For Luke Morris ’06, Wagner College was the place where he learned to work hard, be persistent, and continually strive to be better. And he could not be more happy about how his college experience challenged him.
At this point in his career, Morris has become one of the youngest people ever named a vice president at Fidelity Investments. Working out of Tampa, he has almost $1 billion in assets under management and was inducted into the Practice Management Institute for Fidelity’s top one percent of advisors.
“I attribute my success to Wagner,” he says. Although he is only in his early 30s, he has already put a plan in place to give a significant portion of his assets to establish a scholarship for economics students at the College.
“To give someone else an opportunity to succeed in a similar field would be very meaningful,” he says.
Morris grew up in Washington, DC, in a family dedicated to national service. His father, Jay F. Morris, served in the White House during the Reagan administration, and retired as the deputy administrator of USAID. His father’s father, Major General Isaac Sewell Morris, was a West Point graduate who served in the Army from 1932 to 1963.
Wagner’s fledgling lacrosse program brought Luke Morris to Grymes Hill. They did not win many games, but they soldiered on as a team. “It was like a full-time job,” he says. To this day, the team members remain close.
His favorite classes were also tough and demanding, especially those taught by Steve Snow, professor of political science. As an international affairs major, Morris took quite a few courses from the professor who expected perfection. “I thank him for being hard on us,” Morris says. “He sets you up to be successful in the real world.”
In addition, Professor Mary Rose Leacy’s economics classes fascinated him, and he was proud to be a part of the inaugural class of the economics honor society established with her guidance.
Besides the professors’ high quality and high expectations, Wagner offers unique programs that set students up for success, says Morris: learning communities that connect different disciplines, community service integrated into the curriculum, and internships throughout.
He and his wife, Jera, met during a tour of Rome, Italy, when he was finishing his master’s in finance from the University of Tampa. They now have a two-year-old son, Robert Jay. The family is committed to charitable giving toward several causes, including Wagner College.
Morris credits his father, who passed away in 2008, for influencing him to give back. “My father always reminded me it is important to be successful and that I should strive for personal success; however, it is even more critical, if in such a position, to be significant to our country,” he recalls.
“I think a quote from Horace Mann exudes this philosophy: ‘Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.’”