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Dr. Stewart Morris, Sr. to receive first HBU Legacy Award

President and Mrs. Robert B. Sloan invite you to the HBU Spirit of Excellence Gala, presented by The Joella & Stewart Morris Foundation  on Nov. 11, 2021 on the Houston Baptist University campus. The Joella and Stewart Morris Foundation will be honored with the first HBU Legacy Award in appreciation of the great influence the family has had in the founding, sustaining and prospering of Houston Baptist University. The event, benefitting Morris Family Center for Law & Liberty, will feature Keynote Speaker Tim Tebow.

During the gala, Esther Wong will be presented with the Spirit of Excellence Award and Colonel Newton Cole, Barbara Taylor-Cox ’81 and Ray Cox ’81 will be presented with the President’s Award.

HBU President Robert Sloan on Each SOE Honoree

From the founding, sustaining, and flourishing of Houston Baptist University, Dr. Stewart Morris and his family have been profoundly significant during the 60-plus years of HBU. The Joella & Stewart Morris Foundation is the recipient of the first Houston Baptist University Legacy Award for all the family has done and continues to do at HBU. Dr. Morris, your lasting influence, your determination, and your personal sacrifices for the University have been deep and wide and profound.

The Spirit of Excellence Award is one of the University’s highest honors, and we present it to Esther Wong. She has inspired and encouraged us. Esther’s mother, Julia Tan, left a legacy that she has continued through her own philanthropy, supporting so many Christian causes. We are grateful Esther chose HBU to honor her mother through the establishment of the Spahr-Tan Center for International Education.

What a privilege it is to present the President’s Award to Barbara Taylor-Cox ’81 and Ray Cox ’81. When I think of all the things you have done for HBU, the list would be many pages long. All of us who know you, know of your wonderful and steadfast love for the University. And, all of us know you give God thanks for your deep and inspiring Christian witness.

It was such an honor to be able to award the President’s Award to Colonel Newt Cole at an event in the fall. I have a deep respect for his ministry as an Air Force Chaplain, minster at Tin Cup, and mentor to young pastors. He had such an impact for the cause of Christ in this world and his legacy will continue at HBU through the Linda & Colonel Newton V. Cole Endowed Scholarship for Christian Thought. (Colonel Newton Cole: September 7, 1928 – March 30, 2021)


To join us for the celebration, visit HBU.edu/Spiritofexcellence

Thank you to our Friends of the Gala

Nichole & Benny ’86 Agosto • Betty Beard • Ann E. Bradshaw • Lucy & Willie Carl • Cemex – Scott Ducoff • Judy & Bob Craig • Linda & Archie Dunham • Elaine & Marvy Finger • Rhonda & Michael Graff • Judy & Geren Graham • Ronald Harrell • Lisa & Al Hartman • HBU Alumni Association Advisory Board • Houston’s First Baptist Church • Martha & Jim Hunt • Cyndi & Keith Jacobson • Becky & Steve Kerns • Dr. Allene Lucas • McGriff, Seibels & Williams, Inc. • Memorial Hermann • Walter P Moore • Becky & Malcolm Morris • The Joella & Stewart Morris Foundation • Melissa & Matt Morris • Judi ’94 & Mark Pyburn • Jan & Jerome Smith • Sherry & Jim Smith • Alex & Randy ‘84 Sorrels • Strake Foundation • Tellepsen Family • Cindy & Dan Wilford • Dena & Jay Williams • Dr. Diane ’93 & Stanley Williams