Joseph T. Morrow


IU Northwest Chancellor's Medallion (1999)
IU Northwest Chancellor's Medallion
Location: Gary
Presenter: Bruce W. Bergland


Joseph T. Morrow was the chairman of the board of the Mercantile National Bank of Indiana, as well as the First National Bank of Illinois and Home State Bank, also in Illinois. After he graduated from IU School of Law in 1958, Morrow moved to Hammond, IN, and became a law clerk to a judge in the Northern District Court of Indiana. A year later, he established his own law practice, which lasted for 20 years before he changed his career direction to banking.

Morrow's new career as banker motivated him to become a fund-raiser and philanthropist in the local community, participating in organizations such as the Hammond Area YMCA, Community Hospital, United Way, South Shore Arts and Campagna Academy. He was appointed chairman of the Urban League of Northwest Indiana, where he established the Joseph T. Morrow Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded annually to a graduating high school senior from East Chicago, Gary or Hammond who plans to attend Indiana University Bloomington or Indiana University Northwest with a career interest in law or banking. Morrow has served as the president of Lake Commercial Group, and retired to Naples, FL. Despite his retirement, he remains active on the board of First National Bank of Illinois and Home State Bank, and the bank's various committees. He is also chairman emeritus at First National Bank. The Morrow family sold Mercantile National Bank to Harris Bank in 2005. In 2010, he was inducted into the Business and Industry Hall of Fame for Indiana.

He was honored for his role with the Indiana University Foundation Board of Directors and IU Northwest Board of Advisors, IU Varsity Club, and his support to the Northwest campus. His work in the community with numerous organizations emphasizes his commitment to "improving conditions for the less fortunate". He also helped organize the Millennium Project, a not-for-profit group that builds moderately priced, steel frame housing in Lake County's inner cities.