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Dr. Anne Hodges Morgan, nationally noted historian, author and expert on the formation and operation of family foundations, trusts and not-for-profit organizations, died on Tuesday, June 14, 2022, at her Norman home after an extended illness. She was 82.
She was born on March 1, 1940, to Jeddie and Velvon Hodges in Houston, Texas, spending her teenage years in Dallas. In 1962, the year she earned her bachelor’s degree from North Texas University, she won the international debate competition televised on NBC, the experience she credited with changing her life. Impressed with her exceptional performance, one of the debate’s TV producers arranged a scholarship for her to pursue her MA degree at Columbia University in New York City.
Upon graduating, Anne went to Washington D.C., intending to become a diplomat, but her first job was handling congressional liaisons in the Library of Congress while simultaneously working as a translator for the United Nations. That experience as a congressional researcher led to becoming a legislative assistant to U.S. Senator John G. Tower of Texas.
In the late 60’s she left Washington for the University of Texas at Austin where she earned her PhD in American history in 1971, the year she married a popular young UT history professor, H. Wayne Morgan. The following year Wayne began his 27-year career in the Department of History at the University of Oklahoma, the last six as chairman, Anne soon became vice president for project development for the Kerr Foundation in Oklahoma City. Her doctoral thesis was a biography of Oklahoma U.S. Senator Robert S. Kerr.
The Morgans delighted in co-authoring and editing numerous books, primarily concerning Oklahoma and the Southwest; they traveled, interviewed, and researched together; assembled a fine private collection of art. They also supported all the other fine arts at OU, including their close friend, Marilyn Horne, and her master’s class for opera singers. Their love of entertaining made their home a center of good food and lively conversation.
In 1978-80 Anne was the grant writer and project coordinator for Oklahoma Image, which garnered the largest library grant in the history of the National Endowment for the Humanities. She and Wayne traveled the entire state studying the ethnic makeup and diverse heritage of the groups making up Oklahoma’s population, especially the blacks, Native Americans and European immigrants. Enlisting 10 other historians as co-authors and Wayne as editor-in-chief, the project produced a 10-volume series, “Newcomers to a New Land.” With so much research left over, Anne followed with “Oklahoma Memories” and later a history of domestic politics in the Kennedy administration, “Kennedy and Congress.”
With the skills she exhibited at the Kerr Foundation, Anne was soon in demand as a consultant to family foundations, trusts and not-for-profits throughout the country and to serve as a trustee to many large foundations, such as the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the Kirkpatrick Foundation, Kirkpatrick Family Fund, the Linda Pace Foundation and the Oklahoma City Community Foundation. She also served as chair of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education and was a gubernatorial appointee to the Oklahoma State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Oklahoma State Board of Vocational and Technical Education and the Oklahoma Historical Society.
Anne had the unique ability, coupled with a quick irreverent wit and lively sense of humor, to draw together the right people to implement programs to benefit the population at large, such as the Harn Homestead in Oklahoma City, and any philanthropic project that would improve the state’s library system.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 42 years, Dr. H. Wayne Morgan; her parents, Jeddie and Velvon Hodges; her sister, Sandra Hodges Gamal, and brother-in-law, Dr. Saad Gamal. Survivors include two nephews, Sherif Gamal of Arlington, Virginia, and Hazem Gamal and his wife, Elizabeth, of West Orange, New Jersey. The family wishes to thank Kelly Copeland for her many years of devoted friendship and care of Anne.
The family has designated The Anne Hodges and H. Wayne Morgan Fellowship Fund at the University of Oklahoma Foundation, 100 Timberdell Road, Norman, OK 73072 as appropriate for remembrances of Anne. www.oufoundation.org