Drake University loses legendary "Mr. Drake"

(Des Moines, Iowa)  Paul Morrison, also known as Mr. Drake has died.    Drake University issued a statement today (Thursday) stating Morrison died today in Des Moines at the age of 100.

Morrison was a long-time employee of the athletic department, and volunteered there full-time until he died.

He attended more than 700-Drake football games and 80-Drake Relays.

"Paul represented everything that is great about Drake University," said Drake University President Marty Martin. "He was a wonderful husband, father, and grandfather. He was a loyal and trusted friend to so many in our community. He was an outstanding servant-leader in Drake athletics for decades, including long after he had officially retired. Paul was a man of good will and good cheer in everything he did. And, he always showed up! We will miss Paul dearly for a very long time."

Morrison's legacy at Drake stretches more than a century as his parents, Marion and Leonta, met at Drake in 1902. Paul followed his parents to Drake, enrolling in 1935 and graduating in 1939 with a degree in journalism. Morrison served in the Army in the Pacific during World War II, ascending to the rank of sergeant. Upon his return from the war, he worked briefly for The Gazette in Cedar Rapids before being hired in 1945 as Drake's first full-time director of the news bureau. He served as sports information director and athletics business manager during his career, from which he retired in 1986.

"Paul led with love - love of his Bulldog family and Drake University," said Megan Franklin , Drake University's interim director of athletics. "His gift of connecting with letter winners always allowed Bulldogs to feel attached to this University while assuring their legacy was appreciated and celebrated. Paul's life is a story of commitment that will be treasured and celebrated for generations to come. We will always be in this together, as Paul liked to say."

Morrison served as the Drake Athletics historian, amassing material dating to Drake's earliest years and chronicling its modern successes. Those archival materials, historically kept in the Fieldhouse, have been transferred to the Drake University Archives this year for improved preservation and many items are now available for the public to see on the second floor of Cowles Library.

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