All in the Family

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It began as a familiar Cairn love story: Harold Morrison ’78 and Robin (Palmer) met on campus and fell in love. After graduation, they settled down and had a family. Many children of Cairn alumni end up attending their parents’ alma mater. But the Morrisons had 10 children, and all of them would choose to attend Cairn, including the youngest brother, Elijah Morrison ’24.

Eli’s oldest brother was already attending Cairn when he was born, so Eli cannot remember a time when the University was not a regular part of his life. As he grew up, he was routinely on campus to support his family’s alma mater through sports games, homecomings, and other events.

As the time came for Eli to graduate, the college decision weighed heavily on his mind. Caught somewhere in the middle of not wanting to break the family tradition and desiring to be his own person, Eli wasn’t even sure he wanted to go to college at all. While he weighed his options, he continually had interactions with faculty and staff who would remember his name, would talk to him about his interests, and were willing to invest in him before he was a student:

“During the recruiting process, Coach Gibson handwrote letters, showed interest in me, and initiated phone calls—actual genuine phone calls—to check in and see how I was doing. I know it’s part of the recruiting process, but it was genuine.”

Ultimately, it was this interest in him as an individual and the culture of the soccer team that convinced him that being the tenth Morrison sibling to attend Cairn was the right choice.

“There is a small amount of pressure being a Morrison, but it’s also fun to be a part of that legacy. I get to talk about my siblings and their accomplishments. I’m proud of them, and getting to talk about them with professors who ask about them is just fun for me.”

As Eli continues to represent his family on campus as the youngest Morrison, he has found his own place as “just Eli” on the soccer field, in the classroom, and in his community.