CWU News

Morrison Earns Honorary Doctorate from Central Washington University

In recognition of his exceptional contributions to Central Washington University and the State of Washington, the CWU Board of Trustees has awarded Sid Morrison, a long-time board member, an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.​

“I’m blown away by this honor—I didn't expect it,” Morrison acknowledged. “Even though Central is honoring me, that doesn’t mean they’re getting rid of me because I like success stories.”

A success story in his own right, Morrison’s varied professional and political career included public service as a state representative, state senator, U.S. Congressman, and state Secretary of Transportation. In addition, he spent 12 years on the CWU governing board, including seven as chair.

CWU President James L. Gaudino noted that, “the full scope of his expertise was invaluable during a critical fiscal era. Mr. Morrison, encouraged civility, transparency, and mutual respect among board members, administrators, staff, faculty, and students, and took care to ensure all voices and viewpoints were heard.” 

Morrison, added, “I have always felt that my time and effort on behalf of CWU through the years has been repaid many times over by the progress the university has made. The great thing is that even the [state] legislature sees that progress, and is responding financially.” 

A native of Toppenish who now lives in Zillah, Morrison chairs the executive board of Energy Northwest, which produces and delivers electricity to utility companies. He is also a board member of Mainstream Republicans of Washington; which supports the election of moderate GOP candidates to public office.

In addition, Morrison chaired the Energy Northwest Operations, Construction and Safety Committee; Yakima Basin Storage Alliance, which raises awareness of and support for irrigated agriculture; and is a retired partner in the family-owned Morrison Fruit Company.

Morrison, who turned 83 earlier this month, holds a bachelor’s degree in horticulture from Washington State College and is a United States Army veteran.  He will officially receive his honorary doctorate during the 2016 CWU commencement on June 11.

Media contact: Linda Schactler, executive director of Public Affairs/ chief of staff, 509-963-2301,

May 23, 2016