A United States senator in the making


Recent High School graduate has his sights set on politics

By Othor Cain,



One encounter with Clay Bingham Morris and you’ll understand why this soon-to-be college freshman has his sights set on becoming a United States senator. But, just in case you’re not presented with a chance encounter or a scheduled connection, allow me to provide a brief portrait.

Morris, a 2019 graduate of St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, finished with a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 4.2. His ACT score is 31. It should be noted that St. Andrew’s does not use any form of class rank. The total number of students in his class is 94. If I were a betting man, I would easily say based on his grades he would rank in the top one percent of his class.

Morris who is headed to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the fall is excited about his journey. “I’m ready for this change and to really begin to pursue my passion,” Morris said via telephone. Morris wrote an essay about how and why he made his college choice. Here is part of his essay:

“It is not uncommon for people, places and things to have history. However, it is uncommon for people places and things to be curious about and grow from their history. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s complicated history with race and its southern identity seems to be proof that the institution understands the importance of reconciling with past wrongs…

UNC-CH additionally presents itself as enigmatic because of its collaborative approach to relationships between its administration and its students. Many schools see their relationship with students from the perspective that students should be grateful for the opportunities being offered and respect the limits and rules at the school for this reason solely. However, the spirit of UNC-CH’s faculty is that just as students ought to learn from the school, the school should also learn from its students, and be heavily receptive to the ideas, perspectives and opinions (good or bad) of the students…

“The interdisciplinary connections, a part of UNC’s academic philosophy, is also highly appealing to me. Illuminating the power of intersectionality and the juncture between academic topics often separated proves to me that UNC understands the beauty of differing ideas coalescing and truly wants to nurture critical thinkers…”

Morris, not surprisingly has a full ride to college having received the Morehead-Cain Merit Scholarship. It is the first merit scholarship program established in the United States and founded at the first public university in the United States. The first to envision and implement a strategic summer enrichment program and, most recently, the first to designate a fund for discovery for each of our scholars. Established in 1945 and inspired by the Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford University, the Morehead-Cain provides an undergraduate experience without peer.

According to its Website: The Morehead-Cain provides a four-year, fully funded educational experience for students of the highest caliber at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. But it’s so much more than tuition and room and board. We set your potential free. We offer life-changing summer enrichment and Discovery Fund experiences. Immersion in a dynamic student body at a world-class university. And lifetime connection to an unparalleled community of Morehead-Cains scattered across the planet.

Morris is destined for greatness and is being guided by his desire to serve. “Growing up in Mississippi, I’ve long watched how things work in our state. I’ve studied the inequities in this state and I know what I’m being led to do,” Morris said. “I’m being led to serve and not sit on the sidelines…to get involved and I believe politics is where I should be.”

Though he attended private school, Morris is well rounded and understands the struggles some students face in public schools. “I know our commonalities and I know, respect and value our differences,” he said. “We are all in this together and it is my desire to ensure that we all have a leveled playing field.

When it comes to social skills and experiences, Morris credits his high school experience for helping him navigate through what he bills as “awkward social experiences.” “I will be forever grateful to my high school and all those people that I’ve met and come to respect; they helped me grow.”

Morris’ essay will appear in next week’s edition.

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