“The Dorothy Morris Garden is where the Morris’s backyard used to be” according the Southern Illinois University’s newspaper The Daily Egyptian. The Morris’s house was where the University Museum, located in Faner, now is. “Dorothy removed the maroon veil from the sign which read Dorothy Morris Gardens. As she looked beyond the Gardens she recalled what her backyard used to look like,” The Daily Egyptian goes on to tell us. This was October 1998 and I was one of the fifty people present at the dedication.
This stone and gate are remnants of a wall and gate around the Morris’ Home.
Here are pictures of additional stone wall from the Morris time.
I can remember the morning of the dedication so vividly. Mrs. Morris was stately and regal..with a kindness and softness about her that was compelling. My friend, Chancellor Jo Ann Argersinger along with President Ted Sanders were there. I thought about how much promise Chancellor Argersinger had…much in the same vein as Dorothy Morris and her husband Delyte.
The greatest days of our beloved University were during the twenty-three year leadership, 1948-1971, of Dorothy and Delyte Morris. Above you see the annual tradition of Watermelon Feast…that the Morris personally hosted for the entire Campus Community.
When I began as a Building Service Worker I in October of 1978 many of my older custodial colleagues remembered fondly the Morris Years! They spoke often how that both Dorothy and Delyte rode their bicycles around Campus in the evenings and how they knew their names…the custodians. They felt that they were as important to the success of SIU as anyone associated with it. They felt like family.
Chancellor Argersinger made us feel that way…for her short time as our leader.