Jim Morris Hon. ’15 passed away on Jan. 9, 2021, at the age of 86. He was a beloved family man, community leader and founder of the Morris Oil Company of Springfield, Missouri. Morris grew up in Southeast Missouri picking cotton and peaches and spent winters in Venice Beach, California, shining shoes on the Boardwalk. His visionary business acumen was secured by the devotion he demonstrated in his faith and family, especially 68 years of marriage to his loving wife, Catherine.
As a philanthropist, Morris gave youth the opportunity to succeed. His legacy continues to benefit education and young people throughout the state of Missouri. In 2012, Morris made a transformational gift to Columbia College that allowed the college’s location in Rolla to quadruple the size of the original campus. In 2015, Columbia College presented Morris with an Honorary Degree, Doctor of Humane Letters in recognition of his lifetime achievements.
Columbia College Art Faculty Emeritus Ben Cameron passed away Feb. 5, 2021, at the age of 80. Cameron taught in Columbia for 48 years, including 38 years at Columbia College (1974-2012). Professor Mike Sleadd shares memories of the beloved teacher.
“In 1988, Ben Cameron told me there was an opening for a graphic design professor at Columbia College. I was very fortunate to join Tom Watson, Ed Collings, Sid Larson, Richard Baumann and Ben — a great group of artists, professors, colleagues and friends. We all got along well despite varied teaching styles, personalities and politics. I don’t know which was more colorful, his art or him? I enjoyed his wit and his wisdom a great deal. He had a way of blending the two that made every conversation a blast! He was brilliant in so many ways, but very much in touch with what makes a full life.”
In lieu of flowers, the family would like to set up a scholarship in Ben’s memory. Donations may be sent to Columbia College, identified for the Cameron Scholarship.