Nutritional sciences professor Mary Alice Morrison dies at 95

Mary Alice Morrison

Mary Alice Morrison, professor emerita in the Division of Nutritional Sciences died at her home in Kendal at Ithaca Jan. 10.

Born in Tofield, Alberta, Canada, Sept. 18, 1921, Morrison served in the Royal Canadian Air Force from 1943 to 1946 and taught elementary-age students in a one-room schoolhouse and later junior high grades in a two-room school. She received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alberta, a master’s degree in food and nutrition from Washington State University and a Ph.D. in biochemistry/nutrition from the University of Wisconsin.

Morrison was appointed assistant professor at Cornell in 1960. Her research focused on protein and amino acid nutrition, and her teaching included classes on protein and amino acid nutrition as well as an honors seminar for undergraduates, which she helped initiate and develop. She was inducted into the American Institute of Nutrition in 1963.

From 1963 to 1968 she chaired the Northeast Regional Technical Committee, which coordinated the research of faculty in 10 universities. She was director of a Multidisciplinary Research-Action Program in East Harlem, New York, 1969-1976.

After her retirement in 1988, Morrison was elected secretary of the faculty and served for five years. In this role, she began investigating retirement issues for faculty and worked with a group of emeritus faculty to establish a retirement community that led to the creation of Kendal at Ithaca, a continuing care retirement community. Morrison was also active in the Cornell Association of Professors Emeriti, helping to launch a library workshop series for retired faculty at Mann Library in the mid-1990s. This collaboration resulted in the founding of the Mary Morrison Public Education Fund, which continues to support book talks, exhibits and other programs for the Cornell campus community and the public possible.

Morrison is survived by five nieces and nephews and several grandnieces and grandnephews. Memorial donations can be made to the Rainy Day Fund at Kendal at Ithaca or the Mary Morrison Public Education Fund at Mann Library.

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