Cedar Hill Graduate Named Mr. Texas Southern University

Montgomery Morris, a Cedar Hill High School Class of 2018 Graduate, had his heart set on playing NCAA Division I College Basketball at Texas Southern University (TSU) while studying Business at the Houston-based university.

A standout player for Cedar Hill High School, Morris led the Longhorns to the playoffs in 2018 and received scholarship offers from NAIA, Division II and Division III schools.

At TSU, he was one of 40 individuals who tried out for the perennial Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) powerhouse. And he made it to the final five.

Instead of thinking about what could have been, Morris came up with a new plan – to dedicate himself to community service. Some of that community service includes work at local food banks and participating in clothing drives during the holiday season.

It was that goal that led Morris – who just completed his junior year at TSU – to be named Mr. Texas Southern University. The announcement was made earlier this month, and he’ll be sworn in as Mr. TSU on June 1.

“Whenever TSU needs someone to represent the university, speak to donors or attend various community events, that’s what Mr. TSU does,” said Morris, who is studying Business Management with a minor in Sport Management.

Being elected Mr. TSU was an honor and part of a long, rigorous process.

Morris first had to meet the grade point average requirement and write a brief bio.

Once he was one of three finalists, Morris went through a private interview with a panel of five judges, followed by an oratory speech. He entered the formal wear phase of the competition and was required to showcase his “TSU Tiger Spirit.” That was followed by an impromptu Q&A Session.

In addition to the judges’ choices, there was a component in the competition where the TSU student body had a say in determining the winner.

“Texas Southern University has done wonders for me,” Morris said. “I want to be able to help others and be that impactful role model. I’m so excited for the work that I’ll bring toward this role, in leaving my legacy here at TSU.”

Morris was born in the southeast Texas city of Beaumont, about 87 miles north of the TSU campus.

He has family in both Beaumont and Houston and had always wanted to attend a Historically Black College and University (HBCU). Morris attended “Tiger Day” at TSU in 2017, and the rest is history.

“I felt like I was at home – the feeling that I got when I set foot on campus was unreal,” Morris said.

Although the Mr. TSU honor is a new one, Morris had served as Mr. Sophomore on the Royal Homecoming Court in 2019.

Morris had attended CHISD since elementary school, starting at Waterford Oaks Elementary and also attending Belt Line and West intermediate campuses and Bessie Coleman Middle School.

At CHHS, he was very involved with the Business Professionals of America (BPA) chapter.

He is especially grateful for his mother, Tonya Kirkendoll Lewis.

“My mother is the reason that I am here today,” Morris said. “She has always believed in me and wanted me to be more than just an athlete. She instilled in me being a scholar-athlete at a young age. She has showed me the importance of being able to adapt in any environment so that I can be the most successful version of myself. My mother plays a very important role in my life aside from the accolades and different things I’ve been able to receive and be awarded. She knows her son is doing big things in life and will continue to make her proud.”

Upon graduation from TSU next spring, Morris hopes to work as a sports agent.

“I want to my own business and manage it,” Morris said.