The Morris Causes

With gifts and pledges totaling $5 million, Robert Morris is channeling his philanthropy to causes that he believes will enhance UB’s reputation as a prominent public institution of higher learning. Here’s where he has directed his joint donations with his wife, Carol.

THE MUSIC DEPARTMENT

Morris initially gave $100,000 to support the department and, more recently, $1 million to create an endowment for the Signature Center for 21st Century Music and refurbish a campus recital hall.

ARTISTIC EXPRESSION AND PERFORMING ARTS

To give one of UB 2020’s “strategic strengths” founding support, Morris pledged $2.5 million to encourage the creation of new art. The gift will benefit four initiatives:

  • Support for the “June in Buffalo” music festival and conference, concerts by UB’s professional chamber music orchestra, residencies, scholarships and other endeavors, as part of the Center for 21st Century Music. In October 2007, the center was renamed the Robert G. and Carol L. Morris Center for 21st Century Music.
  • Support for new works of art by UB faculty in music, theater and dance, new media, and visual studies.
  • Support for visiting artists.
  • Fellowships and scholarships to recruit and retain exceptional students in the arts.

THE HUMANITIES INSTITUTE

Morris gave $500,000 to create an endowment for the institute, a venue for cross-disciplinary research, teaching and community programs.

THE ROBERT G. AND CAROL L. MORRIS SPORTS PERFORMANCE CENTER

The couple’s $500,000 gift built a facility where UB athletes strength-train and condition.

THE COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES EMERGENCY SCHOLARSHIP FUND

Intended for seniors in good academic standing who are in jeopardy of dropping out because of a shortfall between financial aid and the real cost of attending UB. The fund helps students complete their degree without having to secure additional aid.

Related Reading: The Morris Magic, Propelling the Creative Arts, Help for Students in Jeopardy, Better Weight Training for University Athletes