Will Morris Named SCC Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient

Going into the family business was not the original plan for Will Morris, the 2023 Southeast Community College Distinguished Alumni Award recipient from the Nebraska Community College Association. His dad, Mark, is president of Mechanical Sales, Inc. – Nebraska, a company which delivers advanced HVAC solutions to meet the needs of the engineering community. While Will had several summer jobs at Mechanical Sales, he had a different career path in mind when he enrolled at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2008.

“I thought I was going to be a high school business and finance teacher and coach basketball,” Morris said. “During my time at UNL, I coached three seasons as an assistant high school basketball coach and completed a semester as a student teacher. These experiences, the business classes, countless presentations and research projects, prepared me in a unique way for my career.”

Morris spent four summers interning at Mechanical Sales with his twin brother Andy while attending UNL. Over the years, the two held several jobs at the company, from working in the warehouse to pulling weeds on the property to sorting old files. It was never a dull moment as they were doing something new every day, which peaked Will’s curiosity about the industry.

“Eventually, Andy and I were consistently putting together preventative maintenance contracts for old cooling towers, taking calls in our parts department and performing take-offs on plans for grilles, registers, diffusers, louvers, fire dampers and exhaust fans,” Morris explained. “These summer tasks showed me there was far more to this industry than what I had been exposed to. This exposure made me naturally curious about what mechanical sales was all about.”

After graduating from UNL in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education and Human Sciences, Morris headed to the classroom, but not as the teacher. Instead, he enrolled in SCC’s Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Technology program on the Milford Campus, completing his Associate of Applied Science degree in 2014.

“This program greatly prepared me for my career by teaching me the fundamentals of our trade,” he said. “A lot of things are changing in our industry and the world around us, but fundamentals of thermodynamics do not change. Consistency in a program and coursework is key to helping young men and women be successful, especially at this impressionable time in their lives.”

Morris joined the Mechanical Sales team in 2013 and is currently vice president and partner. Andy is also an SCC alumnus and partner for Mechanical Sales in its Kansas City office. While he didn’t envision working with his dad in high school, he wouldn’t have it any other way today.

“Dad was always there to support us,” Will said. “He said we could do anything we choose as long as we worked hard. Oftentimes it feels as though you have to work twice as hard for the same amount of respect because of that family tie to the business. Seeing his passion for the industry and our team at Mechanical Sales certainly influenced me to want to be part of this business and industry.”

Morris is following in his father’s footsteps in another way. Mark received the 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award from NCCA.

“It is an honor to be following in my dad’s footsteps,” Will said. “My dad has been so involved with the College, and SCC has been such an important part of his career and our business. Receiving this award and sharing that together is something special I am sure I haven’t fully grasped yet.”

Jennifer Snyder
Communications Specialist