Phillip Morse, Jr. ’16 chose to pursue his education at Shenandoah because of his focus in criminal justice and the Shenandoah baseball program. “I didn’t want a big city school or to be known as a statistic in the classroom!” explained Morse. “At SU, everyone knows you by name and I think that’s key when developing relationships with your professors, advisors, fellow students, etc.”
During his time at the university, the baseball team won its first ODAC Conference Championship in school history and Morse became the first Shenandoah baseball player to be drafted to a major league team in 25 years. “The university helped me change my life,” said Morse. “I wasn’t the best student in high school. I had learning problems and wasn’t getting good grades! I graduated from Shenandoah with a GPA above 3.0 in four years. From professors to the dining hall staff, they helped bring a smile not just to me, but to everyone they came into contact with, and that’s a beautiful thing.”
In June 2019, Morse became a police officer for the City of Alexandria. He was awarded the Silver Medal of Valor by both Fairfax County and City of Alexandria for his part in the apprehension of a double homicide suspect from an incident that occurred in July 2022.
Prior to becoming a police officer, Morse was a professional baseball player for the Washington Nationals. In his two seasons as a professional baseball player, Morse has played for the Gulf Coast League Nationals, Auburn Doubledays and Hagerstown Suns.
Morse has found that being able to live out his lifelong dream, and represent Shenandoah at the professional level is his most rewarding career experience. “Shenandoah changed my life and is, to this day, the best adult decision I’ve made in my life!” said Morse. “I have met so many people who are still so supportive to this day as they watch my career in professional baseball. I was able to attain a criminal justice degree and graduated on time in four years in 2016! Life after baseball is now a possibility thanks to Shenandoah University.”
Morse’s advice for students is: “Criminal justice is a tough field, especially in today’s society. I compare it to picking a college: find the type of job you want to do and what can best fit you in the criminal justice department. For example, I want to be able to provide my service to the community and to protect and serve. So, when baseball is done, I’ll be looking into becoming a police officer!”