Our Founder

“From the reaction of our audience, I believe wholeheartedly that they understood the major achievement that was happening on our stage.” 

 

 

“Dr. Andy” is the founder and director of the Penguin Project. He is Professor Emeritus of Clinical Pediatrics and the former Head of the Division of Child Development at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria. He has been the primary medical specialist in central Illinois involved in the diagnosis and treatment of children with disabilities for over 35 years.

Although retired from the University in 2012, Dr. Morgan still has an active practice and continues as a consultant to local area schools and other organizations.  Previous professional positions include Medical Director of Easter Seals of Central Illinois and the Medical Director of Pediatric Developmental Rehabilitation at the Children’s Hospital of Illinois.  Throughout his career, Dr. Morgan has been actively involved in the education of medical students, medical residents, physicians, and health care professionals. He is a frequent presenter and lecturer at meetings and conferences at the regional, state, and national levels.

In his spare time, Dr. Morgan has been actively involved in community theater for more than 30 years as a director and as a performer. He has more than 20 directing credits including “The King and I”, “Gypsy”, “Bye Bye Birdie”, “Crazy for You”, and  “Thoroughly Modern Millie.” He lists his favorite roles as Atticus Finch in “To Kill a Mockingbird” and Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof.”

Dr. Morgan created the Penguin Project ® in 2004 to combine his professional expertise with his passion for theater to give children with disabilities an opportunity to experience the performing arts.  Following the advice of Penguin parents in Peoria, he subsequently developed a replication process to bring the program to communities around the country.  There are currently 18 Penguin Projects in 11 different states.