HCU Celebrates the Life and Legacy of Dr. Stewart Morris, Sr.

Ƶ (HCU) celebrates the life and legacy of Dr. Stewart Morris, Sr., who passed away on Monday, March 11, at the age of 104.

Dr. Morris was instrumental in the founding of Houston Baptist College in 1960, a faith-based educational institution focused on providing a learning experience that instills in students a passion for academic, spiritual, and professional excellence as a result of the University’s central confession, “Jesus Christ is Lord.”

In the University’s 60-plus year history, including its transition to Houston Baptist University, and now Ƶ, Dr. Morris was steadfast in supporting and helping sustain the University’s growth and vision of serving as a beaconing light to students seeking a solid, faith-based education.

HCU President Robert Sloan describes Dr. Morris as “one of the most outstanding men most of us at Ƶ have ever known.”

“At great personal sacrifice he has given away tens of millions of dollars to great philanthropic causes all over the United States, and we, here at HCU, have been the special beneficiaries not only of his generosity, but also of his wisdom and guidance in the founding of the university, going all the way back to the financing of the original land purchase in the 1950s. He sustained the University especially in its earliest days in times of economic distress and throughout the years has given to every major project in our history,” said Dr. Sloan.

Former President of Stewart Title, Dr. Morris used his business acumen to help secure the funding that enabled Houston Baptist College to be established and helped develop the core tenets on which the University was founded, standing firm in support of the College’s Preamble through the years.

A man of character, vision and faith, Dr. Morris left an indelible imprint on the landscape of the University, including The Joella and Stewart Morris Cultural Arts Center, established through the generosity of Dr. Morris and his late wife, Joella. He was instrumental in bringing to life the Museum of Southern History and was the founding donor to the Morris Family Center for Law & Liberty, a tribute to Independence Hall. Morris House, home to the University President, was named in Dr. Morris’ honor.

Dr. Morris has been acknowledged for his lifelong commitment to Christian higher education at HCU and through his leadership has made an impact in the lives of more than 26,000 alumni who call the University their alma mater. He was the recipient of the University’s top awards, including two Spirit of Excellence Awards, one along with his wife, Joella, and the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award, honoring both he and his wife. He was also the recipient of the inaugural Founders Medal. Dr. Morris and the Joella and Stewart Morris Foundation were recognized with The Legacy Award, the University’s most prestigious award, in appreciation of the generous support and contributions of the Morris Family.

“His wit, kindness, business acumen, and Christian commitment have touched us all deeply. He will be greatly missed,” said Dr. Sloan.

The countless contributions of Dr. Morris are interwoven into the fabric of the University and will forever serve as a testament to his enduring legacy in shaping and sustaining the private, faith-based institution.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, April 6, at Second Baptist Church, 6400 Woodway, in the worship center followed by a reception. Dr. Morris is survived by his three children, eight grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donations in honor of Dr. Stewart Morris, Sr. to the  Morris Family Center for Law and Liberty at Ƶ.

Donate by Mail:  Ƶ Advancement Lockbox, P.O. Box 4897, Dept. #527,  Houston, TX 77210

Donate Online:

Donate by Phone: HCU Advancement Office –  281-649-3222

In tribute to Dr. Morris’ profound impact in founding and shaping the University, an honorary landing page has been established to honor his legacy.

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About Ƶ

For more than 60 years, Ƶ has equipped students to lead, collaborate, and embody a deep sense of spiritual purpose. The University offers a wide range of majors, undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree programs, as well as NCAA Division I athletics in the Southland Conference. Located in the heart of one of the nation’s largest metropolitan centers, HCU’s culture of excellence molds the next generation of educated disciples to be pillars in their communities, preparing them to think critically and biblically as they impact the world.