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Industrialist’s widow pledges $1.5M for endowed professorship

The widow of Clifton Springs industrialist and philanthropist Isaac “Drew” Morris has pledged $1.5 million to fund an endowed University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry chair, UR Medical Center officials said.

Marjorie Morris credits care she received at the hands of URMC heart surgeon Peter Knight M.D. for inspiring the donation. Knight replaced a faulty mitral valve, restoring Morris to health after she experienced weakness and difficulty breathing.

“The care I received was excellent and I was able to go home within a week. The personal contact with Dr. Knight and his reassurance throughout the process was wonderful,” Morris said.

The first appointee to hold the Marjorie B. Morris Endowed Professorship in Cardiac Surgery, Knight was named to the post July 24.

A UR Medical School faculty member since completing a fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery there in 1989 and a UR professor of medicine since 2012, Knight supervises URMC cardiothoracic fellows and residents and mentors pre-med students interested in cardiothoracic surgical research. His own research centers on less-invasive heart surgery techniques and technology.

A 2015 inductee to the Rochester Business Hall of Fame, Drew Morris was a major benefactor of Clifton Springs Hospital and Clinic, serving as the Ontario County hospital’s board chair until his death at 93 in 2013.

President and CEO of the electromechanical products manufacturing firm G.W. Lisk Co. Inc. Morris took the reins of the firm—an employer of some 600 in Clifton Springs founded by his maternal grandfather at the turn of the last century—after World War II and ran it for 37 years.   

 (c) 2015 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail rbj@rbj.net.


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