UD Alumna and Local TV personality Bette Rogge Morse

On Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015, our community lost an alumna and friend, Bette Rogge Morse. Bette was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio. She graduated from the University of Dayton in 1944 before attending Northwestern and Columbia Universities for post-graduate work in English and drama. She returned to the University of Dayton and received her master's degree in 1977. She was an active radio and television personality in the Dayton area since 1951, when she began a series of commercial appearances. From 1967 to 1972, she hosted The Bette Rogge Show, a variety show on WHIO-TV, where she had also worked as women's editor and a commercial announcer. She hosted subsequent shows on other local television stations including Getting Together With Bette Rogge on GTV-19, Culture Scene on DGTV/DATV, and Senior Chronicle on FOX45.

Bette began teaching communications classes in 1977 at the University of Dayton, where she was also head of the University's Mother's Club and one of the first women to serve on the University's Board of Trustees (1975-1981). For her service to the community and university, Bette was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters in 1999.

Morse was active in civic affairs in the Dayton area, holding numerous positions such as president and campaign chairman of Montgomery County Easter Seals; president of the Salvation Army Advisory Board; member of the Board of MS; and charter member, along with her husband Wayne Morse Sr., of the University of Dayton's President's Club. The greater Dayton area recognized Bette's service to the community with the Hope Chest Award, Lily Award, and the Distinguished Service Award.

Wayne H. and Bette Rogge Morse donated two collections to the University of Dayton Archives and Special Collections. The Wayne and Bette Morse collection on the Kenley Players consists of programs and documents related to the Kenley Players in Dayton, Ohio, between 1966 and 1995. The second collection, Bette Rogge Morse papers includes an accumulation of audiovisual recordings, documents, photographs, and other materials following her long career, some of which can be viewed online in eCommons. Collection material not available online can be viewed by visiting the University of Dayton Archives and Special Collections.

Image is Bette Rogge Morse with actor William Shatner. 

-Jennifer Brancato, University Archivist & Coordinator of Special Collections


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