Master locksmith at Physical Plant receives Charles E. Dunbar Award


Courtesy of Morgan

Cliff D Morgan was one of 12 recipients of the 2019 Charles E. Dunbar Jr. Career Service Award. The award recognizes selflessness and commitment to one’s work.

University employee Clifton Dean Morgan was one of 12 civil service employees to be presented with an annual award that recognized his contributions to the community.

Morgan is a recipient of the 2019 Charles E. Dunbar Jr. Career Civil Service Award. The award recognizes selfless state and local government civil service employees who “distinguish themselves through unselfish service to the citizens of Louisiana,” and requires nomination, according to the State Civil Service’s website.

Morgan was the only employee from the university to receive this year’s award. The last time a university employee received the award was in 2010.

Morgan described his reaction to receiving the award.

“Just to be considered for the award was extremely gratifying, but to actually receive the award was an unbelievable feeling,” said Morgan.

The award was initiated by Charles E. Dunbar Jr., founder of the Louisiana Civil Service League 61 years ago. After nominations for the award are submitted, a committee of judges consisting of five winners from the previous years narrows nominees down to 12 recipients.

The award recognizes selflessness as well as commitment to one’s work. Morgan reflected on the importance of diligent work.

“Paying close attention to detail is very important in my work, whether it be the issuing of keys or setting up for an audio event,” noted Morgan. “Safety and security of university property and personnel is of most importance to me.”

Unaware of what to do after graduating high school in 1977, Morgan decided to apply for a job at the university. His intention of holding a temporary job position turned into a 42-year-long career at the university in which he held positions such as a professional mover, maintenance repairman and locksmith.

Morgan described connecting with people as his favorite part of working at the university.

“There is not a day that goes by that you don’t meet new people and the lifelong friendships that evolve from it,” said Morgan. “You hear people talk about the Southeastern family, and this is exactly how I feel every day here, as being with my family.”

Recipients are honored at the Dunbar Awards Ceremony held in New Orleans. Additional prizes include a commemorative plaque, “Dunbar Award Winner” license plate and a signed letter of congratulations from the governor. Winners may also be invited to take part in judging the next award.

Nominees of the award must be a classified full-time or part-time employee retiring in the same year as the award is given. Anyone can nominate an employee, and in the event that a nominee does not receive an award, they will still receive a letter stating that they were nominated.