25th anniversary of murder of Susan Morris on UWF campus

David and Marcia Morris
Special to The Voyager

On January 11, 1993, which was a Monday, our daughter, Susan Morris, never made it home from her first night class of the new semester.  She was found on Wednesday, January 13th, brutally murdered and buried in the woods near the Nature Trail.  

Her killer was a young parole violator from Indiana who needed to change cars.  He was on the run because he had sexually assaulted a girl in Panama City on New Year’s Eve.  He is on death row, having exhausted all appeals up to and including the U.S. Supreme Court.  To our knowledge, the Governor can sign a death warrant at his time of choosing.

Sue, majoring in Television Production, arrived on campus late morning.  In the afternoon she moved her car to another parking lot so as to be nearer the building where her night class was to be taught.  Unfortunately, the parking lot was basically deserted when she came out of her class.  She went to her car alone, instead of asking someone to accompany her.  

Susan Morris was a TV Production major at UWF in 1993.

As a result of her murder, the “Just Two It” campaign was initiated and alarm boxes were placed at locations around campus. Students and friends initiated a scholarship in Sue’s memory, and we thank the Communications Department and the UWF Foundation for their work in awarding and managing it.

Unfortunately, recent events worldwide continue to remind us that there are, and always will be, evil people who seem to enjoy killing others. We urge the faculty and students to remember to be alert to your surroundings when on campus, especially at night.

We moved from the Pensacola area in 2012, now live in another state, and can’t easily go visit Sue’s Memorial Bench. We thank the faculty and students, especially her sorority and the fraternity that claims her as their little sister, for faithfully remembering Susan on these anniversaries, and other times of the year.

If you have time, go to the bench, sit a while and contemplate where you want to go in life. Then go on, study hard and be careful, but enjoy your time while at UWF and afterward.

That is what Sue would want you to do.

19 Responses to 25th anniversary of murder of Susan Morris on UWF campus

  1. Bill Merchant says:

    The brothers of Sigma Alpha Mu, to this day, have not forgotten nor ever will!

  2. Allie says:

    One of the first things we were told during our new member process I Alpha Gam was Susan’s bench. I frequently pass it to go to class and when I can I stop and just think about life as one does in college. I will never forget all of our chapter standing around her memorial and singing for her. It was also lovely seeing Sigma Alpha Mu sing for her too.

  3. Don Welker says:

    For the short time that Susan was a sweetheart for Delta Eta Chapter of Sigma Alpha Mu, she made a huge and lasting impact. She was a big supporter of our organization from its founding day at UWF. I was one of the original Founders who made the memorial bench a reality. It was my hope that people would take a moment from their busy day and use this place for reflection and solitude. I am so proud of my fraternity for continuing to maintain both the bench and help keep Susan’s memory alive. Rest in peace Susan.

    • Dave Morris says:

      Don,
      Marcia and I will be forever grateful to you for spearheading the project of the bench and the sign. I remember well the day it was dedicated. When you took the cover off the sign, it literally took my breath away. Blessings.

  4. Tyler says:

    Susan will forever live on in the hearts of the brothers of Sigma Alpha Mu. We miss and we remember Susan everyday.

  5. Beth Edwards says:

    We were initiated into Alpha Gam together. Every 5 years there is a reunion of sorts. All of our pledge class who attend go together to Susan’s Bench. Hundreds of girls have become Alpha Gams In part because of the time & work Sue put in as a Charter Member of Alpha Gamma Delta at UWF. We will never forget. #Loyally

  6. Amy Zavadil says:

    Think of her often. Thank you for continuing to honor her memory and encourage safety for all.

  7. Kimberly Lovius says:

    I remember her fondly and think of her often. She was a sister and helped to choose me to join the awesome group of women who are my sisters as she is in memory. Thank you for continuing to honor her memory.

  8. Tish says:

    Susans’s was one of my pledge sisters and I am honored to always count her as one of my sisters. I think of her often and each time I return to UWF I stop at her bench. She will always be our angel.

  9. Dana B says:

    I lived on campus in the Fall of 1993, and our dorm leader told us her story. I then became an Alpha Gam, and we learned more and visited her bench often. It’s such a sad story and tragic loss. It’s important to honor her memory, tell her story, and encourage continued safety in a world that can be both beautiful as well as very cruel.

  10. Jennifer Jennings says:

    I will always remember her and count her as one of my sisters. I think about her often. I know she would love what Alpha Gam and her fraternity have become.

  11. Patti Hope says:

    Will always remember my sweet sister!

    • Deborah Dunlap says:

      My daughter Devan was just a few months old when your precious daughter was so brutally murdered. Devan graduated last month with a BS in Psychology from the University of West Florida. I hope you will take heart in the fact that many young women including my daughter sat on Susan’s bench, said a prayer for her and became more aware of their surroundings because of Susan. As a parent, I cannot begin to comprehend the unimaginable pain that Susan‘s death caused you and your family. May God bless you and give you peace.
      Deborah Dunlap

  12. Evangeline Leventhal says:

    Saying a prayer. Thank you for this reminder about Susan. I remember being in Dr. Lal Goel’s class when they came in to inform her best friend that her body had been found. I served as a student representative on the committee that developed the “Just 2 It” campaign. I pray that it’s message still resonates with people, not only at UWF, but anywhere at night in dimly lit places that could harbor someone with ill intent. Restaurant & retail employees closing up for the night…leaving a club or party…going out for an evening run. Just 2 It!

  13. Christina Stephens says:

    Can’t believe it has been 25 years. She was such a good friend and I still miss her!

  14. Tim Christenson says:

    Susan was such a special person that was loved by all that met her. It truly is a beautiful thing that her memory is kept alive by the ones she impacted the most just by her being her wonderful self. I miss her greatly as we all do.

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