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NEWS

August 31, 2011

RSU to present Constitution Award to Judge Joseph Morris Sept. 15

Judge Joseph Morris
Judge Joseph Morris

The Honorable Joseph W. Morris, former United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, will be named the recipient of the Rogers State University Constitution Award at a ceremony and luncheon on Thursday, September 15, 2011.

The ceremony and luncheon will be held at 12 noon in the Ballroom of the Centennial Center on RSU's Claremore Campus, 1701 W. Will Rogers Blvd.

Each fall since 1987, RSU has presented the Constitution Award to an Oklahoman who has demonstrated a strong commitment to the principles of the U.S. Constitution through his or her life's work. The RSU Constitution Award was established in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the adoption of the U.S. Constitution.

"We are proud and honored to present the Honorable Joseph W. Morris with this distinguished award," said RSU President Dr. Larry Rice. "As a judge and legal educator, he has diligently guarded the principles of the U.S. Constitution and passed those values on to those he taught and mentored."

Past recipients of the RSU Constitution Award include Senior Judge Stephanie K. Seymour, Chief Judge Robert Henry, Gov. Frank Keating, Judge Lee R. West, U.S. Rep. Lyle Boren, Judge Fred Daugherty, Chief Ross Swimmer, U.S. Speaker Carl Albert, Judge William J. Holloway, Jr., Jenkin Lloyd Jones, Gov. Henry Bellmon, Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher, Mayor Patience Latting, Justice Marian P. Opala, Sen. David Boren, Hannah Diggs Atkins, Joint Chiefs Chairman William J. Crowe, Jr., Judge James O. Ellison, Alex Adwan, Judge Thomas R. Brett, G.T. Blankenship, Sen. Charles Ford, Sen. Penny Williams, Sen. Anthony Massad and Gov. George Nigh.

The Honorable Joseph W. Morris served as Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma from 1974-1978.

He received A.B. and LL.B. degrees from Washburn University in 1943 and 1947, respectively. He also earned LL.M. and S.J.D. degrees from the University of Michigan Law School in 1948 and 1955, respectively.

Morris served for three years as dean of the University of Tulsa College of Law where he taught Oil and Gas Law for more than 20 years and continues to teach Arbitration Law.

Prior to his deanship, Morris served in the legal department of Shell Oil Company and as general counsel for Amerada Petroleum in Tulsa. After retiring from the bench, he served six years as vice president and general counsel of Shell Oil Company.

Since 1984 he has been a member of the board and a shareholder of the law firm Gable Gotwals, Tulsa. During that time, he has focused on matters of alternative dispute resolution and has chaired or served as an arbitrator in a substantial number of commercial arbitrations, both domestic and international.

He also serves as a trustee for the Sarkeys Foundation and was formerly a State Regent of Higher Education for the State of Oklahoma.

In addition to past recipients of the Constitution Award, the Board of Governors includes Mitch Adwon, Jan Miller, James Morrison and RSU President Dr. Larry Rice.

For more information on the RSU Constitution Award and Luncheon, contact the RSU Foundation at (918) 343-7768.