William S. Morris III Distinguished Lecture Series
Billy Morris is chairman and chief executive officer of Morris Communications Co.,
headquartered in Augusta, Ga. It publishes 31 daily newspapers, 11 nondailies and
17 shoppers throughout the country, as well as 13 magazines and specialized publications,
including several with nationwide distribution. Other divisions include travel book
publishing and distribution, outdoor advertising, radio broadcasting, direct marketing,
commercial printing and computer services.
He is a native Augustan and graduate of the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism. He served as chairman and as a member of the board of directors of the Newspaper Association of America. He is a former director of the Associated Press, the Advertising Council Inc., the Southern Company, the National Science Center Foundation, and Georgia Power Company. He is a former member and chairman of the University of Georgia System Board of Regents. He formerly served on the boards of trustees for Augusta College Foundation, Paine College and the University of Georgia Foundation.
He is chairman and former president of the Greater Augusta Sports Council and chairman of the board of the Morris Museum of Art, which he established in memory of his parents, Mr. and Mrs. W.S. Morris Jr. In memory of his father, he also established the Eminent Scholars Chair of Art at Augusta State University, and the William S. Morris Chair of Newspaper Strategy and Management at the Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. In memory of his mother, he established the Florence Hill Morris Memorial Scholarship at Columbia Theological Seminary.
His many honors include selection as the 1983 Outstanding Alumnus of the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, and his 1989 induction into the Mass Communications Hall of Fame at Texas Tech University's College of Media & Communication.
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.
2015 Distinguished Lecture:
Director, Political Communication Lab
Harry & Norman Chandler Professor of Communication
Professor of Political Science
Talk Title: The Polarization of America: Fear and Loathing Across Party Lines
Previous Distinguished Lecturers:
2014 - Dhavan V. Shah: Mobilization, Socialization and Participation in a Digital Age: Building the Communication
Louis A. & Mary E. Maier-Bascom Professor
Watch Dhavan V. Shah's Lecture
2013 - Esther Thorson: Journalism and the Art of Reaching Audiences: There's nothing so practical as a good
Director of research for the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia
Watch Ester Thorson's Lecture
2012 - Steve Honley: "Was the War in Iraq Worth Fighting?"
Editor-in-Chief, Foreign Service Journal, American Foreign Service Association
Senior staff of the U.S. National Library of Medicine
View more former distinguished lecturers »
Would you like to nominate someone to be a William S. Morris III Distinguished Lecturer?
Please contact us by e-mailing executive assistant to the dean Kimberly Wagnerat email@example.com, and tell us what national figure you believe we should consider inviting for this special distinction.