Velma Morrison was a long-time supporter of Boise State University and was pivotal in the establishment of a performing arts center in Boise. The Velma V. Morrison Center for the Performing Arts on the Boise State University campus, opened on April 1, 1984, is named after her.
A native of California, Velma worked as a nurse in Alaska, as a riveter during World War II, and as a restaurant owner. She married Harry Morrison, co-founder of the Boise-based engineering and construction firm Morrison-Knudsen Co. (credited with building the Hoover dam and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge). Velma lived with her husband in Boise until his death in 1971. Harry had been a long-time supporter of Boise State and it was his dream originally to build a performing arts center. Velma took over the cause after his death.
In 1984, Velma received the Silver Medallion from Boise State University, the university's highest recognition for service. She was also names an honorary lifetime member of the Boise State University Foundation in 2004. And in 2010, she received an honorary doctorate from the university in recognition of her philanthropy and support. In addition to her support of Boise State, Velma worked extensively with the Harry W. Morrison Foundation, donating millions of dollars to various organizations across the state, including the World Center for Birds of Prey.
- The Bluebird Will Sing Tomorrow: Memoirs of Velma V. Morrison, Kitty Delorey Fleishchnab.
- Boise philanthropist Velma Morrison dies at 92, KTVB News, Boise, ID