Rome, Georgia (PRWEB) February 16, 2012
William S. “Billy” Morris III (’52), chairman and CEO of Morris Communications Co. and publisher of The Augusta Chronicle, will be the ninth speaker in Darlington School’s annual Class of 1953 Lectureship Series. He will deliver his address to Upper School students and faculty on Wednesday, March 7, at 11 a.m. in Morris Chapel.
According to class agent Mike Luxenberg (’53), the lectureship was established in April 2003 to commemorate the class’ 50th reunion. “It was a wonderful opportunity for each of us to help Darlington continue its tradition of providing an outstanding education for all students, and also a means for us to say ‘thank you’ for the fine education we received at Darlington,” Luxenberg said.
At Darlington, Morris was a member of the Glee Club, junior varsity football team, cheerleading squad and the staff of The Darlingtonian student newspaper. He now leads Morris Communications, a diversified, mid-sized media company operating across the United States and abroad. The company owns and operates newspapers, radio stations, visitor publications, magazines and book publishing businesses, event marketing and online services.
A native Augustan, Morris is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a degree in journalism. He has served as chairman and member of the Board of Directors of the Newspaper Association of America, and is a former director of The Associated Press and the Advertising Council Inc. He received the first Bottom Line Award from the Media Management Club of the University of Georgia for his contributions to publications management education at the university.
His many honors include selection as the 1983 Outstanding Alumnus of the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communications, and induction into the Mass Communication Hall of Fame at Texas Tech University. He is a former member and chairman of the University System of Georgia Board of Regents and has served on the boards of trustees of the Augusta College Foundation, Paine College and the University of Georgia Foundation.
In addition to serving on the Board of Trustees of Columbia Theological Seminary, Morris is a former director of the National Science Center Foundation, and former director of the Southern Company and Georgia Power Company. He is a founder and former chairman of the Greater Augusta Sports Council, director and president of the Atlantic Coast Cutting Horse Association, founder and show chairman of the Augusta Futurity, and chief executive officer of the National Barrel Horse Association of America.
He is also the founder and chairman of the Board of the Morris Museum of Art, which he established in memory of his parents. It is the first museum to focus on the art and culture of the American South. In memory of his father, he also established the Morris Eminent Scholar’s Chair in Art at Augusta State University and the William S. Morris Chair of Newspaper Strategy and Management at the University of Georgia. In memory of his mother, he established the Florence Hill Morris Scholarship at Columbia Theological Seminary.
A life trustee of Darlington School and visitor emeritus, Morris was Darlington’s 2002 Distinguished Alumnus and served as chairman of the Campaign for Darlington. He is married to the former Mary Sue “Sissie” Ellis of Columbus, Ga., and they have two sons, a daughter, and six grandchildren. His son, Will, graduated from Darlington in 1979 and is a former trustee.
Founded in 1905, Darlington School is an independent, coeducational, college-preparatory school for students in pre-K through grade 12, with boarding in grades 9-12. For more information, visit http://www.darlingtonschool.org.