By Bassam Bishuti
Morken has served PLU in many ways. He is a member of the Board of Regents and has served as chair of its budget and finance committee. He was awarded the PLU Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1996-97 for his professional distinction in the field of investment management and his outstanding dedication and service to PLU, and is co-chair of the current $100-million Campaign for Pacific Lutheran UniversityThe Next Bold Step.
In addition, he and his wife have funded several university scholarships and programs, provided funds to establish the first distinguished professorship at the university and co-endowed the Raphael Lemkin Prize for an annual essay competition about genocide.
Morken's motivation for supporting PLU can be summarized by the slogan of the 1992 campaign: "make a lasting difference," he says. "I think that I and others can make a lasting difference to the university and its future, not just by giving money but by providing advise and expertise when the university needs the expertise."
He says he is happy to see that PLU "is open to adopting new ideas and concepts." The new learning and technology center is a prime example. "This will further put PLU on the map among Northwest universities," he says. "It will integrate business and computer studies programs and attract the best high school students, the best faculty, and the support of donors and of venture capital."
He fondly remembers the special attention that Professor Dwight Zulauf gave him in his senior year at PLU. "He introduced me to the mathematical present-value concepts which became vital in my work in investments and securities. PLU has a lot to do in the success I have had."
Morken's father, Ed, was a longtime member of the Board of Regents and both his daughter, Sonya, and her husband, Anthony Prata, are currently enrolled at PLU. "I want to make sure that they are involved in PLU and that they continue the tradition," he says.