The 2005 College of Arts & Sciences Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award was presented to Jim Morris by Dean Kumble R. Subbaswamy at the Annual Recognition Banquet held on October 21, 2005 in Bloomington.
BA ’65 Political Science
As executive director of the United Nations’ World Food Programme, Jim Morris, oversees food aid distribution to more than 110 million people each year in about 80 countries. In 2003, he led the biggest food operation in history, providing food to nearly 27 million Iraqis after the United States-led invasion of Iraq.
A native of Terre Haute, Indiana, Morris studied political science at IU Bloomington and was active in student government. When Indiana senator Richard Lugar was mayor of Indianapolis, Morris served as chief of staff, developing education and employment programs for the city’s youth. In the evenings, he completed an MBA at Butler University.
From 1973 to 1989, Morris worked for the Lilly Endowment. He served as president for six years, helping to revitalize downtown Indianapolis, strengthen Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis, and involve private companies in public initiatives. In 1989, he became chairman and CEO of IWC Resources Corp. and Indianapolis Water Company. Throughout his career, he has lent his expertise to the American Red Cross, Butler University, the U.S. Olympic Committee, and other not-for-profit organizations.
After years of supporting IU as a professional, alumnus, and parent – Morris and his wife, Jacqueline (Harrell), BS ’65, sent three children to IU – he was elected to two terms on the IU Board of Trustees, beginning in 1996. He served as president of the board in 2001 – 02 before joining the WFP.