Final exams for the fall semester will end next week. For Del Mar College’s (DMC) 613 “prospective” graduates, taking that last final means commencement will follow. Next Friday, Dec. 16, the floor of the American Bank Center arena will fill with blue caps and gowns as the College awards approximately 757 certificates and associates degrees.
The Fall 2016 Commencement Ceremony begins at 7 p.m. and includes local dentist and DMC alumnus Dr. Wayne H. Morris, D.D.S./F.A.G.D., as the keynote speaker.
While not a native to Corpus Christi, Dr. Morris is as close to being from the coastal city as anyone born here. Originally from Goldthwaite, Tx., he moved with his family to the Sparkling City by the Sea at age 11.
Sea salt has been in the avid angler’s blood ever since he caught a nearly 7-foot tarpon off the old Bob Hall Pier at age 12. The young fisherman was told the catch was a “Junior World Record,” but Dr. Morris never received confirmation regarding that honor. He even caught another 6-foot, 2-inch tarpon just 24 days after that first catch.
The W.B. Ray High School graduate attended Del Mar College before graduating from Baylor University with a major in chemistry. He then completed his studies at The University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston. Dr. Morris owns a general dental practice and has provided services to Corpus Christians for the past 47 years.
As a young sportsman, Dr. Morris played football on the Ray High School team and was a senior when they won the state championship in 1959. He then played on the Del Mar College Vikings football team in 1960 when they won the Pioneer Conference Championship for a second year in a row. That year was also the last that the College fielded a football team. The DMC freshman also served as president of his class during the 1960-1961 academic year.
Dr. Morris is a member of the Nueces Valley District Dental Society and has served in every board position, including the presidency. A longtime member of the American Dental Association, he is a 50-year member of the Texas Dental Association and has served in several different positions. He earned a fellowship in 1992 from the Academy of General Dentistry after completing 1,500 hours of continuing dental education and passing a comprehensive exam covering the field.
Father of three and grandfather of four, Dr. Morris has been involved with youngsters by coaching Youth Football and Little League Baseball for 25 years. Two Little League teams even made their way to the state championship tournament. Numerous players over the years have played for high school and college baseball teams, including one player moving through the ranks all the way to Major League Baseball.
For over 47 years, Dr. Morris and wife Lucille have attended the First Christian Church of Corpus Christi where he has served as a Congregational Elder for the past 25 years.
IN THE PHOTO: Local dentist and DMC alumnus Dr. Wayne H. Morris played on the 1960-1961 Vikings football team and will address the Class of Fall 2016 during Commencement on Dec. 16 at the American Bank Center.