G.S. “Don” Morris, professor emeritus of kinesiology and health promotion and co-founder of the Cal Poly Pomona Motor Development Clinic, died Aug. 21. He was 67.
Morris died at UCLA Medical Center of melanoma, according to The Panther newspaper at Chapman University. In his retirement, Morris was an adjunct instructor in the College of Education Studies at Chapman the past six years.
Morris earned his bachelor’s degree at Rutgers University, his master’s degree from the University of Montana, and his doctorate from the University of Oregon.
He was an associate professor in the health, physical education, dance and recreation department at Montana State University for three years before coming to Cal Poly Pomona in 1978.
Morris was an expert in pedagogy, especially innovative and elementary physical education. In the early 1980s, he wrote an influential book, “How to Change Games Children Play,” whose concepts are still employed.
Morris co-founded the Motor Development Clinic at Cal Poly Pomona in 1978 after receiving two federal grants. The clinic, which he led for the first five years, serves local children who need help with motor and social skills. It also allows university students to work with children with disabilities.
“Students will remember his passion for their learning, his great sense of humor, and his goal to help make all future teachers responsible individuals,” says Professor Perky Vetter, chair of the kinesiology and health promotion department and current director of the Motor Development Clinic.
He also was a Fulbright Scholar in 1985, traveling to Norway to research the self-esteem of physically challenged individuals. He was a professor in residence at Beitostolen Health Sport Center and lectured at Norwegian Sport College in Oslo.
Morris was selected for a Marshall Research Award for his work with physically challenged individuals. He also won a University Research Award to investigate violence among Israeli, American and German youth.
Morris also served as an adjunct professor in the Department of Preventive Cardiology at UC Irvine’s School of Medicine from 1991 to 1996.
He retired from Cal Poly Pomona in December 2002 and continued teaching in his retirement. In addition to his work at Chapman University, he taught kinesiology and health promotion classes at Cal Poly Pomona every winter quarter for the past seven years.
He had homes in Shaver Lake, northeast of Fresno, and in Israel, where he spent half of the year.