Marketing Junior Earns Morris Hite Scholarship


Kelsey Morrison

Kelsey Morrison (left) with Carrie Miller, AAF Dallas education chair

Kelsey Morrison, a Naveen Jindal School of Management junior majoring in marketing, is used to facing down long odds. But she is not relying on luck to secure her future. The adults in her life note that her relentless work, dedication and poise have contributed to her success.

Morrison’s latest achievement was being awarded a $1,500 Morris Hite Memorial Scholarship in January. The highly competitive scholarship, open to marketing undergraduate or graduate students who attend a university in the nine-county Dallas-Fort Worth area, is granted by the American Advertising Federation of Dallas. Morrison, in her application for the scholarship, noted she works especially hard when something does not come easily.

She applied for the scholarship after completing a summer 2014 internship at Southwest Airlines in Dallas. “Southwest Airlines internships are some of the most competitive around, and landing one is a major coup,” says Julie Haworth, director of JSOM’s BS in Marketing Program. Haworth, who wrote a recommendation letter for Morrison’s scholarship application, had her as a student in fall 2014. Morrison seemed to absorb every moment of her Southwest experience, Haworth says. “The internship really helped her understanding of the subject.”

Kelsey Morrison

Kelsey Morrison anticipating action on the volleyball court

Morrison also plays volleyball for The University of Texas at Dallas Comets as a defensive specialist and was one of 50 UT Dallas student-athletes honored by the American Southwest Conference when it recently released its Academic All-ASC Teams for the league’s fall sports.

Morrison says for her, athletics and academics overlap. “Volleyball has prepared me in ways that can’t be put on paper. It’s the growing experience, building character in times of struggle, and understanding that in anything you do or pursue, it’s not your entire life.”

“Kelsey is tremendously self-motivated and driven to succeed,” says her coach, Marci Sanders. “She seeks out opportunities to improve herself in all aspects of her life including athletics, academics and future career opportunities.” Morrison also weekly mentors volleyball players who are 5 to 10 years old.

A team of three experienced advertising professionals judged this year’s Morris Hite Scholarship applications. The competition was stiff, and in the end, Morrison along with a junior from SMU shared the top spot, with a virtual tie through the 13th decimal.

“Much like volleyball only being a game, grades disappear when you leave college; neither of these things defines you,” Morrison says. “It’s about how you grow, what you learn and the relationships you build along the way. I’ve learned not to sweat the little stuff and enjoy college while I can.”

Scholarship Honors Memory of Ad Man and UT Dallas Advocate

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The late Morris Hite (1910-1983) was the Dallas ad man for whom the Morris Hite Scholarship is named. Hite started his own advertising agency by the time he was 20 and later rose to the presidency of TracyLocke.

A longtime civic booster who helped promote construction of the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and who envisioned the Dallas Arts District, Hite also played an active role in the creation of UT Dallas.

In recognition of his efforts, UT Dallas endowed and established the Morris Hite Center for Product Development and Marketing Science in 1984.