Hindsight is always 20/20 but can share a wisdom of what you might do the next time.”

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Jeff Morse ’67 recalls bunking in the attic, and early morning walks to campus

The walls of 346 E. Prospect Avenue, the cherry and grey, diverse men from all areas of the academic environment. These are all ways used to describe beloved Pi Chapter. And as Frater Jeff Morse recalls, academic performance in the fraternity during his time seemed to be of importance to many. Architecture, Engineering, Mathematics, Pre-Med, History, Business, Political Science, and other fields were part of the membership. While some were financially well-positioned, that was not a defining characteristic. Most were working hard to maintain good standing in various programs.

“The Harris’ were two kind and direct people in helping maintain the atmosphere of respect to each other, the house resident, and to the property,” said Morse.

“I lived in the house for one year,” he recalls. “I ‘bunked’ in the attic. My study room (second floor), was quiet and I was able to survive Organic Chemistry and Embryology due to study sessions with roommates and other members. I also enjoyed the walk to campus in the early morning to get to lab classes on time. I recall with great pleasure, the piano playing of one of the more senior members, Paul Althouse ’65, who would quietly share his musical talent late in the evening. There are other memories (social), but my time of residence in the house directly was limited to one year.”

Morse lived in the house his sophomore year, but was employed after that, as part of his academic scholarship, with Student Services. He became a residential counselor in a large dormitory, another type of fraternal organization academically focused as well as athletically and socially active.

“I recall Al Frischkorn Jr. ’67, Paul Milnes ’67, and Stephen Prystowsky ’67. Prystowsky was an intense pre-med and really studied a great deal, as he understood the difficulty in gaining admission to med school at the time,” the Frater recalled. “Al was a Political Science student interested in going to law school and very interested in campus politics. Paul was headed for engineering. I was unsure and thus a BA student focused on science. Vietnam was heating up and my draft board was the most active in the nation in supplying recruits, so I was attentive to aspects of politics but the house was not overly aware of Southeast Asia.”

The Frater went on to cite his reasons for being proud to be a Pi TKE.

”We were known for some diversity,” he explained. “Not specifically focused on one type of young man – we had somewhat of a larger sense of individuality than some of the other fraternal groups. That was important to me at the time. I was, and still am, proud to be a TKE.

Morse says he still stays in touch with some TKEs, although not directly

“There was a significant war going on (when I graduated), and while I tried to follow a few, most contact was maintained by a membership in the PSU Alumni Association,” says Morse. “My parents gave me a lifetime membership upon graduation and that allowed some attention to members of TKE. There was no Internet at that time.

I earned a BA with major in Chemistry/Zoology and went to graduate school at Temple University at first and had a teaching position at a small school in Merion Station, PA. Some of this was based on draft status and my personal concern about the war. (My father was an Army officer and we often discussed the role of individuals in the military).

After a year at Temple University - a terrific place for getting insight into science education - went on to graduate school in Rhode Island, Univ. of Rhode Island. Master’s and PhD in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. NSF Pre-doctoral Fellowship in the lab of a young and active research professor. Great experience and Rhode Island was a terrific place to live as a graduate student. Did some of my enzyme work in the lab of the man who synthesized synthetic penicillin at MIT and that was fun. Postdoctoral NIH Fellow at the University of Connecticut Medical School in Farmington, CT.”

After college, Morse spend time at a variety of jobs, which included:

  • UConn Medical School, Farmington, NIH Postdoctoral Fellow, 4 years
  • University of Puget Sound, Professor of Biology, 8 years
  • Charles Wright Academy, Science Chair, Director of Curriculum, 8 years
  • Abington Friends School, Dean of Faculty, 2 years
  • Penn Charter School, Science Faculty, 6 years
  • Morongo Unified School District - Administrator of public high school (not fun). 3 years
  • Marlborough School, Chair of Science, 10 years

Jeff has resided in six cities in four different states including Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Washington, and California. HE spent time in Penn State’s ROTC program, which was required of all males at the time.

“I’m married with three sons, Josh, Aaron, and Benjamin,” said Morse. “I have several hobbies – I helped put my children through college rebuilding old Volvo sports cars (P1800s). I’m an active jogger (start slow and taper off), and enjoy racquetball. I am active in science education organizations: National Science Teachers, American Biology Teachers, Delaware Valley Biology Teacher Network, Puget Sound Human Genetics Education Consortium, Washington Science Teacher Assoc., Peninsula Athletic Assoc. Tacoma-Pierce County Y, others.

Due to some knowledge of RNA viruses, I helped start the Tacoma Pierce County Aids Foundation, developed at that time through a local church. Also a Founding Member of the Children’s Museum of Tacoma.”

Amongst his biggest successes, Morse recounts Raising children who have become responsible adults doing good work on behalf of their respective communities. In addition, he was named Science Teacher of the year by the White House and National Science Foundation in 1987.

 “Life always has a way of offering challenges and you deal with these directly as well as you can,” reflected the TKE Frater. “Hindsight is always 20/20 but can share a wisdom of what you might do the next time. What is always encouraging as an educator is to see ‘wisdom’ in many young people. Not as rare as one might expect.

Appreciate the opportunity to be a member of a group while understanding the responsibility that comes with that membership. With any privilege also comes requirements and that often seems to be forgotten. Recent information from the Internet concerning the Pi Chapter of TKE suggests that this message may need to be presented in some manner.”

If anyone would like to contact Jeff, please email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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