January 25, 2002

This month, the Charles E. Young Research Library (YRL) is spotlighting Professor Donald G. Morrison of UCLA Anderson for capturing the American Marketing Association's Gilbert A. Churchill Award for Lifetime Achievement in Marketing Research in 2001.

Presented annually by the AMA Marketing Research Special Interest Group, the Churchill Award honors the academic researcher who has contributed in an exceptionally significant way to the field of marketing research. Each month, the YRL exhibit highlights a UCLA faculty member who has received a major honor in his or her field.

Morrison's body of work is well represented in the exhibit, which is displayed in the main floor lobby of the library through the end of January. The exhibit includes a biography of Morrison and selected bibliography of his scholarly work, along with books, journals, photographs and the AMA Lifetime Achievement Award. Among the featured works are the professional journals, Marketing Science and Management Science. Morrison is the founding editor of Marketing Science, which is the leading quantitative journal in marketing, and served as editor-in-chief of Management Science for eight years. The showcase also includes the book, Stochastic Models of Buying Behavior, which Morrison co-authored with William F. Massey and David B. Montgomery.

Along with the impressive scholarly research, the exhibit also offers a glimpse of Morrison's favorite pastime: sports. A black-and-white photo shows a young, sprightly Morrison competing in the long jump while a student at MIT in 1961. Morrison was captain of the track team during his senior year. He was a conference champion in the long jump and finished 3rd in the New England championships in that event.

Since his best jump was 22 feet, 10 inches (about six feet shy of the world record), Morrison never entertained thoughts of going to the Olympics instead of pursuing an academic career. Morrison jokes, "For an MIT engineer, I was a good long-jumper."

He adds: "I was a very good high school and Division 3 athlete, but I knew from the time I was in high school I'd never make a dime in any sport - I just enjoyed it."

Another photo portrays Morrison with former UCLA Chancellor Charles E. Young, Charles E. Young Jr., and UCLA Athletic Director Pete Dalis during a charity golf tournament in July 2000.

Since 1994, Morrison has served as the UCLA faculty athletics representative to the NCAA, responsible for eligibility and compliance matters. The post has a great perk — Morrison has opportunities to spend time with many of UCLA's coaches and athletes.

Even some of his scholarly research deals with sports. One of his articles on display is titled, "On the Optimal Time to Pull the Goalie: A Poisson Model Applied to a Common Strategy in Ice Hockey" (Management Science, 1976). The paper examines the strategy of pulling a goalie when your team is behind late in the game and using him as another forward. Morrison found that most coaches wait too long before they pull their goalies.

Morrison said the Los Angeles Kings' owner, general manager and coaches all had access to the paper, but doesn't know if it influenced their game strategy.

Of all his lifetime achievements — at least academically — Morrison is most proud of the fact that six of his former Ph.D. students have become endowed chairs at other universities. All of their names and academic institutions are listed in the exhibit.

"You give them roots and then wings," he said. "It's rewarding to watch them grow as scholars."

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