Before classes had even started, Butler University had already changed Warren Morgan’s life. He’d volunteered for Ambassadors of Change, a pre-orientation program that focuses on leadership development.

“Those types of experiences, you just learned so much about yourself and so much about the world,” Morgan said.

For the next four years, Butler brought out his ability to lead. While he studied Psychology and Pre-med, he also ran an after-school program at what then was Shortridge Middle School. There, he came to realize that, “we need to invest in our children and begin to turn their lives around.”

As a senior, he served as President of the Student Government Association. He also had the opportunity to meet and introduce two speakers on campus that year, former Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush. He told them he might go to medical school after he graduated from Butler. They suggested he consider government policy.

“To hear this from two United States presidents,” he said, “it really changed my trajectory.”

After graduation, the Chicago native earned a fellowship working on education policy for the Illinois Senate. He felt that if he wanted to make change, he had to get into the schools to know what was going on. He was accepted in Teach for America and spent the next two years teaching science in St. Louis and earning his master’s in leadership.

That led him to Chicago, where he rose through the ranks from teacher to department head to principal. But he wanted to affect change on a broader scale, so in 2014 he became an academic superintendent in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.

Since then, he also has:

  • Earned his doctorate in Urban Education Leadership from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
  • Was competitively selected and participated in the prestigious White House Fellows program under the Obama and Trump administrations. He was part of the 2016–2017 fellowship class.
  • Been hired as the Executive Director for Teach For America in St. Louis.

Morgan said Butler changed his life. When he gets together with friends, “We always talk about how Butler formulated our thoughts. Butler shaped our beliefs in some ways and influenced us to be the leader that we were destined to be.”