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Profiles in Badassery: Michael Morrison

One of Purdue’s great professors, Dr. Morrison, passed away at the age of 68.

I graduated last year, with a degree in Social Studies Education. I took many, many, many history classes during my time at Purdue. While I love history, if it isn’t taught correctly, or does not captivate you, it can be very boring. I took classes in history I did not really care for, and some that I also loved.

Dr. Morrison taught two that I loved dearly.

Like any professor you respect, he asks a lot from you. He wants you to learn, but he wanted you to have fun while you were learning. He was a little quirky, a little strange, but to be in the profession of education, sometimes you need that type if personality.

My first class I took with Dr. Morrison was History 151, America History until 1877, a basic intro class. He asked us to write essays, do discussions, etc. But man, when he taught the material to the class, you could tell that he loved what he was teaching. He would steal the show, turning an ordinary lecture into a story, making it all the more interesting.

He was a throwback older gentleman. I am not sure if he even knew what blackboard was. If you missed a class, you better read the book because you knew his lecture was not going to be online.

His real love though, was his class called “Hist 371 Society, Culture, and Rock and Roll”, or as we all called it, just the History of Rock and Roll. This class would fill in minutes after students were allowed to join classes. Therefore, I didn’t get to take it until 2nd semester of my Junior year. It didn’t fill any of my requirements at the time, but I didn’t care, I just wanted to take another class with a great professor.

In both of his classes you could regularly walk in and he would be standing on the desks in the front row, teaching the material loved.

I dug up his syllabus to this class.

What a great class it was. I thought he made History 151 like story time. He made this one even better. You could tell that this was his brain child, he developed this curriculum and loved teaching it. His lectures were fantastic, once again, captivating his students.

Dr. Morrison is going to be missed at Purdue. They have lost a great professor and person. Dr. Morrison is a professor that genuinely cared for his students. Thank you, Dr. Morrison for making learning so great.

Rest in Peace.