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Alumni Spotlight: Thomas Morris '73Dr. Thomas Morris ’73 has kept quite busy over the years, and he shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. Commissioned by the Navy to this day and running his medical practice of 30 years, he still has time to fondly recall his days at AXP.

“It was a good group, it really was,” Thomas says. “Penn is a very big place, and it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle. The fraternity system really provides a home away from home.”

When asked about his fondest memories, he says, “Boy, I played a lot of cards and lost a lot of money.”

After working as a lab technician for a few years following his graduation and then enrolling in a grad program for physiology, Thomas decided on a different course.

“I realized very early that I did not want to be a scientist,” he says. “I wanted to take care of people and be a doctor.”

He attended the Boston University School of Medicine, earning his degree in 1981. After completing his internship and residency there and a two-year pulmonary disease fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital, he started his own private practice in pulmonary disease, which he has operated for 30 years.

In 2006, Thomas was commissioned as a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy Medical Corps. He was 55 at the time, and 59 when his commander gave him his most unexpected orders yet: that he was to spend six months in Germany as a specialist in internal medicine, and so he did.

Since then, he has continued to run his private practice and is still commissioned by the Navy today. He has also been extremely active as a Freemason since the 1990s, which he cites as another great brotherhood. He credits Phi Phi Club for preparing him for that kind of leadership.

“Masonry is a fraternity—the oldest in the world,” he says. “My experiences in AXP were certainly helpful in my leadership in masonry.”

Thomas has been happily married for more than 40 years to his wife, Andrea, whom he met his first semester of medical school when she was working as the department chairman’s secretary. Together, they have one child.

“So between my practice, family, masonry and the Navy, I’ve been keeping pretty busy,” he says.

Thomas also makes sure to give back to Phi Phi Club. He says he does so because it was the alumni who kept the brotherhood afloat during his years. He wants to do the same for younger generations.