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News from the Hilltop

March 17, 2014

College mourns loss of Bishop-in-Residence Robert C. Morgan

Dr. Robert C. MorganBIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Dr. Robert C. Morgan, a 1956 BSC alumnus who served on the Birmingham-Southern faculty for more than a decade, passed away March 16 after a lengthy illness. He was 80.

His funeral is scheduled for Wednesday, March 19, at 11 a.m. at Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church, with visitation at 9 a.m.

A native of Birmingham, Morgan joined the BSC faculty in 2000 as bishop-in-residence after serving a year as president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, the highest elected office in the church. He was an honorary life member of the BSC Board of Trustees and received an Honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from the college in 1980.

"We are deeply saddened to hear about the loss of Bishop Morgan," said Dr. Mark Schantz, BSC provost. "He was a wonderful mentor and source of support for our students, both within the classroom and outside of it."

Morgan taught and mentored many Birmingham-Southern students over the years through his coursework, which included the "Gospel of St. John," "People Called Methodists," and "The Parables." He also guided groups of students on Interim term trips to Greece, Turkey, and Italy to explore the journeys of the Apostle Paul.

He received a Master of Divinity from Emory University's Candler School of Theology. Candler named Morgan as one of its three distinguished alumni in 2010.

His more than 50 years of service to the United Methodist Church included serving four pastoral appointments in North Alabama and five years as a district superintendent. Morgan was elected a bishop in 1984 and had also served as resident bishop of the Louisville, Ky., area and as bishop of Mississippi, among other church assignments. He was senior pastor of Vestavia Hills UMC at the time of his election to the episcopacy.

He is survived by his wife, Martha Storey Morgan '60, and four children: Carol Morgan Carmichael of Birmingham, Leslie Morgan Blair '82 of Toney, Ala., Ken Morgan of Waynesville, N.C., and Robert Morgan '85 of Birmingham.

At the request of the family, memorial contributions can be made to the Bishop Robert C. Morgan Scholarship through the Office of Institutional Advancement at BSC, Box 549003, 900 Arkadelphia Road, Birmingham, AL 35254. The scholarship was established in 1984 by Vestavia Hills UMC to honor Morgan upon his election to the episcopacy and in recognition of his service to the church. The scholarship is given annually to any deserving students.

About Birmingham-Southern College:

Birmingham-Southern College is a four-year, private liberal arts institution in Birmingham, Ala., founded in 1856 and affiliated with the United Methodist Church. It enrolls about 1,200 students from more than 30 states and 16 foreign countries. Learn more online at www.bsc.edu.