Obituary for Morgan M. Laury
Morgan Milton Laury, beloved son of Delores Laury Carroll and the late Jerome I. Laury was born on June 15, 1953 in Chester, Pennsylvania. Morgan was the second of eight children. He was predeceased by two brothers, Jerome I. Laury Jr. and James Laury. Sorrowfully, Morgan’s sister Sherrelle Laury departed this life on Saturday March 9, 2018.
Morgan was raised in the close-knit borough of Twin Oaks, Pennsylvania and attended Mount Pleasant Baptist Church throughout his childhood. He received Christ as his Lord and Savior at an early age. On Sunday afternoon, March 4, 2018 Morgan quietly and peacefully entered into eternal rest surrounded by family members and friends.
Morgan was educated in the Chichester school system where he was a member of the high school basketball team and distinguished himself as a trombonist for both the marching and jazz bands. During those early years Morgan was known for his friendly nature, his wit, his cool leadership style and his compassion for others. Those qualities were cultivated by the strong spiritual bond he maintained with his mother and his Cousin Dot, an accomplished Chester County educator. Morgan was also inspired by the achievements of other Laury family educators originating from Buckingham, Virginia –whom he knew and loved. He graduated from Chichester High School in 1971, and during the following three years he worked for Sun Oil as a machinist and was eventually employed as a merchant marine.
With limited resources, a confident spirit and a wealth of self-motivation, Morgan joined the United States Army. Following boot camp, he served in Europe and received an honorable discharge with commendation. Morgan enrolled at Cheyney State University as a history major, and came to be known among his peers as “the philosopher”. He was never a stranger at home or outside of the United States. As a mature undergraduate student, he served as a mentor, and trusted friend to many of his class-mates. Morgan became a founding member of the ELITE fraternity. That brotherhood continues to be a source of strength to its members and the communities it serves.
At Cheyney, Morgan earned two degrees, a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education, and a Master of Education in Education Administration. Morgan’s intellectual prowess and personal drive led to numerous academic and professional awards. He earned a teaching research assistantship to pursue his doctorate in education at the Pennsylvania State University. He was a member of numerous honor societies, served as president of the Black Graduate Student’s Association, and earned a Minority Scholars Fellowship Award, while successfully completing a second master’s degree in Public administration in 1988 and a doctorate in Higher Education in 1989. He earned the prestigious Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, published several articles, and embarked upon a storied career in academe.
While pursuing his doctorate Morgan interned at the Pennsylvania governor’s office and the State Department of Education. His academic credentials, professional background and genuine affection for people positioned Dr. Morgan Laury--affectionately known as Dust, Doc, Professor and Mr. Mayor—to lead a celebrated career as a university administrator and ultimately tenured professor. He was an administrator at Morgan State University, and made his most significant academic contributions at his beloved Kean University in Union NJ. Dr. Morgan Laury joined the Kean University administration in 1990. Students gravitated to Dr. Laury and he, in turn, was in his element whenever he was teaching, advocating, or advising them. Dr. Laury’s strong Christian values and faith grounded his life with an inner peace that allowed for candor, humor, compassion and genuine expressions of love for his friends and family, his students and his colleagues. He served as Director of Affirmative Action and the Director of the One-Stop Service Center at Kean, before transferring to the Department of Public Administration, where he earned the rank of tenured full professor.
As Dr. Laury’s star was rising, he met and married his soul mate, Janice Murray, also a member of the Kean University administration as the Dean of Students. Morgan and Janice were inseparable….except for the golf; and they married in August 14, 1992. They were blessed with more than 25 years of marriage. Uncle Morgan, Cousin Morgan, Mr. Morgan, Dr. Laury, Professor Laury never wavered in his sense of responsibility to listen, educate, and encourage people, especially the young, to realize their God-given talents and to dream big. In 2014 Dr. Morgan received Kean’s highest academic honor when he was awarded Teacher of the Year.
Morgan leaves to cherish his memory: a devoted wife, Janice Laury; mother, Delores Laury Carroll; Godson, Rolique Laury; Goddaughter Noelle Powell; siblings, Sherry Whitaker (Andre), Ronald Laury (Beverly), Stevie Laury (Tameka), and Victor Laury; aunts ……..as well as a host of beloved nieces, nephews, friends, and students.