The Morrison Family – Fogler Legacy Award

The Fogler Legacy Award is awarded annually to a family with multiple generations of Black Bear graduates who have been actively engaged in volunteer service on behalf of UMaine, their community, and/or their respective professions. This family’s connection to the University spans across four generations, with members of the Morrison family leveraging their University of Maine degrees not only to advance their own lives and careers but also to enhance the reputation of the University.

The Morrison family legacy traces back to Viola Purinton Giffin ’31 and Alvin Giffin ’31 and has been carried forward by their daughter, Alola Giffin Morrison ’59. Alola and her late husband, Joseph Morrison ’59, ’67G, raised two sons who proudly uphold this Black Bear tradition, and the fourth generation also contains several more recent UMaine graduates. Their commitment to excellence, education, and service shines through public service, professional accomplishments, military contributions, and numerous volunteer roles embraced by each successive generation.

Volunteerism and honorable uniformed service are traditions that have moved forward through subsequent generations of Giffin Morrison Black Bears. Alvin Giffin ’31 was a heroic military officer, receiving the prestigious “Officer of the Order of the Crown” for his bravery in the American Coast Guard during the Belgian Sabena Airlines flight disaster of World War II. His wife, Viola ’31, spent her life as an active volunteer as Orono’s oldest resident until she passed away at age 102.

Alola Giffin Morrison ’59, daughter of Alvin and Viola, put her UMaine degree to work, becoming an officer in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps in 1960. She later joined the U.S. Army Reserves, climbing to the rank of Major before retiring after 12 years of service. Beyond her uniformed services, Alola spent more than 50 years serving her community as a dietician, working to ensure the health of young and old alike. Before joining the Army Reserves, Alola married Joseph Morrison ‘59, ‘67G, and raised the next generation of Giffin Morrison Black Bears. Joseph himself put his UMaine degrees to use in service of the education of many young minds in the area. He spent his long, dedicated career as Principal of several Bangor schools. 

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