John Selwyn Morris, PhD

john morris

Title: Philosopher, Educator, Academic Administrator (Retired)
Company: Union College
Location: Hamilton, New York, United States

John Selwyn Morris, PhD, Philosopher, Educator and at Academic Administrator (Retired) at Union College, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in religion and philosophy.

Professor Morris has always felt a shepherding instinct, embodied first by his work as a minister in Wales, and later by his long career in the United States as a student and teacher of Philosophy and Religion with Colgate University, which he would come to lead as its Dean. After many years of dedicated service at Colgate University, Prof. Morris joined the faculty at Union College and taught as a professor of philosophy from 1979 to 1990. During this time, he was also president and chancellor of the institution. In 1990, Prof. Morris retired, receiving the honorable professor emeritus title. His teaching career began in 1960, when he signed on board as an instructor at Colgate University, eventually becoming a full professor as well as Provost and Director of University Studies and of Humanities during his time there.

In his own academic pursuits, Prof. Morris first earned a Bachelor of Arts at the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire (now Cardiff University) in 1951. He continued his studies at Cambridge University, earning a Master of Arts in 1953. Following this, he relocated to the United States and earned a Master of Arts from Colgate University and a PhD from Columbia University. In the subsequent years, he was honored with an honorary LLD from Hartwick College, and an honorary LHD from Elmyra College and a DLitt from Skidmore College in 1991. Furthermore, Prof. Morris served in the Royal Air Force from 1943 to 1947.

In a review of his contributions to religion and philosophy, Prof. Morris earned a Union College Founders Medal in 1990, a Schenectady Patroon Award in 1989 and a Distinguished Service Award. He was presented with a fellowship to Cardiff University. In his career, he maintained professional affiliation with the American Association of University Professors, the American Philosophical Association, the American Academy of Religion, the Royal Institute of Philosophy, the Society for Study Theology and the National Welsh American Foundation. Without a doubt, the most inspiring moment in Prof. Morris’ life was arriving on the SS Queen Elizabeth in New York Harbor in the early 50s. Watching the Statue of Liberty materialize on the horizon as dawn broke ignited a feeling of freedom and endless possibility that would remain with him for the rest of his life.

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