Donor Spotlight: R. Vance Morey

July 31, 2018

vance morey sitting with arms resting on wooden table in the kaufert lab building lobby

Whether it be a gift of time, labor, or dollars, giving is a big part of R. Vance Morey’s life.

Morey, a professor emeritus and a past department head, was involved with United Way through the University of Minnesota for many years shortly after joining the faculty in 1970 and has since given to other organizations, his alma maters, and the department where he worked for 43 years. In retirement, he is “enthused” about volunteering at a local food shelf a couple times a week, tutoring grade school students, and being involved in a Kiwanis club.

When and why did you first give to the department?

I probably started giving to the department about 25 years ago. It was important to me. The undergraduate program, in particular, has been important. I think it was important for the visibility of and the ongoing importance of the profession. That’s what builds it and continues it. I thought it was important to demonstrate that I was interested enough in our program to give as well.

What motivates you to continue to give today?

This is one of the major programs and activities that I give to because I just think it’s important. I hope to see the profession grow, and one way to help that is to give to support the students who choose to be in the profession. I feel good about it. I feel fortunate that I picked the career I did, and I feel fortunate that I ended up at the University of Minnesota at this location. Overall, it was a good career for me, and one of the reasons why I feel it’s important for me to give back in terms of scholarships, in particular. I hope that the department will continue for a long time and having a strong undergraduate program is important to its long-term success.

What was the most rewarding or positive experience you’ve had as a donor?

It’s meeting with students. Seeing a few of those students that might have gotten some of the money I gave was important, and I enjoy coming to the scholarship event each year.

Was or is there anyone in your life who play(ed) a role in you supporting the department?

I guess in my case, it wasn’t any one person - it was the people and students that I met through my work with the department. It’s a lot of people.

Do you still stay involved with the department?

A little bit. I stop by occasionally to talk to people and so forth. I try to participate in the spring at the capstone design presentations and help evaluate some of those.

What are you doing now in retirement?

I’m doing some traveling, and I’m also doing some volunteer work. I work at the food shelf a couple times a week, and I do some tutoring during the school year for grade school kids. I’m involved in a Kiwanis club that has a lot of retired folks, including some from the university and several from this department. That’s how I got involved with the food shelf because the Kiwanis club helps support some of the food shelves and provides 15 or 20 volunteers to work the food shelf during the week.

I actually enjoy working at the food shelf in particular. It’s gratifying, and I think we’re doing some good things, and it’s a good place. There are some physical work that needs to be done at the food shelf. I’m able to do that, and the days I do that, I don’t have to come to the gym. I still try to get to the gym two or three times a week, and partly, well mainly, to get the exercise, but I also see some people over there that I know.