Jeanie Morgan retires after 48 years of service

By Dani Ray | May 23, 2024

Jeanie Morgan and SGA president Ellie McGowan

Jeanie Morgan (left) with Student Government Association (SGA) President and Student Regent Ellie McGowan


Morgan looks back on a legacy of love for the University and her students


MURRAY, Ky. – For Jeanie Morgan, her position as advisor for Murray State University’s Student Government Association (SGA) and student organizations is a passion, not a job.

Morgan retired from the Center for Student Involvement on May 16 after 48 years of service to the University.

“I love this place, and I love my job. I don’t call it a job,” said Morgan. “I am so fortunate. Most people don’t get to say that; it’s a job. This is not a job. I cannot wait to get here in the morning.”

Morgan usually arrived on campus around 7 a.m. to get work done before students arrive.

“They like to talk, and I like to listen to them,” Morgan explained. “It’s been such a rewarding experience.”

Morgan started at the University’s Housing Office at the age of 27 in 1976.

“I get tickled because when I started at Murray State in ‘76, I was like (the students’) older sister,” said Morgan. “Then I sort of got to be like their mother in age, and then I became the grandmother, and somebody the other day told me that their great granny was my age. But that’s OK because we have that in common, and hopefully, the love that we share will always make them want to come back to Murray State, and that’s a legacy.”

Morgan has one daughter, Shelby, but she said God gave her hundreds of Murray State students whom she considers her children.

“I call them my Murray kids,” she said. “Some of them are really, really close. I tell them that this is just the most wonderful place to be.”

One of Morgan’s “Murray kids” is Student Government Association President and Student Regent Ellie McGowan. McGowan said that Morgan’s pride and love for Murray State inspires others to embrace all it means to be part of this community.

“What makes Jeanie so valuable to Murray State is her unwavering commitment to students,” said McGowan. “Jeanie has always been there to represent and advocate for the students. There is no employee of this university that has shown more support and encouragement for the student population than her. I admire that throughout 48 years here, she has consistently maintained to be the strongest advocate for students. Jeanie genuinely cares about each and every student that walks the halls of this campus and has spent all of her years here dedicated to that mission. She has never been there to push an agenda or accomplish what she thought was best, but has always been there to support what the students want. Working for one university for almost 50 years is nearly unheard of, and Jeanie did it because she is truly so passionate about Murray State. That is something I believe proves she is a great asset to the University.” 

Morgan’s roots at Murray State run deep.

“It’s just one of those things that’s sort of in your blood,” she said.

Morgan met Murray State’s founder and second president, Dr. Rainey T. Wells, when she was just 4 years old. Wells owned Fort Heiman before it became a Historic National Battlefield within the National Park Service, and Morgan’s grandfather was the caretaker of what was then known as “the camp.”

Morgan grew up in the yellow brick house that sat where Clark College is now on Waldrop Drive. When she started at the Housing Office, it was originally located in Hart Hall. Then it was moved to the old Clark Hall and eventually to that yellow brick house, meaning she worked for a time in her professional career in the very same house in which she was raised.

“That was so strange because that was my house as a little girl,” said Morgan. “The first time I walked down that sidewalk, it was like coming home.”

Morgan transferred to her role as SGA and student organization advisor – thus moving her office to the Curris Center – in 1984, and the rest is history.

“It’s been a fabulous ride,” she said.

Morgan said the most rewarding part of her career has been working with the students. There are about 50 students in SGA and more than 170 student organizations, she said.

“You know and I know, there is not a better place in this whole wide world than Murray State University, nowhere,” said Morgan. “I’ve been fortunate enough to go to many, many, many schools and talk to many, many students, and when I talk to our students, the first thing they say is, ‘Wow. I’m so glad I came to Murray State,’ and I agree 100 percent; I agree. I think when you ask students, what do they say? ‘It feels like home. Family.’ And I think I’ve helped be that family through the years. I hope so.”

Morgan’s favorite time of year is not Christmas, but rather Murray State’s Homecoming. Because of this, the SGA Senate passed a resolution declaring, “Homecoming is Better Than Christmas,” in her honor. The annual Homecoming parade has been overseen by SGA each fall since the 1940s.

“It’s a time where you renew old friendships, and you don’t have to buy anybody anything,” Morgan joked. “You just get to share love and what you’ve been doing, and I just love it.”

Morgan plans to continue attending Homecoming in the years to come; however, this coming fall will be the first year since 1984 that she will not be coordinating the annual parade.

“I’m going to come back, and they’ve promised me that we will faithfully have a picture at Homecoming,” she said.

Despite her long and happy career at Murray State, Morgan is looking forward to the next chapter of her life. During her retirement, Morgan plans to travel, enjoy time with her friends and family and continue to support Murray State events. She hopes to remain an ambassador for the University even after her retirement.

“Jeanie has impacted my life in so many ways, and I could spend hours talking about her legacy,” said McGowan. “I hope that her legacy can shine through the lives of everyone she has touched during her time at Murray State.”

Morgan said she doesn’t know who will replace her as SGA advisor, but the hiring process is currently underway.

Learn more about Jeanie Morgan’s legacy of love for Murray State University at

To help honor the career of Jeanie Morgan, individuals may make a tax deductible gift to support the Jeanie Morgan SGA Scholarship Fund. Visit to make a secure gift online or send a check made payable to the Murray State University Foundation, Inc. to: Murray State Office of Development, 200 Heritage Hall, Murray, Kentucky, 42071. 

For more information about the Jeanie Morgan SGA Scholarship, please contact Abby Hensley, director of development within the Division of Student Affairs, at or 270-809-3131.

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