Morris Hall has had three iterations throughout the life of the University. The first Morris Hall was built in 1894, one year after the passing of its namesake, and was paid for through profits from the sales of The Spirit-Filled Life, Thaddeus Reade’s biography of Samuel Morris. At that time, the first floor served as a kitchen and dining hall, and men were housed on the second floor. In 1958, the hall was reconstructed as a four-story hall for 176 men.
Today’s Morris Hall, completed in 1998, is the university’s most modern large-scale residence hall, and its largest in terms of square feet. Commonly known on campus as "Sammy" after its namesake, Sammy houses 300 men, and features a basement rec room, air conditioning, and centrally located lounges on each floor. With long-standing traditions, sometimes-secretive activities, and highly developed floor identities, Sammy’s male communities offer the closest Taylor equivalent to Greek letter housing.
The two main hall-wide events are Dude Week and Deed Week, which take place in the spring and fall, respectively. Dude Week focuses on masculinity, brotherhood, and humility. Deed Week highlights values such as gratitude, simplicity, and kindness, with emphasis on small service opportunities residents encounter on a daily basis.
Namesake: Samuel Morris
Late 19th-century Taylor student Samuel "Sammy" Morris is perhaps the greatest single figure in Taylor’s history, taking on a prominence and mythos that surpasses even the University’s namesake, Bishop William Taylor. Known for humbly requesting, “the room nobody else wanted,” Morris embodies the Taylor ideal of servant leadership, and is Taylor’s first and greatest model—Taylor’s “original” servant leader.
Morris was born Prince Kaboo, the eldest son of a Kru tribal chieftain in Liberia. As a child, he was kidnapped and held for ransom by a neighboring tribe. Morris escaped and fled to Monrovia, where he met a missionary graduate of Taylor (then Fort Wayne College), and was led to Christ and baptized. Morris arrived at Taylor in 1891, where he had an enormous impact on the campus and its city before his untimely death in 1893. Referred to as a “Christian mystic and apostle of simple faith,” Morris was an ardent preacher who saved many, and inspired others to serve as missionaries to Africa.