Nancy Mitchell Morris


Nancy Morris

2013 COSAM Distinguished Alumna

Nancy Mitchell Morris '64

Nancy Mitchell Morris, a native of Griffin, Georgia, received a B.A. in Chemistry and Education from LaGrange College prior to earning a master’s degree in inorganic and analytical chemistry from Auburn University. Her education prepared her for an illustrious career with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that spanned thirty years.

Nancy’s research has been reported in over sixty publications and presented at over forty conferences, both national and international. As a research chemist, she used spectroscopic techniques to study agricultural products, chemically modified products, and their interaction with the environment.

In 1977, Nancy was a member of the Technical Paper Competition Committee that won second place at the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists National Technical Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. She was awarded the USDA Award for Overall Research Performance in 1983, and is a three-time recipient of the USDA Appreciation Award for Performance. In 1991, Nancy was presented the Superior Service Award for the USDA, an award she would receive for the next six years. Once listed in the Outstanding Young Women of America, Nancy is a member of Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, as well as Iota Sigma Pi, the chemistry honor society for women.

Nancy met her late husband, Cletus, in the chemistry library at Auburn. As students, they spent many hours together in Ross Hall, where they discovered a shared love of chemistry research. Each spent rewarding careers as distinguished researchers at the USDA Southern Regional Research Center in New Orleans.

While in New Orleans, Nancy organized “Fun Sciences for Families,” a joint venture of the American Chemical Society, Jefferson Parrish Schools, and local scientists. She served on several advisory committees in the Jefferson County School System and headed the first “Take Your Daughter to Work Day” in 1995.

Even in retirement, Nancy stays busy as an integral part of many historical, civic and philanthropic organizations. She is a charter member of The College of Sciences and Mathematics (COSAM) Society of Women in Sciences and Mathematics and has established scholarships in COSAM, including one in memory of Cletus.