Rising from office clerk to the head of a publicly-held international corporate giant, Stewart Morris has devoted his career to the management, growth and expansion of Stewart Information Services Corporation (SISCO) and its subsidiary companies known as Stewart Title. Morris succeeded his father, William Carloss Morris, after his death in 1950, when Stewart Title was comprised of only eight offices and a handful of Texas-based agents. Morris, with older brother Carloss, has seen the company expand to 50 states and 13 foreign countries, presently with offices and agents in over 9,000 locations. He is past president and past co-chief executive officer of SISCO, chairman of the Executive Committee of Stewart Title Company and chairman emeritus of Stewart Information International. In 1995, he was inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame.
Morris received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin in 1943 and was granted an honorary doctorate from HBU. A graduate of Midshipman’s School at Columbia University, Morris served in the Navy as a Lieutenant JG on LST 38 in the South Pacific during World War II. In 2006 Morris and his wife Joella received honorary doctorates from Washington & Lee University.
A founding father, twice past chairman and currently a member of the Board of Trustees of HBU, Morris and his wife contributed significantly to the establishment of HBU’s new Joella and Stewart Morris Cultural Arts Center.
Morris and his wife, Joella, have dedicated their lives to community service, in particular to the restoring and honoring history. The Greater Houston Preservation Alliance has awarded Joella and Stewart with the 2007 President’s award for outstanding leadership in historic preservation. Morris is a past advisory trustee of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, former director of the Harris County Heritage Society and Galveston Historical Foundation, past chairman of the Carriage Museum of America, and honoree life trustee of the Carriage Association of America.
Morris restored and endowed the 1842 house on the campus of Washington & Lee University, now known as the Morris House, which contains suites for visiting dignitaries. Together, the Morrises lead the 1881 restoration of the Stewart Title home office in Galveston, where they imported 16 granite columns from the Galveston County Court House, erecting 10 of them on the HBU campus to symbolize the Ten Commandments.
Morris participated in the 200th anniversary of the Reenactment of George Washington’s funeral, as broadcasted on CNN, and has financed the restoration of the stables and carriage coach house at Mount Vernon. He received the prestigious Paul Carrington Chapter No. 5, Sons of the American Revolution George Washington Service Award in 2004, given to a person who manifests the highest quality of public and private life as exemplified by the Father of the Country.
Morris has served as trustee and secretary of the Oldham Little Church Foundation that financially assists over 200 small churches annually. He is a past national trustee of the National Jewish Center and a past honoree of the National Jewish Center for Immunology and Respiratory Medicine’s Trustees Dinner of Houston.
Morris serves as a Deacon from Second Baptist Church of Houston and is past senior chairman of the board of Southern National Bank; past trustee of the Star of Hope Mission; and past honoree of the Memorial Hermann Hospital Foundation, Galleria Chamber of Commerce and Fort Bend County War on Drugs.
Today he drives “Four in Hand” – four high Courage Gray horses with a carriage from his collection of 50.