Dean Cycles Across Washington to Raise Money for CWU

August 4, 2009

ELLENSBURG, Wash. — It’s a good thing Marji Morgan’s in shape. The Central Washington University dean cycles upward of 1,500 miles a summer, so her latest challenge — to ride 300 miles in five days — will be tough but not impossible.

Morgan, dean of Central’s College of Arts and Humanities, decided to ride the 300 miles in an effort to raise money for the college. She first got the idea after reading a story about another fundraiser ride held last summer for a veterinary clinic.

“I thought: I love to cycle, and this would be a fun, good way to raise money,” Morgan says.

During the trip, Morgan and other riders will travel up to 60 miles a day. They will start in Oroville, Wash., and travel through Tonasket, Twisp, Winthrop, Chelan and Cashmere. They will leave Ellensburg Aug. 29 and return Sept. 3.

“We will be cycling over two 4,000-feet mountain passes,” Morgan states. “We have a fundraising goal of $15,000. The money will go toward 10 students grants of $1,000 each and two faculty grants of $2,500 each.”

The group has already raised some money but is not yet close to its goal. People can sponsor the riders by visitng the Support Cycling for Arts and Humanities Web site on My Central.

The list of other riders isn’t final, but so far, music professor Chris Bruya is on board, as is his wife and nine-year-old daughter, who will follow the riders in a van donated by CWU. Music student Birken Owart and University Writing Center Director Teresa Joy Kramer will also ride. Alumni Association Director Jim Armstrong will join the group on the last day’s ride over Blewett Pass.

Kramer rides with Morgan on a regular basis, but she admits the trip intimidates her.

“I do ride quite a bit, but this is the longest ride I’ve ever done,” Kramer says. “But it’s a great cause. We’ll be pedaling to raise money for students and faculty. And as we travel through those areas of north-central Washington, we’ll be stopping and talking about CWU.”

Owart competes in the Whisky Dick Triathlon each year, and according to Morgan, “is the most in shape of all of us.”

“Most bike tour events require that you pay for them,” Owart says. “I can’t pass up a free tour!”

Owart started cycling many years ago and said he considers it a great way to commute. It’s also a good way for him to cross-train for cycling and running competitions.

Morgan started cycling when she was a graduate student at Tulane University in New Orleans, La.

“When I was just about to turn 50, I was determined to show myself I could still do the stuff I did in my 20s,” Morgan says. “I hadn’t cycled in a long time, but I went on a six-day bike tour through wine country, and I made it. When I moved here in the summer of 2005, I started up again. I feel much more comfortable riding here than anywhere else because there’s more room on the shoulder and less traffic.”

For more information about the event, visit and click on the Support Cycling for Arts and Humanities link

Original Article

2 Comments on Neat!

    • Sort of. It’s for the college of arts and humanities, which the theatre department falls under, so yes, but it’s not specifically for my program.

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