2020 Best & Brightest, Bruce Leonard Morris, Notre Dame (Mendoza)

Bruce Leonard Morris

University of Notre Dame, Mendoza College of Business

“Feeling blessed for the memories, but ready to carpe diem somewhere warmer.”

Fun fact about yourself: I can eat a Taco Bell Taco Party 12-Pack in 6 minutes and 35 seconds

Hometown: Scottsdale, AZ

High School: Desert Mountain High School (#WDOA)

Major: Management Consulting

Minor: Innovation & Entrepreneurship, International Business Certificate

Favorite Business Course: Business Problem Solving with Wendy Angst

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work, Awards, Honors, and Leadership Roles During College:

Extracurriculars (Leadership):

  • Marching Band of the Fighting Irish, Trombonist (CORE Band Leader)
  • Student International Business Council (Director of Social Impact)
  • Montaña de Luz, Club of Notre Dame (Co-Founder, President Emeritus, and Chief of Internal Relations)
  • Intramural Ultimate Frisbee (Team Captain)
  • Management Consulting Major Bonding Initiatives (Chief Coordinator)
  • Filipino American Student Organization
  • Trombone Performance Choir
  • Pitches A Cappella
  • Mendoza College of Business Ambassador
  • University Tour Guide


  • Fundraised for and constructed a primary school in Nicaragua with buildOn Notre Dame
  • Various volunteering events with South Bend organizations La Casa de Amistad, Robinson Community Learning Center, and the Center for the Homeless

Awards & Honors:

  • Eugene D. Fanning Award for Business Communication – Finalist
  • Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Honors Society
  • Mendoza Global Business Scholar
  • Moreau Five Pillars Badge – 1st Place
  • Dean’s List

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Deodorant Stones of America (Scottsdale, AZ) – Strategy & Operations Intern
  • West Monroe Partners (Seattle, WA) – Customer Experience Intern

Where will you be working after graduation?

  • West Monroe Partners (Seattle, WA) – Customer Experience Consultant

What did you enjoy most about your business school? It was the endless opportunity to work on group projects – Seeing a team of incredibly smart individuals with a wide array of experiences and perspectives meet to synergize creative, innovative solutions out of thin air is always an awe-inspiring moment.

Furthermore, even when I was assigned to a group with members who did not necessarily carry the same share of the work burden, such experiences allowed me to learn more about myself and preferred work style (and strengthen my patience at times).

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? Ask more – Is it cliché to use Mendoza’s former motto? Maybe. Are clichés considered clichés because they work? Yes.

Mendoza truly serves as a paragon to the idea that business can and should be used as a force for positive social change. Every course contained a lesson on business ethics to some extent, while we were continuously encouraged to develop solutions which promoted social good in classes from New Venture Creation to Data Storytelling.

Beyond ethical considerations, sitting through countless strategy lessons and final deliverable presentations has led me to always ask more in general. Always ask yourself if you can bring your work beyond the call of duty, if you and your team can develop a solution with a wow-factor that is so far out of the box, it exists on a completely different plane of existence (in a crazy good and not crazy impractical way).

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? The extent of cooperation between Mendoza students: Hearing about the ominous Mendoza Curve—where every class is curved up or down to, essentially, a ‘B’ average—as a freshman filled my head with horror stories from other institutions about students stealing notes or feeding wrong answers to each other. Yet somehow, Mendoza’s culture was completely void of such Darwinian animosity.

Maybe Mendoza’s amicability can be attributed to Notre Dame’s selection process, the quality of professors or just an innate sense of unity in the face of adversity. Regardless, being able to work freely with my peers despite “the Curve” has been both a relief and pleasant surprise.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? Getting into the Marching Band of the Fighting Irish – I played the bass clarinet for seven years prior to attending Notre Dame. I knew I wanted to join the world’s oldest university marching band, but a marching bass clarinet does not exist at the collegiate level, so I decided to learn the trombone the summer before freshman year.

Learning a brass instrument at a proficient level in two months after years of woodwind conditioning parallels trying to train a monkey to win Jeopardy: possible, yes – but extremely challenging. After countless hours of practice, learning an entirely new language of notes, developing muscles in my face which I didn’t know existed, and one noise complaint … I still managed to botch my music audition. Combined with a positive attitude, reception to constructive criticism, and the marching audition, I earned my spot in a long line of trombones.

Describing the elation of seeing my name on the roster for Band 171 is still difficult, but words will never accurately express my gratitude for the unforgettable memories and lifelong friends which followed because I took that leap of faith and persevered through the doubt and challenge.

Which classmate do you most admire? John Cresson – John and I only ever had one class together, but between living in the same dorm and serving on the same Board of Directors, I came to admire John’s seemingly innate ability to resonate with and leave an impression on everyone he meets. Furthermore, he continuously strives to unabashedly challenge the status quo, questioning the “why” behind over-convoluted or seemingly unnecessary practices. Both qualities are areas in which I personally struggle and look toward John as a paragon.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? If I can really only choose one: my mom, Joy (Sorry, Pops. Still love ya.) – For as long as I can remember, my mom would, lovingly, tell my sister and I to, “Study hard.” Her simple, two-word catchphrase will forever echo inside my head.

My mom is from a small mountain community on the island of Bohol in the Philippines. Growing up, she and her family did not have much, so she learned to view education as one of the most valuable, life-altering assets in life. Throughout my childhood, she ingrained in me the same passion, dedication, and love for education. I don’t know if the determination to give 120% of my effort in school emerged from a desire to make her proud, seeing her smile when I brought home my first report card, or imagining the happiness I will feel seeing her shed tears of joy on graduation day. Regardless, I would not be the person I am today without her compassion, love, cooking, and unwavering commitment to ensure her kids would “study hard.”

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  1. Be the Chairman and/or Founder of a social enterprise operating locally wherever I am living or in the Philippines (potentially both?)
  2. Work abroad on an international assignment

What are your hobbies? Right now, I’m starting to get into food challenges, like the challenges featured on the old show Man vs. Food (if that was not evident in my fun fact earlier). There are two in South Bend which I plan on attacking in my final semester. We’ll see if this hobby is sustainable. Otherwise, I love video and music production, picking heavy things up and putting them down, baking, traveling, hiking, and being disappointed with Arizona sports teams on a yearly basis.

What made Bruce such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?

“Bruce Morris is an invaluable member of the class of 2020. He always showed up to class with a smile on his face. He brought enthusiasm, energy, and a positive attitude every single day. When project work seemed daunting, he never failed to share encouragement with those around him. Beyond the classroom, he has been active with the Notre Dame marching band, the Student International Business Council (SIBC), and numerous other clubs and volunteer opportunities. He is a master at balancing his time, prioritizing his commitments, and lifting up everyone around him.

For example, students in my Innovation & Design class had to rank their top choices for their project preferences and whether or not they could travel to Uganda over spring break to test their prototypes. In attempting to balance the teams to have a travel member on each, Bruce ended up with his third choice. When I asked him if this was okay, he responded, “Absolutely! I will help out wherever I’m needed!” Another example is that I asked Bruce for ideas to help engage students in the Management Consulting major and ways to build community. He came back to me with a page of ideas, next steps, and suggestions for how he could help.

Bruce embodies Notre Dame and is a wonderful testament to the 2020 class.”

Wendy Angst
Associate Teaching Professor and Assistant Department Chair
Department of Management & Organization


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