Houston Baptist University has announced a $10 million gift from Stewart Morris, Sr. and the Morris Foundation to establish a center for law and liberty.
The gift will fund construction of a building, modeled after Independence Hall, for the Morris Family Center for Law & Liberty, which will work to educate students about the ideas that make America exceptional; train and equip teachers, lawyers, and the business community to articulate and defend the nation's founding principles; and facilitate civil discourse about American politics, public policy, and the country's future.
Morris, who began working at Stewart Title Guaranty Company at the age of 10, earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Texas, a JD from Southern Methodist University, and a midshipman's degree from Columbia University. During World War II, he served in the South Pacific and subsequently returning to Houston to expand Stewart Title into national and international markets as president and co-CEO. In 1960, he helped establish what was originally called Houston Baptist College. Later, with his late wife, Joella, he endowed a number of scholarships and created the Morris Cultural Arts Center. He currently serves on the board of HBU.
"I have believed in HBU throughout my life as being a Christian university where students get a great education, and are encouraged to love the Lord and their country — in that order," said Morris. "Values like patriotism, duty, and honor may seem old-fashioned, but they are important to the future of our nation. University students should be taught about our nation's Founding Fathers, and why the principles of liberty, limited government, the rule of law, and free enterprise are important to their future."
(Photo credit: Houston Baptist University)