University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business and Economics Dean David W. Blackwell today announced the appointment of Nathaniel R. Morris, founder, chairman and CEO of Rubicon Global, to the role of Gatton College of Business and Economics Entrepreneur-in-Residence.
“Nate Morris’s extraordinary accomplishments as a Kentucky entrepreneur, his exemplary support of the college and of entrepreneurship in the Commonwealth, and the inspiration and guidance he has provided for the new Social Enterprise Scholars honors pathway at the University of Kentucky make him exceptionally qualified to engage as a teacher and mentor for our business and economics students, as well as with UK student, faculty and community entrepreneurs,” said Blackwell. “I look forward to working with Nate to continue growing the entrepreneurial ecosystem at the University of Kentucky and throughout the Commonwealth.”
In his new role in the Gatton College, Morris will offer guest lectures at the college, serve as a mentor for the UK Venture Studio and for UK teams in business plan competitions, and spend several days per year at the college engaging with students, faculty and community members. During his three-year term, he will also work with the college’s development team on fundraising for the Gatton College’s proposed Center for Social Enterprise.
“In the tech world, there’s a myth that an idea must come from San Francisco or New York to be good,” Morris said in a June 30, 2016 Forbes interview in the new Gatton College building. “I believe Kentuckians and entrepreneurs in Middle America have some of the best ideas in the world. The Gatton College’s Center for Social Enterprise is a great way for Kentucky to fight poverty, empower people and attract talent from outside the state. There are opportunities out there, opportunities for all Kentuckians, and I’m confident we can use business to solve the country’s biggest problems.”
A social entrepreneur himself, Nate Morris founded Morris Industries with the belief that the power of business can change the world. He is also the founder of Rubicon Global, the worldwide leader in cloud-based, sustainable waste and recycling services, where he currently serves as CEO and Chairman.
Born in Lexington, and a product of Kentucky public schools, Morris attended George Washington University as a Scottish Rite Scholar and won an academic fellowship to Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School. While at Princeton, Morris was named a fellow at the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress.
In 2014, Morris was named to Fortune Magazine's 40 under 40, a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, and to the Kentucky Entrepreneur Hall of Fame. In 2013, Morris was also honored by the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce as Outstanding Young American. He is a member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) Bluegrass Chapter and the Council on Foreign Relations. Additionally, he created the Morris Industries Foundation which works to improve the lives of Kentuckians through strategic giving.
“I’m excited to serve the Gatton College in this new capacity,” Morris said. “I look forward to building upon the college’s success in creating a more vibrant entrepreneurial community at the university, as well as across the Bluegrass Region and throughout the Commonwealth.”