The battle has come to an end for 50-year-old Betty Ann Shema-Morris, a proud alumna who has served Temple for nearly 30 years. On Saturday, Nov. 4, Mrs. Shema-Morris passed away in her Lansdale home after years of fighting cancer.
“She’d say, ‘It’s something I have, something I’m dealing with and that I’ll overcome. Betty Ann always [faced cancer] with dignity and strength. She never complained,” said Diana Herman, a friend and Secretary for Ambler and Tyler Student Services.
In 1972, Mrs. Shema-Morris came to Temple’s Main Campus as the assistant director of financial aid. One year later she married John F. Morris, Ed. D., Temple’s director of student financial services. A woman with rosy cheeks and, as Herman said, “A smile that lit up the room,” She moved on after 10 years to Temple’s Ambler Campus and then Tyler School of Art. Since 1992, Mrs. Shema-Morris has served as Tyler’s assistant director of financial aid.
In an office that is considered to be high in both pressure and volume, Mrs. Shema-Morris kept her sense of humor.
“We were like Laverne and Shirley. I was Laverne and she was Shirley,” Herman said about her 25-year work relationship with Mrs. Shema-Morris.
Mrs. Shema-Morris also established a reputation among students as a caring and concerned administrator.
Not only did she work diligently at Temple for all these years, but she also attained degrees in Spanish, Horticulture, and an MBA from the Fox School of Business and Management. She demonstrated her school spirit with her involvement in a number of school activities. The Temple University Owl Club, the Twenty-Year Club (whose members are longtime Temple employees), and the Business Honor Fraternity, Beta Gamma Sigma, are just a few of the associations Mrs. Shema-Morris participated in during her years spent with Temple.
“We are devastated by the loss of this extraordinary daughter of Temple University. Betty Ann taught us, by her own example and enthusiasm, to become a more caring and loving university, placing students’ education and life experience above everything else. We will miss her dearly, and feel blessed that she was one of us all these years,” said Chancellor Peter J. Liacouras.
An endowed scholarship is being established in honor of Mrs. Shema-Morris at Temple.
Requirements for the scholarship are still pending, but hopes are for the first scholarship to be awarded next year. By the end of next week the endowment agreement should be completed and signed.
Contributions can be made by sending a check payable to Temple University in care of Kathleen Richards in Student Financial Services.