Dr. Morganti, born in Clarksdale in 1939 and a native of Rosedale, graduated from Rosedale High School in 1957. He received a baccalaureate degree from the University of Southern Mississippi, master’s degree from Mississippi State University and doctorate from Delta State University. He also completed the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University.
He served as a news reporter for The Hattiesburg American, Delta Democrat-Times, The Clarion-Ledger and The Associated Press before joining Delta State in 1971 as director of public information. From 1976-78, Dr. Morganti served as Press Secretary to the late Gov. Cliff Finch and returned to Delta State in 1979.
In 1993, he was promoted to vice president for University Advancement and in 2000 to vice president for Executive Affairs and Chief of Staff, a role he filled until his retirement in June 2002. Upon retirement, he was granted the title of vice president for Executive Affairs and Chief of Staff Emeritus.
Dr. Morganti was elected to membership in several journalism and educational honorary societies and served as president of three statewide organizations: the Mississippi Sportswriters Association, the Mississippi Collegiate Press Association and the College Public Relations Association of Mississippi. He was a founder of the Staff Council at Delta State, recipient of the H.L. Nowell Outstanding Support Staff Award, inducted into the Delta State University Hall of Fame and received the Wall Street Journal Award for achievement in journalism.
In 2008, he was presented the Bologna Performing Arts Center’s President’s Award for his leadership in the development and success of the Center, serving as its chief administrative officer and Chairman of the BPAC Advisory Board from its inception in 1995 until his retirement in 2002. In 2011, Delta State named the atrium in Kent Wyatt Hall the “Leroy E. Morganti Atrium” in honor of his dedicated service and loyal support to Delta State. During dedicatory remarks, the facility was described as representing what Morganti meant to so many people and to the university. “These pillars are strong, yet unassuming, and serve to support this building…just as Dr. Morganti has quietly supported so many people, whether personally or professionally, and provided support for Delta State for over 30 years. He is a true Statesman and we are honored to have his name forever etched in this building.”
Dr. Morganti resided in Benoit and Cleveland during recent years and wrote a weekly newspaper column for the Delta Democrat-Times in Greenville and The Bolivar Commercial in Cleveland. He was known and endeared for his quick wit, storytelling, words of wisdom, and encouragement of others. He was a quiet and gentle man who had a way with words, both written and spoken. He was a kind and genuine person, and he made a difference in the lives of everyone he met. He was a humble man and always had a few moments to share his wisdom with others. He will be missed by many, but forgotten by none.
He was preceded in death by his parents John Hayes Tucker and Rosa Graziosi Tucker, his father Edward Morganti, a sister Virginia Morganti and brother Leroy Morganti who both died during childhood, his brother Robert Morganti, and his son Reed Andrew Morganti.
He is survived by two sons, John Edward Morganti of Brandon, and his wife Linda and their children, Michael Andrew Morganti and Matthew Connor Morganti, and Bryan Taylor Morganti of Madison, and his son Taylor Reed Morganti.
Visitation will be held in the Leroy E. Morganti Atrium of Kent Wyatt Hall at Delta State University from 4-6 p.m. on Sunday, September 9, 2012.
On Monday, September 10, 2012, visitation will be held at 1:00 p.m. in the lobby of the Bologna Performing Arts Center at Delta State University followed by the memorial service at 2 p.m. in the Delta and Pine Land Theater of the Bologna Performing Arts Center.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be sent to the Leroy and Reed Morganti Memorial Scholarship Fund (https://www.deltastategiving.org/Fund/Give/2 ) at Delta State University, Box 3141, Cleveland, MS 38733. Cleveland Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.