Bill Morgan, Murry Bowden to Receive Award Nov. 18
Master Builders of Our Community to Be Honored as Guardians of the Human Spirit
HOUSTON, TX (Oct. 8, 2013) – Holocaust Museum Houston will honor two master builders of our community this November as Houston’s 2013 “Guardians of the Human Spirit” in recognition of their contributions to the quality of life in Houston.
 William J. "Bill" Morgan Murry Bowden 
 William J. “Bill” Morgan  Murry Bowden

Holocaust survivor William J. “Bill” Morgan and developer Murry Bowden will receive the honor from Holocaust Museum Houston on Monday, Nov. 18, at the Museum’s annual luncheon, which begins at 11 a.m. at the Hilton Americas-Houston, 1600 Lamar St., in downtown Houston. More than 1,000 people have registered already for this year’s event.

The Museum established the Guardian of the Human Spirit award in 1997 as a platform for acknowledging dedicated Houstonians who have worked to enhance the lives of others and to better humankind.

“I am very excited about our honorees – we call them the ‘Master Builders of Our Community,’” said Museum Chair Mark Mucasey in announcing this year’s recipients. “Bill Morgan and Murry Bowden are currently some of the best and most prolific multi-family builders in Houston. And, of course, Bill helped build something very special to us – our Museum – and has continued to support it every year with improvements as we need. Sharing the stage with one of our founding survivors is Murry Bowden, someone who was so affected by Bill’s story and our work at the Museum that he decided to take a leadership role in our mission.”

A Holocaust survivor who survived the German invasion of Poland in World War II, Morgan came to the United States in 1949. He settled in Houston in the early 1950s and established himself in business, working first in the wholesale meat industry and later founded a new real estate company called Globe Construction along with a property management subsidiary, Globe Management, which became The Morgan Group Inc. The business thrived and over the years expanded into the multi-million dollar real estate and construction company that has contributed much to improve life in the Houston community today.

Morgan was an active participant in the planning and development of Holocaust Museum Houston, beginning with its early stages in 1989. He served as the original construction manager for the Museum, which he has generously supported, whose building bears his family name and which he calls the “House of Love.” He personally raised almost $2 million in in-kind donations to see the Museum built without its founders borrowing even a penny. Morgan served as the Museum’s chairman of the board from 1996 to 1998 and continues to serve on the Museum’s Board of Advisors. He and his wife, Shirley, have underwritten the citywide Yom HaShoah commemoration through their Morgan Family Endowment Fund since 2001.

Morgan continues to speak regularly to schools and other organizations throughout the community about his experience during the Holocaust and the lessons to be learned from it. In 1997, he documented his story in a book called “Living Longer than Hate,” which he self-published, and donates to Holocaust museums and others.

Morgan has served on the boards of several Jewish organizations, including the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Community Center, the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston and Congregation Beth Yeshurun. The Morgans have been honored by the Emery/Weiner School for their role in development of that institution, including a fundamental role in building the school’s Mucasey Family Arbor.

Bowden is founder, chairman and chief executive officer of The Hanover Company. He has been involved in all aspects of apartment development, construction, management and finance for the life of the company.

Bowden graduated cum laude with a bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College and a juris doctorate from the University of Texas Law School. A former Dartmouth College football standout and 2003 College Football Hall of Fame inductee, Bowden was named to the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame Board of Directors in 2004. He currently serves as vice chairman of the foundation.

Beyond his accomplishments on the football field, Bowden is synonymous with real estate innovation and community involvement. The Hanover Company currently stands among the most active private real estate companies in the United States, specializing in the development and management of high-quality, multi-family residential properties across the United States.

In Houston, Bowden currently serves as co-chair of the United Way Major Gifts Campaign and is a member of the Baylor College of Medicine Presidents Circle and the National Leadership Cabinet of the Neighborhood Centers. He has served on the Board of Directors of Holocaust Museum Houston and on the Board of Directors of the Houston Council on Alcohol and Drugs. He served as president of the Post Oak Little League and president of the Dad’s Club of The Kinkaid School. He is an active and generous supporter of a variety of other charitable organizations throughout Houston.

Bowden has dedicated himself to his alma mater, Dartmouth College, throughout his life. He has served as president of the Alumni Council, as member of the Real Estate Advisory Board and as a member of the Dartmouth College Athletic Board. He has served Dartmouth in a leadership capacity in its past three capital campaigns.

Chairing this year’s event are prominent Houstonians Marc Shapiro and Morgan’s son, Michael Morgan. PaperCity magazine is serving as media sponsor for the event.

Previous recipients of the award have included the Harry Mach family; KIPP founders Dave Levin and Mike Feinberg; Mayor Annise Parker, Barbara and Gerald Hines; Marc J. Shapiro; Lester and Sue Smith; Sandra Weiner and Martin Fein; Naomi Warren and Fred Zeidman; Joan and Stanford Alexander; Ed Wulfe and the H-E-B grocery chain; Jack Blanton and The Houston Chronicle; the Rev. William A. Lawson and Julie and Ben Rogers; Linda P. Lay and Siegi Izakson; and Ron Stone.

Proceeds from the event help fund the Museum’s worldwide educational outreach. Tables of 10 are available beginning at $5,000. Individual tickets begin at $200 each. To RSVP or to reserve a table, please call 713-527-1621 or e-mail spiritlunch@hmh.org.

Holocaust Museum Houston is dedicated to educating people about the Holocaust, remembering the 6 million Jews and other innocent victims and honoring the survivors' legacy. Using the lessons of the Holocaust and other genocides, the Museum teaches the dangers of hatred, prejudice and apathy.

Holocaust Museum Houston is free and open to the public and is located in Houston’s Museum District at 5401 Caroline St., Houston, TX 77004. For more information about the Museum, call 713-942-8000 or visit www.hmh.org.
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