Mitchell L. Morgan recalled driving along Broad Street more than 45 years ago. His future, he said, had as little direction as the car he was steering.
“Higher education wasn’t for me, or so I thought,” Morgan said. “I wanted to go into the world. I wanted to start a business. I wanted to see it grow. But that was before I got to Temple University.”
Temple University’s Fox School of Business honored Morgan as the recipient of the 21st annual Musser Award for Excellence in Leadership, the highest honor conferred by the school, during a Nov. 8 dinner and reception at Mitten Hall.
The evening paid homage to Morgan, a Temple graduate and member of the university’s Board of Trustees. Morgan is the founder and chairman of Morgan Properties, one of the largest owners of multi-family apartment communities in the country. He founded the company in 1985, and has grown it to more than 37,000 units in 139 apartment communities in 10 states.
He and his wife, through their Mitchell and Hilarie Morgan Family Foundation, remain committed to making a difference in the lives of others. In particular, the Morgans’ lifetime support of Temple helped erect the 27-story residence hall that bears their names.
From the podium, Morgan thanked his family. At times in his career, he said, he leaned upon their support as much as his education.
“Having a dream in business was not enough,” Morgan said. “I needed the skills. I needed to be Temple Made. That’s why I’m proud to give back to this great university.”
Morgan’s career in real estate spurred a lively opening to the festivities by the evening’s master of ceremonies, Tyler Mathisen, the managing editor of CNBC Business News and co-host of the network’s show, Power Lunch. Mathisen emerged from behind a door to greet attendees, shortly before a handful of Fox Real Estate majors knocked at another door on stage.
“Every year that I’m on campus, the students look younger and younger. That’s probably because I keep getting older!” Mathisen quipped.
The Musser Awards dinner and reception annually honors achievement in business and outstanding leadership and service to the Philadelphia community. Past top honorees in attendance included Warren V. “Pete” Musser, Robert Fox, and Steven Korman, and Temple Trustees Dennis Alter, Joseph F. Coradino, Chair Patrick J. O’Conner, Daniel H. Polett, and Jane Scaccetti.
“We are proud to honor Mitch, a driven leader who understands business principles as much as the value of giving back,” said Dr. M. Moshe Porat, Dean of the Fox School of Business. “He has committed himself to a lifetime of opening doors for people, from residents of his properties and colleagues of his company to the many beneficiaries of his charitable support.
“And this is worth mentioning,” Porat added. “While only one building on Temple’s campus is named for Mitch, he has led a campus renaissance and has placed his fingerprints on dozens of renovation projects. He is Temple University through and through.”
Even More Accolades
Faculty and staff at the Fox School joined Morgan as honorees at the 21st annual Musser Awards. Here are the winners:
- Excellence in Teaching: Krupa Viswanathan, PhD, Associate Professor of Risk, Insurance, and Healthcare Management
- Excellence in Research: In-Sue Oh, PhD, Charles Beury Professor of Human Resource Management
- Excellence in Faculty Service: Susan M. Mudambi, PhD, Research Professor of Marketing and Supply Chain Management
- Excellence in Administrative Service: Christine Kiely, Associate Vice Dean of MBA, MS, and International Programs
- Excellence in Student Leadership: Megan Stoner, FOX ’17
- Excellence in Alumni Achievement: Brett Kratchner, FOX ’83