Bircher to receive 2001 Morlan Educational Award


For Immediate Release
March 23, 2001

For more information contact:

Tom Craig, Director of Media and Community Relations
915-674-2692

Luke Hejl, Media Relations Specialist
(915) 674-2696

Marca Lee Bircher of Dallas, a 1957 graduate of Abilene Christian University will be awarded the 2001 Morlan Educational Award on Friday, March 30.

The Morlan Educational Award is given each year to an outstanding educator that has graduated from ACU's education department. This will be the 30th year that the award has been given. The recipiant is chosen by nomination first, followed by approval by a selection committee.

The award memoralizes Dr. Grover C. Morlan. He taught at ACU for 42 years and served 36 years as chair of the Departments of Education and Psychology.

Morlan influenced the university in many ways: he wrote the words to ACU's alma mater "O Dear Christian College," and he served as a coach, director of guidance and counseling, director of the extension department and summer session director. Morlan died in 1964 after teaching at Pepperdine University from 1958 to 1963.

The 2001 Morlan Educational Award recipient is a nationally recognized veteran of the classroom, concert and performance stage. Her teaching career spans from second grade through college level courses and performance groups.

Bircher was raised in Oregon, but came to ACU in the fall of 1953. In 1957 she graduated magnum cum laude with a major in music. She then moved to Dallas, met and married Norman Bircher, and became the mother of two sons, Preston and Lance.

Bircher's other honors include the Ross Perot Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award, the Denius Texas UIL State Music Education Award, the George Washington Medal of Honor for Medal of Honor for Excellence in Education , the Teacher of the Year Award given by the Friends of Woodrow and the Outstanding Teacher Award from the Woodrow Wilson High School PTA.

Professionally, she said she is most proud of the accomplishments of her students. Her choirs have sung for a wide variety of groups ranging from the Republican National Convention and the National Convention of Big-City Superintendents, to the Texas Choral Directors State Convention.

As an active member of the Highland Oaks Church of Christ in Dallas, she sings with the praise team. She and her husband have two grandchildren: 5 year-old Heather and 3 year-old Clayton.

The award will be presented Friday, March 30, followed by the award ceremony at 7 p.m. in the Hilton Room of the Campus Center at ACU.

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If you are a member of the media who would like more information about this release, please contact Tom Craig, director of media and community relations, at craigt@acu.edu or call 915-674-2692 (cell phone: 665-5469).


Last update: March 26, 2001
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