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Murray Work ’53

As a child in Chicago, Illinois, Murray’s insatiable curiosity was cultivated at the progressive Francis W. Parker School into a love of science, music, and art. He served as an army medical tech during the Korean War, stationed in Honolulu. After starting at William and Mary College and then studying biology at Reed, Murray finished his bachelor’s degree at Tulane University, where he also earned both a master’s degree and a PhD.

Murray then launched a more than 35-year career as a psychology professor at California State University, Sacramento. During his tenure, he was a Fulbright fellow and awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to conduct research on hagfish at Cambridge University in England and at the University of Bergen in Norway. Graduate students remember diving in the American River for the eel-like lamprey used in Murray’s research lab.

While touring the country as a teenager in a 1929 Model T Ford, he met Harriette Hawkins, the love of his life. They were married for more than 64 years and had two daughters, Lucie Payne and Emily Gorin.

Throughout his life, Murray championed social justice and civil rights causes, and volunteered for the nuclear freeze, antiwar, and progressive political movements.

Appeared in Reed magazine: June 2018

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