One student’s journey transformed into fifteen years of scholarship support | Weatherhead

One student’s journey transformed into fifteen years of scholarship support

Posted 4.13.2018

One student’s journey transformed into fifteen years of scholarship support

“Mitchell just loved the program. He was really thriving. He was so happy being back in school, studying what he was studying. It was really quite beautiful,” says Elizabeth (Beth) Morse (DM ’06) about her late husband Mitchell Morse who was enrolled in Weatherhead’s Doctor of Management (DM) program 17 years ago.

Mitchell passed away in 2001, and because of his love of research and the DM program, Beth and her family and friends decided to create the Mitchell V. Morse Memorial DM Scholarship in his honor. The scholarship benefits “a DM student who embodies both a love for learning and a desire to contribute to the development of vibrant communities, to organizational performance and to the quality of our work lives.”

Beth believed memorializing her husband through a scholarship was the perfect way to remember him, but she also saw it as a thank you to the members of the DM community who had been there for her through that challenging time.  “The kindness and support that I received from John Aram [former director of the DM program] and students and faculty in the Weatherhead DM program was profound,” she says. “At the time I thought ‘this is a special place. It is the type of place and these are the types of individuals that live their values and make a difference in the world.’ Establishing the Mitchell V. Morse Scholarship was a way to give back to this special place that offered so much support for me at a difficult time in my life.”

That special place stuck with her, and after waiting some time, Beth decided to enroll in the DM program herself. It’s a decision she was considering before Mitchell’s passing, and she wanted to follow through. “When Mitchell would be home reading and studying, I would say, ‘oh that’s really interesting’ and I often told him, ‘when you’re finished with this program, I think I’ll go there too.” She did, and she graduated in 2006.

The couple’s research differed. Mitchell focused on the concept of social capital, specifically in the context of ballroom dancing. He believed dancing bridged social differences of age, socio-economic status and ethnicity. Beth, who has a background in nursing and most recently served as the Chief Nursing Officer at Medstar St. Mary’s Hospital in Maryland, studied the complexities surrounding end-of-life care. “I thoroughly enjoyed the program,” she says. “It was hard work. I loved the diversity of the students and what we learned from each other outside of the classroom content. The professors were fabulous and really challenged us to think and to have meaningful conversations.”

Beth is happy that she can help make that positive experience accessible to others through her scholarship. She reviewed the applications for a time and was continually inspired and humbled by the applicants’ work. “Knowing that this scholarship has helped so many people is wonderful,” she says. “Sometimes it’s just that little bit extra that they need so they’re not worrying about how they’re going to pay for this or that. Taking away that stress allows more creativity to come forward in whatever it is that you’re trying to study, learn or create.”


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