Dorcas Morgan Murray with the Founder’s Day medal award to the
William E. Morgan family, Feb. 11, 2013.
Dorcas Morgan Murray, daughter of former Colorado State University President William E. Morgan and Lilla B. Morgan, died July 8 with her daughters at her side. She was 83.
Dorcas was born on Oct. 23, 1934, in Washington, D.C. She was a sophomore in high school in 1949 when her father was named the eighth president of the University and the Morgan family moved to Fort Collins. Dorcas graduated from Fort Collins High School in 1952 and from the University of Colorado, where she was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, in 1956.
Her love of libraries was ever-present in her life. She once said that her first memory was of selecting books from the shelves in the high-ceilinged Carnegie Library in Bryan, Texas, her mother’s hometown.
“As a college sophomore, I had five roommates in one big and very noisy room, and I learned two lifelong lessons: to sleep with a pillow over my head, and to frequent the remote and usually deserted stacks of Norlin Library, to be more-often-than-not distracted from ‘study’ by an off-my-subject-but-more-interesting title on a nearby shelf,” she wrote in 2010. “I loved that library, a true refuge.”
Dorcas met John Piper Murray while she was working as an air hostess (now called a flight attendant) for TransWorld Airlines. The couple married on Sept. 5, 1959, in Fort Collins, and were married 56 years, during which she raised a family, volunteered, and worked in a small business office. After living in Rome, N.Y., and Bowie, Maryland., the family moved to Boulder in 1972, where John worked for the National Institute of Standards and Technology and Dorcas led statewide tours of Colorado for national and international visitors.
In 2005, Dorcas and John returned to live in Fort Collins, and became a vibrant part of the community and steadfast supporters of Colorado State University, particularly of the Morgan Library, named for Dorcas’ father. John passed away in April 2016.
Dorcas is survived by her daughters, Laura Murray of Colorado Springs and Carol Cochran, and Carol’s husband, Tim, of Fort Collins; grandchildren Bill and Shane Laycock of Colorado Springs, and Tatum and Trina Cochran of Fort Collins; her brother, Bryan Morgan of Boulder; and several nieces and nephews.
Contributions in honor of Dorcas Morgan Murray may be made to the Lilla B. Morgan Memorial Endowment or the Morgan and Universities Library Endowment, either online or c/o CSU Foundation, P.O. Box 1870, 510 University Services Center, 601 S. Howes St., Fort Collins, CO 80523-7112.