BOISE -- Three months after her death, Velma V. Morrison's family helped put together a celebration of her life at the Velma V. Morrison Center for the Performing Arts at Boise State University.
Morrison was a well-known philanthropist who contributed to a variety of organizations around the state through the Morrison Center Endowment Foundation and Harry W. Morrison Foundation.
"The best words that describe Velma Morrison is she was a force of nature," said Boise State President Dr. Bob Kustra. "There was no way to say 'no' to Velma Morrison. When she got an idea, she was going to make sure it found a way to reality."
Morrison was a big BSU supporter and a longtime patron of the arts. She always wanted to make sure others, especially children, could experience world class art without leaving Idaho.
In that spirit, for the celebration of her life, Morrison's family brought in Tony-award winning Broadway star Brian Stokes Mitchell to give a free concert along with the Boise Philharmonic Orchestra, with Robert Franz conducting. They performed some of Morrison's favorite show tunes while her favorite seat in the balcony was illuminated with a bright light.
"It's appropriate... she deserved that. She would have wanted that. She made this center to bring in the best of the best," said Justin Wilkerson, Morrison's grandson and President of the Morrison Center Endowment Foundation and Harry W. Morrison Foundation.
Though after 92-years, she is gone physically, her legacy will remain, in her contributions made all around the state to bring the things she loved to her family, her friends and her community.
"The community, they can look at Velma's life, and they can see, wow, look what she did. Maybe I can do that. Maybe I can do some of these things," Wilkerson said.
"She was just this person that had this enormous personality, a twinkle, a sparkle in her eye that was magical that would capture you the moment you met her, and she just wasn't going to let you go until she accomplished what she knew was best for children, for patrons of the arts, for all the people here in Boise," Kustra said.