Shorter University announced on Tuesday the recipients of its 2021 Distinguished Alumni Awards: Dr. Terry R. Morris, Mr. Sean Perren, and Dr. Jeffrey Rice.
“We often hear from employers who say they love to hire Shorter graduates because of the values they bring with them to the job, and we are proud our alumni are known for the excellent way they serve through their communities, churches, professions, and families,” said Shorter University President Don Dowless.
♦ Morris, a 1964 graduate who is now in his 56th year on Shorter’s faculty, earned an M.A. in History from Emory University in 1965 and a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia in 1976.
He received the Vulcan Materials Company Teaching Excellence Award in 1993 and pioneered the university’s Honors Program. He is the author of “The World Transformed: Modern Civilization Since 1648” (with Dr. Charles Carter) and “Organizing the Firm: The Role of Science in Modern Management.”
Morris has been married for 53 years to his wife, Janet White Morris, a 1970 graduate of Shorter and retired North Heights Elementary School teacher. They have three children: Elizabeth Tucker, Frances Fowler, and the late John Morris; and three grandchildren. Dr. and Mrs. Morris are members of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church.
♦ Perren, a 1998 graduate, owns Sean Perren State Farm Agency in Marietta. He won the alumni service award.
During his time at Shorter, he played for the Hawks baseball team and was a two-time Academic All-American. During his senior year, the Hawks won the conference championship.
In August 2003, he opened a State Farm Agency in Marietta. During his 17-year career, he has consistently been a top agent in the company of over 19,000 agents, including President’s Club, which is the top 50 in the company.
Perren is married to Shannon, who is also a State Farm agent. They have six children and two dogs. He likes playing the guitar (including worship bands at his church), playing baseball in the MSBL in Atlanta, and coaching his children’s baseball teams.
♦ Rice, a 2012 graduate, is a pediatrician in Oklahoma. He won the young alumni award.
After graduating, he worked as a lab professor for Georgia Highlands College and as an admissions counselor for Shorter. He went on to study at Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine and graduated in 2018 with his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine.
Rice completed his residency at OSU Pediatrics in Tulsa, Oklahoma, earlier this year and is now working as a pediatrician at Warren Clinic Pediatrics Springer. He said his Shorter experience helps him keep a faith-based approach to medicine with all his patients and impact them positively.
He is the son of Bryan and Donna Rice of Shannon and is married to Ashley Rice.