Leonard F. Morse was the proud son of a distinguished New England family, Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Morse of Boston, Massachusetts. Trained in the elementary and secondary schools of New Bedford, Massachusetts, he became the valedictorian of his integrated high school and entered Howard University. In 1915, he graduated from Howard University and was the first person to graduate in 3 years with an A.B and a B.Ed degree.
Later, the degree of Bachelor of Divinity was conferred upon him by the Payne School of Divinity, Wilberforce University. He received his Master’s degree from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois and the degrees of Doctor of Metaphysics and the Doctor of Psychology from the College of Metaphysics, Indianapolis, Indiana. The Honorary Degree of D.D. was conferred at Allen University, Columbia, South Carolina, and the LLD at Edward Waters College, Jacksonville, Florida.
An outstanding educator and prophet, he lived a busy and resourceful life, having served in many institutions and areas of educational and religious life. He was Dean of Theology at Edward Waters College, Head of the Department of Religious Studies, President of Edward Waters and a Mason. Founder Morse founded and chartered numerous Sigma Chapters especially in Florida.
Founder Morse was a student of the Greek language, and he named our beloved fraternity. In addition, he wrote Sigma’s first constitution and was the first president of Alpha Chapter. In the 1915 Howard University yearbook entitled “The Mirror”, Founder Morse had listed by his name the following: Director of Social Service, YMCA, 1913-1914; Organizer and President of Phi Beta Sigma, 1914-15; President, Young Men’s Progressive Club, 1914-15; tutor of languages and history.
Founder Morse was married and had five children, two of which are Brothers in this fraternity. Most recently his grandson became a Sigma. Leonard F. Morse was the last living Founder of Phi Beta Sigma. In the 1915 Howard University yearbook, Founder Morse left us with “Smooth runs the water where the brook is deep.”
Founder Leonard F. Morse
January 12, 1891 – May 22, 1961