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Joseph Morris Jr. will be remembered through CCCC scholarship

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Click to enlarge,  Herman Joseph Morris Jr. (center) is pictured between his parents, the Rev. Dr. Herman J. Morris Sr. and the Rev. Denese Battle Morris. The parents are establishing a scholarship in memory of their son.

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Herman Joseph Morris Jr. (center) is pictured between his parents, the Rev. Dr. Herman J. Morris Sr. ... (more)

07.23.2015College GeneralCollege & CommunityStudents/GraduatesFoundation

SANFORD -- Herman Joseph "Jo" Morris Jr. worked hard and dreamed harder.

Following high school and after hearing his parents' plea to continue his education, he listened and enrolled at Central Carolina Community College. "My parents set the example that education was a necessity and requirement," Jo Morris stated in a 2007 interview. At the time of the interview, he was attending the N.C. Central University Law School, having completed his Bachelor degree studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his Associate degree studies at CCCC.

While at CCCC, Morris served as a Student Ambassador - a position granted to a select group of high achievers.

He lived his dreams and eventually started a law firm.

Morris, a 2005 graduate of Central Carolina Community College, died earlier this year, two months shy of his 33rd birthday. His parents, also CCCC graduates, are establishing a scholarship in his memory.

The Rev. Dr. Herman J. Morris Sr. and the Rev. Denese Battle Morris, who are pastors at Prevailing Life Ministries and owners of the Manna Christian Book Store in Sanford, fondly remember their son.

"He touched a lot of people's lives," said his father, who shared stories of his son helping others.

Now, what was to be a family scholarship will now serve as a memorial for Morris Jr. while helping CCCC students.

Joseph Morris was one of five children. At age 7, he had childhood leukemia and underwent approximately two years of treatment before he was cleared.

A 2000 graduate of Lee County High School, he took several years off from school before deciding to go to CCCC.

"We kept urging him," said Dr. Morris. "Once he went to community college, it seemed like his mind was focused. He knew what he wanted."

"He was always concerned about other people and other people's needs," said his mother. "Joseph's motto was, 'In control of my destiny.' He was in charge of his own destiny."

"The pain is impossible to really describe," said Dr. Morris of the loss of his son. "We thank God for the 32 years and months that he was here with us and what he accomplished. And we hope to always keep his legacy alive."

The Morrises hope that the Herman Joseph Morris Jr. Scholarship will make a difference in the lives of those who may have a dream to go to school but not have the necessary funds.

"Joseph was a fine young man and an incredible ambassador for CCCC. He loved this school and he loved his time here," said Emily Hare, Executive Director of the CCCC Foundation. "Joseph was an inspiration to others and he wanted to inspire his peers to earn an education and live up to their full potential. This scholarship is his parents' way of sharing Joseph's love for CCCC and education with others. CCCC changed his life. Now, this scholarship will pay it forward and change another life."

For those who would like to honor the memory of Herman Joseph Morris Jr., contributions toward the scholarship can be made to the CCCC Foundation. Checks can be mailed to the CCCC Foundation, 1105 Kelly Drive, Sanford, N.C. 27330-9046. Please make sure to denote on the check that the funds are for the Herman Joseph Morris Jr. Scholarship.

For information on giving to the Foundation, contact Emily Hare, Executive Director of the CCCC Foundation, by telephone at 919-718-7230 or by email at

The CCCC Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization affiliated with, but independent of, the college. It receives donations of money and equipment on behalf of CCCC and uses them to promote the educational mission of the college and assist students through scholarships and grants.

For more information on Central Carolina Community College, visit