Mary Rebecca Curran Morgan (1867-1927)

Mary Rebecca Curran Morgan

Born in Williamsport, Pennsylvania on April 28, 1867, Mary Curran prepared at Bloomsburg Normal School where her father, Hugh Asbury Curran, taught. In 1886 she entered Dickinson College as a junior, receiving the coveted Pierson Gold Medal for Oratory in the Spring of 1887. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa and salutatorian of her class in 1888, and then received a M. A. from Dickinson in 1891.

On December 30, 1890, Mary Curran married James Henry Morgan, a Dickinson alumnus from the class of 1878. He had begun to teach as head of the Dickinson Preparatory School in 1882, and by the time he and Mary were married, James Henry had been promoted to full professor at the College. He would go on to become the first Dean of the College, and later serve as President of the College for nearly twenty years. Mary and James Henry had three children: Julia, who became a medical missionary in China; Margaret Harris, who married and lived outside of Pittsburgh; and Hugh Curran, who also became a missionary in China.

Mary Curran Morgan was active on campus and in the local community, and was of particular help to the women students of Dickinson. She and others fought hard to establish a local chapter of the American Association of University Women, and Mary became the first president of the Carlisle Branch. She was also active in the fledgling YWCA of Carlisle and was a member of its first board of directors.

While on a train on April 22, 1927, traveling to a board meeting of the Methodist Children’s Home at Shiremanstown, Mary suffered a fatal heart attack. Three days later, the day of her funeral, Dickinson College and Dickinson Law School closed at noon, and all social and athletic activities for the weekend were suspended.

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Dickinson College Archives
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