CWU News

Morrison to Receive Honorary Doctorate from CWU

In recognition of his exceptional contributions to Central Washington University and the State of Washington, the CWU Board of Trustees will award Sid Morrison, a long-time trustee, an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters during the university’s Ellensburg commencement Saturday. ​

“I’m blown away by this honor,” Morrison said, admitting to the pun on the well-known Kittitas County winds. “I didn't expect it. Even though Central is honoring me, that doesn’t mean they’re getting rid of me because I like success stories.”

Which is how Morrison views the university. 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.”

Gaudino added that, “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, acknowledged, “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 is an organization that 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, to raise awareness of and support for irrigated agriculture; and is a retired partner in the family-owned Morrison Fruit Company.

Morrison, who turned 83 last month, holds a bachelor’s degree in horticulture from Washington State College and is a United States Army veteran.

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

June 8, 2016

Photo: courtesy Energy Northwest