Shippensburg University’s School of Engineering this week was named for a couple whose “transformational” donation will help students become in-demand engineers as society grows more technologically advanced.
The newly named Milton and Doreen Morgan School of Engineering and Laboratory was celebrated at a ceremony on Tuesday, according to a news release. The Morgans’ name appears on the lab facility off Prince Street and just east of Old Main on the Shippensburg University campus, a building that served as a steam plant for years before it was decommissioned and renovated into the home of the School of Engineering in 2020.
The highest level of recognition a university can give is the naming of an academic college or school, Dr. Leslie Folmer Clinton, the president and CEO of the Shippensburg University Foundation, said in a news release.
“Milt and Dory Morgan’s significant philanthropy to the Shippensburg University Foundation will advance the mission of Shippensburg University’s School of Engineering and President (Charles) Patterson’s vision that will make an immediate and lasting impact on the lives of Ship’s engineering students,” Folmer said.
The Morgans’ investment provides for an engineering scholarship endowment, an engineering research endowment, equipment and instrumentation for the engineering laboratory, and angel investment dollars which will provide seed funds for student projects.
A university spokesperson did not immediately respond to an email asking how much money the Morgans gave to the university’s foundation.
“The desire to achieve perfection drives innovation towards a goal we will never achieve, but as we advance technologically, the demand for engineers in multiple disciplines explodes exponentially. Shippensburg University has taken a leadership position as the only Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education School offering a program with various engineering degrees. Dory and I are thrilled to have a role in advancing this program to the next level, the School of Engineering,” said Milton K. Morgan III, via the news release.
The School of Engineering was officially created in 2018, restructured from the five-year-old Department of Computer Science and Engineering, according to a timeline on the university’s website. The school offers six engineering programs that focus on solving real-world problems and prioritize a balance of theory and hands-on experience.
The university began offering a degree in computer science in the 1970s. The university built out its engineering lineup over the past decade; computer engineering was approved in 2011, followed by software engineering in 2012, electrical engineering in 2015, and mechanical engineering and civil engineering in 2018. The most recent two have yet to receive accreditation.
A 9% growth in STEM jobs, including engineers, was projected to take place between 2016 and 2026, according to a PASSHE Workforce Needs Assessment. An analysis of workforce outcomes for Shippensburg graduates shows that five years post-graduation, 63% of Shippensburg’s STEM graduates are employed in the Commonwealth, with a median income of $54,017.
“We are so thankful for the generosity of Milton and Doreen Morgan and excited to advance the School of Engineering through their generous gift. The Morgans value innovation, education, and opportunity, which is what the School of Engineering is all about. We’re honored to carry the Morgan name and know it will inspire the next generation of engineers well into the future,” said Dr. Charles E. Patterson, president of Shippensburg University.
A 1976 graduate of Shippensburg, Milton Morgan became president in 1986 of the J. Walter Miller Co., a manufacturer of commercial brass and bronze castings that started as a one-car garage opened by Morgan’s great grandfather in Lancaster in 1887. Under Morgan’s leadership, the company reduced its dependency on the fire protection industry while maintaining its position as the largest producer of sand cast sprinkler heads in the country. He continued to expand the business by acquiring a machine shop and establishing a consumer products division prior to retiring in 2015.
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