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Real Legacy: MTC Past-President establishes fund to support continued excellence

A legacy of outstanding leadership and commitment to supporting technical education is being continued with the establishment of the Dr. James R. Morris, Jr. Leadership Development Endowment Fund. Dr. Morris was MTC’s president from 1982 to 1986. He then went on to serve the citizens of South Carolina as the Executive Director of the State Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education until 1994.

“I am committed to technical education, its mission and philosophy. I am honored to help nurture the continued excellence of MTC,” said Dr. Morris.

The fund was created in recognition of Dr. Morris’ outstanding leadership and exemplary service to MTC during his tenure as president. It will be used to provide leadership development opportunities for Midlands Technical College employees who demonstrate interest and capabilities to become two-year college future leaders.

Dr. Morris is a graduate of a two-year college, earning his associate degree at Hinds Community College in Mississippi. He says his personal experiences provided the foundation for his passion for two-year higher education.

“From my education experiences to my career, I have been able to enjoy terrific support from every value associated with a technical college,” said Morris.

During his presidency, Dr. Morris was instrumental in the growth of the MTC Foundation’s endowment, began planting the seeds that all the technical colleges in South Carolina should have a college transfer program, and provided innovative leadership in technology upgrades.

“I brought technology to the entire System here, and that is one of my proud leadership legacies,” said Morris. “The first thing I did was make a commitment to creating a technology environment that would flourish for years to come.”

Morris Hall on the MTC Airport Campus is named after the past president. The building features the Educational Technology Innovation Center, providing a technology-rich central hub for both collaborative faculty and staff education, and individual work.

Dr. Morris’ legacy at MTC is honored by the building bearing his name, and now the Leadership Development Endowment Fund, into which he personally contributed $25,000. 

“I would hold up the academic excellence of our college against any four-year college or two-year college in the country. I am proud to have the opportunity to support the faculty and staff who are the backbone of MTC’s success,” said Morris.