A native of Carthage, Mississippi in Leake County, Dr. Jesse A. Morris, Sr., received his Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Education from Alcorn State University (formerly Alcorn Agricultural and Mechanical College) in 1950, Master of Arts from Michigan State University in 1953, and the Doctor of Education in Agricultural Education from Michigan State University in 1956, being the first African-American to attain the degree.

At Alcorn, Dr. Morris served as the first superintendent of the Alcorn Branch of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, Director for the Division of Agriculture and Applied Sciences, first African-American member of the Mississippi State Forestry Commission appointed by then Governor Cliff Finch, and Chair and Professor, Department of Agriculture.

Throughout his career, Dr. Morris was a member of educational and civic organizations, and received numerous awards and recognitions for his contributions to field of agriculture throughout the state of Mississippi. He was active in the Alcorn State University National Alumni Association serving as executive secretary. He was chosen as Alcornite of the Year in 1963, and posthumously inducted into the Alcorn State University Hall of Honor in 1992. In 1993, the Agriculture Science building was co-named in honor of Dr. Morris and the late Dr. William Cola Boykin, Sr.

In addition, Dr. Morris served as a World War II and Korean Conflict Veteran, trustee at the Mercy Seat Baptist Church in Port Gibson, Mississippi, was a farmer, entrepreneur and business owner of Morris Boat Sales.

He was married to the late Dr. Alpha Lockhart Morris, ‘52. Dr. Jesse A. Morris died June 8, 1980.