Rob Morrill ('97)
Partner, Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP
Who is Rob Morrill? He is a graduate of MSU Denver. A Coloradan. A lawyer. A husband. A scholarship recipient. And an endowed scholarship founder.
Morrill was the first person in his family to attend college. He knew that a college education could help him obtain the financial security he didn’t experience growing up. Part of his decision to attend MSU Denver was the value proposition—he understood that the University offered a great education for a reasonable investment. Like many students at MSU Denver, he financed his education through a combination of scholarships and part- and full-time employment.
In 1997, Morrill graduated from MSU Denver with a bachelor’s degree—highest honors—in political science. He went on to study law at the University of Michigan, earning his juris doctorate in 2001. After five years working at a private law firm in Chicago, he returned to Denver and re-engaged with his alma mater. He joined the Alumni Board of Directors and currently serves as that board’s representative to the MSU Denver Foundation Board.
Morrill initially considered a one-time donation to MSU Denver. Instead, he elected to set up an endowment—a fund that provides earnings on his gift to be awarded to qualified students.
“I don’t like to see the debt that many students today are saddled with. It’s terrible when people who have the dream and ability to attend college are unable to do so simply because they lack the economic means. Tuition is more affordable at MSU Denver than other institutions, so your dollars go further—a relatively modest donation accomplishes a lot.”
Morrill and wife, Lee Ann, established the MSU Denver Pre-law Scholarship Endowment in 2010, awarded to a junior or senior with an expressed interest in attending law school. The Morrills’ scholarship encourages students to maintain high standards and to consider advanced degrees and postsecondary education, particularly law school, after graduating from MSU Denver.
The first recipient of the Pre-Law Scholarship was Lesley Williams, who graduated from the University in 2011 with a bachelor’s in criminal justice and criminology. She will soon begin evening classes at Denver University’s Sturm College of Law.
Who is Robert Morrill? He is a change-maker.