The Guild Institute in Christian Family Studies
Morris Family Center for Law and Liberty
On Thursday, September 29, 2022, The Guild Institute of Christian Family Studies celebrated the opening of the Morris Family Center for Law and Liberty, the newest building on the Houston Christian University campus, with a program that delineated the development, construction, and ongoing mission of this stately building. Under a brilliant blue sky, the classic colonial building, which was constructed in a style reminiscent of the historic Independence Hall in Philadelphia, the site of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, welcomed Guild members to an informative, inspirational program.
The event took place in the Center’s second-floor meeting room where attendees first enjoyed light refreshments and a video of the construction of the building accompanied by patriotic music. The program began with members of Schola Cantorum singing an inspiring a cappella version of “God Bless America.” Guild President, Jeanne Walker, welcomed Guild members and guests followed by the Guild Chaplain, Debra Perich, leading a prayer. Jeanne Walker introduced the program speakers, Lisa Morris Simon, President of the Joella and Stewart Morris Family Foundation; Stewart Morris, Jr., President of Stewart Security Capital LLC; Dr. Sloan, HCU President and Dr. Chris Hammons, Director of the Morris Family Center for Law and Liberty. Lisa Morris Simon, Stewart Morris, Jr. and Dr. Sloan shared information about the historical development of the project, biblical passages that support its purposes, and the motivation and inspiration for its creation. A highlight of the day was the presentation of special blankets with a picture of the beautiful Morris Family Center for Law and Liberty by Dr. Sloan to Founding Father, Dr. Stewart Morris, and our two speakers.
Dr. Chris Hammons spoke next. It was his idea to build a center 10 years ago. The Center’s purpose is to teach the next generation of leaders the importance of our nation’s history, founding documents, and Constitutional principles. He used a multimedia presentation to share how the building complex will be used to house classes relating to the Center’s mission and other academic programs, such as faculty lectures, guest speakers, and teacher workshops. He also shared that the building would become a field trip destination for area schools, a conference center for civic groups and the business community, and a place for HCU to host educational events for the community.
The co-chairs of the event, Dr. Kaye Busiek and Dr. Carol McGaughey, who are both retired professors from the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences at HCU, closed the program thanking members of the HCU Guild family that assisted with the event: Sharon Saunders, Patti Bailey, Candace Desrosiers, Jeanne Walker, Debra Perich, Susan Harris, Cookie Peeler, Anne Roper, Dr. Klotz and the members of the Schola Cantorum choir, HCU Student Foundation volunteers, and the HCU photographers and caterers.
The Guild members and guests were invited to view the two first floor rooms set-up to replicate the actual Signing Room of the Declaration of Independence and the Courtroom, which was directly across the main entrance hall. The historical detail which has gone into both the outside of the building and the inside is impressive right down to quills and personal items laid out where delegates sat in the antique chairs of the Signing Room. This Guild event holds the distinction of being the first function held in the Morris Family Center for Law and Liberty after the Ribbon Cutting event held on September 15, 2022. Consequently, the Guild now holds a place in history with this significant addition to the HCU campus.