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Morrison Handsaker ’29

Morrison Handsaker ’29, March 5, 1994, in Watertown, Massachusetts. After graduating with a degree in economics, he attended the University of Chicago and received a PhD in economics in 1939. Handsaker married Marjorie Linfield, also a student at the university, in 1934. In 1937, he filled a one-year vacancy at the University of Washington in Seattle, and then obtained a post at Occidental College in Los Angeles, where he completed his dissertation. Morrison remained at Occidental for five years. During World War II, he worked for the National War Labor Board as a mediation officer, and later was an economist for the Office of Price Administration. In 1946, he became professor and chairman of the department of economics at Lafayette College, Easton, Pennsylvania, where he taught until his retirement in 1975. Morrison was a Fulbright lecturer in the University of Sheffield, England, in 1957–58, and at two Japanese universities in 1964–65. In 1957, he received an award for superior teaching at Lafayette College. During his studies at the University of Chicago he became interested in labor-management arbitration, and he developed an arbitration practice that grew throughout his teaching career. After retirement, Morrison continued his arbitration practice, and also wrote two arbitration textbooks, which are used extensively in college and university courses. He also wrote a number of articles on labor relations and arbitration, several of which were coauthored with his wife. Morrison was named by presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy to serve on emergency boards to help resolve major labor disputes of railways and airlines. In 1989, he was honored by the National Industrial Relations Research Association for his significant contributions to the field of industrial relations. His wife died in 1988. Handsaker is survived by a daughter and two grandchildren.

Appeared in Reed magazine: February 1994

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