HBU donors, alumni, friends, faculty, and staff, along with local and state leaders, joined Dr. Stewart Morris, Sr. and his children, Stewart Morris, Jr. and Lisa Morris Simon ’76, for the construction groundbreaking of the $23-million Morris Family Center for Law & Liberty Complex on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, on HBU’s campus. At 101 years old, Dr. Morris carries on a legacy of leadership and giving through the Joella and Stewart Morris Foundation. Steve Munisteri, Senior Advisor to Governor Greg Abbott, presented a certificate from the Governor’s Office in honor of the event.
The Morris Family Center for Law & Liberty at Houston Baptist University was founded in 2013 by the University to ensure HBU students graduate with an understanding and appreciation of American history and of our nation’s founding principles.
Dr. Robert Sloan, HBU President, said, “The building will evoke Independence Hall and may make you think of a museum, but it’s not meant to be a museum. Our students will benefit from the classroom nature and learning experience this building will represent. It’s absolutely vital that we maintain the faith that has been handed to us. We intend to promote those important aspects that have to do with human freedom and dignity, worship and faith, and free enterprise. They reflect the human dignities that God has given us and caused us to embrace through Jesus Christ, His Son.”
Dr. Chris Hammons, HBU Professor of Political Science and Director of The Morris Family Center for Law & Liberty, said, “We believe our nation’s founding documents are worthy of our students’ attention. We will read the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and our Bill of Rights. We will study history, government, law, philosophy, and economics. We will ask tough questions about how we see ourselves as a people, what our obligations are to others, and what kind of a nation we want to be.”
The Rev. Gregg Matte, Chair of the HBU Board of Trustees, said, “This Center will be a landmark to greater Houston, to Texas, and beyond. It’s a declaration for the passion we have to speak into the lives of students. We want to learn from the past so we can step into the future.”