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ASU urban management grad student fellowship named for respected city executive Jane L. Morris

Deadline to apply for the fellowship is March 3


Headshot of Jane L. Morris smiling at the camera with mountain scenery in the background.

Jane L. Morris, whose name will be attached to a fellowship in the ASU Marvin Andrews Fellowship in Urban Management program. Photo courtesy Bryan Raines

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February 09, 2023

A two-year program for Arizona State University graduate students seeking careers in local government administration named for former Phoenix City Manager Marvin Andrews today honors another accomplished municipal executive as well.

Thanks to a gift from the family of the late Jane Louise Morris, one of the fellows selected each year for the two-year Marvin Andrews Fellowship in Urban Management will be designated as the Jane L. Morris Fellow.

The first Morris Fellow will be recruited during the 2023 spring semester to join the other graduate students participating in the 2023–25 Andrews program. The deadline for interested students to apply is March 3.

Professor Shannon Portillo, director of the ASU School of Public Affairs (SPA) that is home to the Andrews program, said the fellowship pays tribute to Morris’ longtime role in local government.

“Jane Morris made incredible contributions throughout her career as deputy city manager of the city of Phoenix and executive director of the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. We are honored that her family is paying tribute to her legacy by creating the Jane L. Morris Fellow as part of the prestigious Marvin Andrews Fellows in Urban Management program,” Portillo said. “We are deeply appreciative of the family’s support of future public service professionals and honored to prepare students to continue Jane’s legacy of public service.”

Bryan Raines, a retired Mesa assistant city manager and husband of the late Jane Morris, said his family is grateful for the opportunity to pay tribute to her long legacy of service through the fellowship.

"As a family, we are excited that this contribution will help strengthen the fellowship program and provide opportunities for deserving students while honoring Jane for all her efforts as a public administrator and ASU Master of Public Administration alumna," Raines said.

Morris, who died in 2016 at age 57, had followed in her father’s footsteps. Bob Morris was city manager of Glencoe, Illinois, for 31 years. Jane’s career spanned more than three decades of service to local government that included more than 25 years with the city of Phoenix and concluded by serving for many years as executive director and CEO of Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. Initially, after his wife’s death, Raines began working with the Arizona City/County Management Association’s (ACMA's) Women Leading Government (WLG) initiative to establish the Jane L. Morris Scholarship. The scholarship continues to provide funding for Arizona women working in local governments to attend ACMA and WLG professional development conferences.

Morris’ family decided last fall to provide the gift to the ASU Foundation for a New American University to fund the fellowship and honor her memory after meeting with ACMA members and ASU staff who were involved in forming the Andrews program.

Raines met with retired Mesa City Manager Mike Hutchinson, retired Chandler City Manager Lloyd Harrell, retired Gilbert Town Manager George Pettit, retired Mesa Assistant City Manager Kari Kent, as well as with the following ASU faculty members: Dean and President’s Professor Cynthia Lietz from the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions, Portillo and Cynthia Seelhammer, an SPA professor of practice who coordinates the Andrews program and is a former city and county manager.

The ASU program is named for Andrews, who served for 13 years as city manager of Phoenix, the largest council-manager government in the United States and considered by many to be the “best-run” U.S. city. In 1986, City and State Magazine named him the best city manager in the United States. He retired in 1990 and remained active in city affairs for 10 more years. Andrews died in 2004 at age 75.

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