Former E&H president Dr. Thomas Morris has been chosen by the Board of Trustees of the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges (VFIC) to serve as the Foundation’s sixth President.
Dr. Morris continues a very distinguished career in higher education having served as Secretary of Education for the Commonwealth of Virginia (2006-2010), as President of Emory & Henry College in Emory, Virginia (1992-2006) during which time he was Vice-Chair of the VFIC from 2002-04, and as a distinguished professor of political science at the University of Richmond.
A native of Galax, Va., Dr. Morris earned a bachelor's degree in government at Virginia Military Institute, studied at Princeton University, then completed his master's and doctoral degrees in government at the University of Virginia. He received fellowships for advanced study including a year each as Liberal Arts Fellow at the Harvard Law School and as fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
VFIC Chairman G. S. “Sandy” Fitz-Hugh, Jr. said, “We are very fortunate to have Tom Morris as our new President and look forward to the leadership and strategic guidance he will provide as we continue the important work and continued success of the VFIC.”
During his teaching career at the University of Richmond, Dr. Morris was selected to leadership posts, and recognized for excellence in the classroom. He was honored as a University Distinguished Educator, received numerous faculty research grants, and chaired the Faculty Council. He is widely known as an expert on Virginia government and politics and has authored or co-authored four books, including Virginia Government and Politics: Readings and Comments, Fourth Revised Edition, a 1998 work co-edited with Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia. He co-authored a chapter entitled “Republicans Surge in the Competitive Dominion” in a LSU Press Publication, Southern Politics in the 1990’s. He also wrote a chapter
on Virginia Governor Douglas Wilder for a nationally circulated book entitled Governors and Hard Times, published in 1992 by Congressional Quarterly Press, and in 1994 a chapter on Virginia and the Voting Rights Act in Quiet Revolution in the South, Princeton University Press.
Dr. Morris has written an additional 17 major articles or book chapters and served as a political analyst for television, radio, and print media over a period of twenty-five years. He chaired the Commission on Virginia’s State and Local Tax Structure for the 21st Century (1999-2000) and was a member of Governor Warner’s Commission on Efficiency and Effectiveness (2002).
Dr. Morris succeeds Edward G. “Ned” Moore who has been tapped to serve as the Executive Director of the Foundation for Independent Higher Education and Vice President of the Council of Independent Colleges in Washington, DC.
Founded in 1952, the Virginia Foundation for Independent Colleges is a nonprofit fund-raising partnership supporting the programs and students of 15 leading private colleges in the Commonwealth: Bridgewater College, Emory & Henry College, Hampden-Sydney College, Hollins University, Lynchburg College, Mary Baldwin College, Marymount University, Randolph College (Founded as Randolph-Macon Woman’s College), Randolph-Macon College, Roanoke College, Shenandoah University, Sweet Briar College, University of Richmond, Virginia Wesleyan College and Washington & Lee University. For additional information on the VFIC, visit www.vfic.org.