The Power of Recognition
Recognizing is nurturing: Morley and Val Blanch and the recipient of their endowed scholarship, 2nd-year student Brianne Lovstrom.
| Summer 2010
Morley Blanch stands at the podium beside his wife Val. A man of average height and size who recently retired as a full-time seed farmer, his posture speaks to the level of fitness he has obviously maintained his entire life. And the story he is about to tell confirms the fact. “Two weeks ago, I had the unforgettable experience of reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro with our youngest son,” he says. An engaging man who earned his MSc in agriculture in 1981, he goes on to reveal to the delight of the assembled crowd of 200 or so scholarship recipients, donors and faculty staff who have gathered for the annual Undergraduate Awards Reception that “I have in my own mind elevated the status of my achievement until it rivals Hillary’s ascent of Mount Everest.” Laughter ensues. He explains in all seriousness that he wouldn’t have gotten to the top without his support team, namely his son, his wife (who stayed home and worked… because somebody has to) and a team of 10 people who guided him and his son, cooked for them and carried all the necessary equipment. “I just walked and climbed,” he said. “Each day on the mountain, the peak loomed large and at times seemed unattainable, but in the end the team helped me get there.” Val Blanch, who appears just as fit as her husband, explains that while Morley and their youngest son were climbing the highest mountain in Africa, which peaks at 19,341 feet, she sat comfortably in her La-Z-Boy at home and
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