Morris Family Center for Law & Liberty named finalist in HBJ's 2023 Landmark Awards  

HOUSTON, March 14, 2023 – Houston Christian University’s Morris Family Center for Law & Liberty was selected as a finalist in the Houston Business Journal’s (HBJ) 2023 Landmark Awards.

The Landmark Awards “recognize real estate projects that make a significant impact on Houston and help sculpt the look, feel and image of the city,” according to HBJ, creators of the awards program.

The real estate project, constructed by Tellepsen and Jackson & Ryan Architects, was chosen as a finalist in the education category. The Morris Family Center for Law & Liberty was among 61 finalists chosen in 17 categories to receive this year’s awards. Other finalists selected in the education category include: 1) The Branch School, 2) College of the Mainland – Industrial Careers Building, 3) Fort Bend ISD – Lakeview Elementary School, 4) The San Jacinto College Anderson – Ball Classroom Building and 5) Bellaire High School.

“Tellepsen and Jackson & Ryan have been great partners with HCU. We are grateful for their high integrity and excellence in all things,” said HCU President Robert Sloan.

The nomination period for the annual awards was from January 1 – December 31, 2022 for real estate projects completed in the Greater Houston area. Nominated projects were recognized for excellence in land planning, design, construction, economics, marketing and management.

HBJ’s editorial team judged entries on the real estate project’s impact on Houston in terms of job creation, innovation, best use of land, site plan and development of surrounding neighborhoods. Projects were also evaluated on their visual plan, amenities and environmentally-friendly construction.

HCU’s Independence Hall, the central building of the Morris Family Center for Law & Liberty complex, is part of a 19.5-million-dollar, 360,000 sq. ft. construction project completed in the summer of 2022.

Dr. Christopher Hammons, Director of the Morris Family Center for Law & Liberty, led the efforts to make the project a reality with the blessing of Dr. Sloan and the pivotal support of HCU Founding Father Dr. Morris Stewart, Sr. and other generous donors.

“Jackson and Ryan did an excellent job of recreating a historic building that is attracting hundreds of school kids from across the city as a field trip destination. It beautifies the community, provides an educational opportunity for schools across the city, and provides a visual reminder of our nation’s promise to promote liberty and justice for all,” said Hammons.

Modeled after Philadelphia’s iconic Independence Hall, the building provides a dedicated place for the University to inspire a deeper appreciation of American history and promote the nation’s founding principles and the study of free enterprise but was designed to have an even broader impact.

“Independence Hall at Houston Christian University is about more than just teaching American history and the Constitution to our college students. It provides an iconic and beautiful landmark that beautifies the skyline of Sharpstown and is visible to thousands of commuters that pass it on the highway each day. While the building is evocative of the past, it reminds us that Houston is the preeminent Americana city for the 21st century – diverse, thriving, and a destination for people from all over the world,” said Hammons.

According to the Journal, finalists will be recognized and the winners in each category revealed during HBJ’s 2023 Landmark Awards slated for April 21 at the Marriott Marquis in Houston. Finalists and winners also will be featured in a special publication released on April 28 in the Journal’s online and print editions.

The finalists were selected in a wide range of categories, including Community Impact, Education, Mixed Use, Rehabilitation/Renovation, Multifamily, Industrial, Public Assembly, and more.


About Houston Christian University

For more than 60 years, Houston Christian University has equipped students to lead, collaborate, and embody a deep sense of spiritual purpose. The University offers a wide range of majors, undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degree programs, as well as NCAA Division I athletics in the Southland Conference. Located in the heart of one of the nation’s largest metropolitan centers, HCU’s culture of excellence molds the next generation of educated disciples to be pillars in their communities, preparing them to think critically and biblically as they impact the world.