Clinton Foundation CEO to address St. Andrews grads


Saturday’s graduation marks 119th commencement

Staff report



LAURINBURG –The leader of former President Bill Clinton initiative to help the third world is the commencement speaker for St. Andrews.

More than 120 seniors are expected graduate from the university on Saturday. The event marks the 119th commencement in the university’s history, dating back to its founding days with Flora Macdonald College and Presbyterian Junior College for Men.

Walker Morris will be the commencement speaker during the 9 a.m. event on the DeTamble Library Terrace. A native of North Carolina, Morris serves as the Chief Executive Office of the Clinton Development Initiative. In this role, he is responsible for all facets of operation of organization engaged in business development initiatives focused on agriculture in Malawi, Tanzania and Rwanda.

The mission of CDI is to establish economic empowerment of smallholder farmers in each country, build increased productivity of target crops, allow access and finance to improved agricultural inputs, and train in climate-smart agronomic practices with direct access markets for those crops. Morris handles direct partnership with 105,000 smallholder farmers for production of maize, soya and peanuts.

These smallholder farmers form the Clinton Foundation owned for-profit agribusinesses including Tukula Farming Company which operates 7200 acres of commercial farms in Malawi, 2200 acres of commercial farms in Tanzania at the Ruaha Development Company, and a peanut production company in Malawi. Morris serves as the President and Director of the parent company Acacia Development Company.

Morris joined the Clinton Foundation in 2007.

Other notable accomplishments by Morris are his efforts with the United Nations Office of the Special Envoy to Haiti. He assisted in coordinating response to the earthquake in Haiti. Following the earthquake, Morris helped to coordinate commitments toward the development in Haiti from corporations, foundations, organizations and individuals made at the Clinton Global Initiative.

Morris is a graduate the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and Duke University. He taught as an English teacher in North Carolina before transitioning to the radio business. He began in sales and worked his way up to general manager at The Village Companies in Chapel Hill.

In 1983 he became president and principal owner of Murifield Broadcasting, Inc. in Southern Pines, a licensee of WIOZ-FM and WIOZ-AM. Morris continues in this role to date.

Morris has served on many boards including the chair of the board of directors at First Health of the Carolinas in Pinehurst, Chair of the board of directors at the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Sandhills in Southern Pines and trustee of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

He is married to Kate Belk Morris, a former St. Andrews Trustee, for 38 years. The Belk Student Center and Belk Bell Tower were named for Kate’s grandfather and mother respectively.

Awards

As part of the ceremony, students, alumni and/or community members will be presented with the Sullivan Foundation Awards recognizing “individuals whose nobility and character sets them apart as examples to all.” A member of the faculty will receive the Class of 1991 Distinguished Faculty Service Award.

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Saturday’s graduation marks 119th commencement

Staff report

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