, the College of Human Ecology bestowed its initial Public Policy Award upon Richard Morse, and a Marjorie J. and Richard L. D.  Morse Family and Community Public Policy Scholarhip was established jointly by the Libraries,  College of Human Ecology, College of Business Administration, College of Arts and Sciences, and Leadership Studies. Reports written by scholarship recipients may be viewed on the Kansas State Research Exchange (K-REx).

Richard Morse passed away on June 3, 2000. Marjorie Morse followed a few years later, dying on March 4, 2003.

Sources: Richard L. D. Morse Papers
Note Author: Anthony R. Crawford, Manuscripts Curator





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