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Fall 2013

Architecture Alumnus Elevated to College of Fellows

Morris Brown is currently an instructor in the Texas Tech University College of Architecture at El Paso.

by Karin Slyker

Morris Brown

Among the 80,000 professionals who make up the American Institute of Architects (AIA), only about 3,000 are elevated to the College of Fellows. Now, a pair of identical twin brothers with ties to Texas Tech is among them.

Morris Brown, an instructor in the Texas Tech University College of Architecture at El Paso, joins his brother, Terrance, in this honor. Now retired, Terrance was elected a fellow in 2001. Though their professional honors were received a dozen years apart, Morris and Terrance began their education together at Montana State University. Eventually they transferred to Texas Tech to complete their undergraduate studies.

“My brother and I earned our bachelors of architecture from Texas Tech in 1969,” Morris said. “But we’ve been apart ever since.”

On a commission from the ROTC, both men were destined for military service after graduation. Terrance went to Vietnam while Morris, who was married with a child, was scheduled to follow. Plans changed after Morris learned he was medically disqualified.

“I suffered from high-frequency hearing loss,” Morris said. “So I took my portfolio to the art department, where I entered their graduate program at Texas Tech.”

Morris earned his Master of Fine Arts in sculpture and taught interior design before moving in 1978 to El Paso, where he was instrumental in starting with James Langford the community college associate degree program for architecture.

In addition to his current position as professor in the TTU architecture program, Morris was honored among distinguished alumni in 2008 and is an active member of the El Paso Chapter of AIA. He also is the educator member director for the Texas Society of Architects, and designed and illustrated “Portals at the Pass: El Paso Area Architecture to 1930.”

AIA members who have made significant contributions to architecture and society, and who have achieved a standard of excellence in the profession on a national level may be elected to the College of Fellows by a jury of their peers. Morris was honored for his contributions to education and his commitment to historic preservation.

“Leading up to the announcement, I was awarded Scout Master of the Year by the Boy Scouts of America and earned the Silver Beaver Award,” Morris said. “Three days later, I was notified about the fellowship. I’m walking on air.”

Morris is the first faculty member in the College of Architecture to be elevated to fellow. He was recognized June 21 at an investiture ceremony at AIA’s National Convention and Design Expo in Denver.

The College of Architecture honored Morris in Lubbock at the 15th Annual Convocation Ceremony and Distinguished Alumni Roundtable in April.

About the College of Architecture at Texas Tech

The College of Architecture at Texas Tech offers Bachelor of Science in Architecture, Master of Architecture and Master of Science in Architecture degrees, as well as Ph.D. programs in land-use planning, management and design.

The college also offers graduate certificates in historic preservation, digital design fabrication, healthcare facilities design, and urban and community design.

Follow the College of Architecture on Facebook and Twitter.

Karin Slyker is a Senior Writer in the Office of Communications and Marketing at Texas Tech.

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