Caitlin Conley

The Morris Endowed Honors Scholarship

Caitlin ConleyUniversity of Tennessee Haslam Scholar Caitlin Conley’s college dreams were made a reality by Steve and Laura Morris, who established the M. Steven and Laura Capps Morris Endowed Honors Scholarship at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The scholarship program is in collaboration with the Haslam Family Scholars Program Endowment, which provides a distinctive four-year educational experience that includes a practical internship, a study-abroad mini-term, and a thesis.

Caitlin Conley will never forget the day she met Steve and Laura Morris, who are making her college dreams a reality.

“It seemed surreal that absolute strangers would invest in me and care about my journey through college,” said Conley as she recalled the dinner she had with the Morrises. “I want to do something for them to say thank you. But they just want me to be the best student that I can.”

Conley is part of the university’s first-year class of Haslam Scholars and the first student to benefit form the M. Steven and Laura Capps Morris Endowed Honors Scholarship, awarded to an outstanding student each fall. The Morris Endowed Honors Scholarship was established in partnership with the university’s premier scholarship effort created by UT benefactors Jim, Natalie, Jimmy, and Dee Haslam. The Haslam Family Scholars Program Endowment provides each Haslam scholar with a laptop, a study-abroad stipend, and other benefits while individual scholarships, such as the Morris Endowed Honors Scholarship, provide funding to recruit the brightest students.

Raised in the Morrises' hometown of Franklin, Tennessee, Conley said she plans on staying in touch with the Morrises and hopes she can be a godsend like them someday.

—Chandra Harris-McCray
Photo credit: Justin Fee
Appeared in Spring 2009 Alumnus