Morrisson, Dr. Maggie: Speech Communication Professor (In Memoriam)

Dr. Maggie Morrisson began her teaching career at Ohlone on September 12, 1972.  She was the original full-time faculty member in the Speech Department.  Prior to her arrival, one Public Speaking class had been taught by a Drama Instructor.  In 1972, Maggie offered two classes of Speech and within a year, she was teaching five classes each semester.  Maggie retired in June of 2000 after 28 years of teaching at Ohlone.  At the time of her retirement, the Speech Communication Department offered more than ten different communication courses.  Upon her retirement, she was granted Emeritus status.

Maggie loved teaching.  She was both a nurturer and a challenger—a unique and necessary combination for a public speaking teacher.  She believed that as a teacher she had to set the “tone” for the way she wanted students to present themselves.  Maggie was the consummate professional in all ways: the way she dressed, the way she communicated, and the way she treated her students and colleagues.

In addition to teaching, Maggie was actively involved in many aspects of campus life.  She served on numerous committees, attended Faculty Senate meetings, wrote and updated curriculum, collaborated on the proposals and plans for the Speech Communication Lab, and supported her colleagues college wide.  She mentored the faculty in the Speech Department and always had time to encourage others.  One of her important contributions to the Speech Communication department was her attention to the critical thinking requirement that the State had mandated.  She attended many meetings in Sacramento and was successful in persuading the statewide committee that Speech Communication courses did indeed teach critical thinking skills.  Ohlone was the one of the first colleges to have Speech Communication courses approved to fulfill the critical thinking requirement.

Maggie’s colleagues and students held her in the highest regard.  She was universally respected for her passionate dedication to Ohlone College and the success of her students.  In 2006, the communication lab on the Fremont campus was named the Maggie Morrisson Speech Communication Lab in her honor.

After her retirement in 2000, Maggie and her husband continued to reside in Hayward in order to be a part of their grandchildren’s lives.  She died in December 2006.