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A Gift for Future Lawyers

Mike Morris's professional headshot, in a suit, blue shirt, and patterned tie.

A Gift for Future Lawyers

A $1 million gift from Michigan State University College of Law Trustee Mike Morris and his wife, Linda, has created a charitable lead trust to provide scholarships and a fund for initiatives identified by the dean.         

Morris, an alumnus of MSU Law, joined the MSU Law Board of Trustees in 2010, and in 2011 he created the Morris Family Scholarship. In 2014, Morris received the Honorable George N. Bashara Jr. Distinguished Alumni Award at the College of Law spring commencement.

Morris was an evening law student, working during the day to support his education. So he understands the importance of providing financial assistance to those who need it.

“We’re grateful to Mike and Linda for their support of MSU Law students,” said MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon. “Mike’s leadership on the MSU Law board has been exceptional, and his storied career will continue to inspire the future lawyers who will benefit from the Morris’ generosity.”

Morris served as chairperson, president and CEO of American Electric Power from 2004 to 2011. He has also held top positions at several other major utility companies. Currently, Morris serves as a director of the boards of Alcoa, Battelle, Limited Brands, The Hartford Financial Services Groups and Spectra Energy Corp.

With this most recent donation, the Morrises now join the John J. Danhof Society, the highest donor club at MSU College of Law.

Charitable lead trusts can provide income payments to a qualified charitable organization for a period of years, after which trust assets are paid to either the grantor or to one or more non-charitable beneficiaries named in the trust instrument.

MSU is seeking scholarship and graduate fellowship support to help students through the Empower Extraordinary campaign, a $1.5 billion capital campaign publicly launched in the fall 2014. To date, the College of Law has raised more than $18 million in the campaign, with more than $4 million in gifts for student support.

For more information, or to make a gift to the MSU College of Law, contact Senior Director of Development Tina Casoli at or call (517) 432-6840.