Morris Endowment

In late 2003 it was announced that YALSA was one of the beneficiaries of William C. (Bill) Morris’ estate. According to the terms of the agreement with Mr. Morris, YALSA’s "Board of Directors may use such portion of the net income and net appreciation of the Fund as it shall from time to time determine for the purpose of funding programs, publications, events or awards in promotion of young adult literature." Bill Morris’ gift to YALSA was $400,000. According to the terms of the agreement with Mr. Morris, the fund is restricted for fifty years.

About Bill Morris

William C. Morris was an influential innovator in the publishing world and an advocate for marketing books for children and young adults. Bill Morris left an impressive mark on the field of children’s and young adult literature. He was beloved in the publishing field and the library profession for his generosity and marvelous enthusiasm for promoting literature for children and teens. He passed away in 2003 at the age of seventy-four.


Interest from the Morris Endowment will be used by YALSA to help future generations of librarians explore the vibrant world of young adult literature so that they may be able to connect their teen patrons to young adult literature in meaningful and innovative ways.

Use of Funds

Since 2003 YALSA has used the interest from the Morris Endowment to:

  • establish the Morris Award, which recognizes a first-time author writing for excellence in writing for young adults
  • establish the Odyssey Award, which recognizes the year’s best audiobook production for youth
  • implement a biennial young adult services symposium, including stipends for travel to the symposium for members who could not otherwise afford to attend
  • distribute mini grants to members for innovative Teen Read Week programs

For further information, please contact YALSA’s Executive Director at 1.800.545.2433 x4391 or