The son of Hiram and Emily Carter Morey was born on January 15, 1886, in Laddonia, Missouri. He graduated from Laddonia High School in 1902. Between his graduation from high school and his matriculation at the University of Illinois in 1907, he attended the Gem City Business College of Quincy, Illinois, and worked in a bank.
In 1911, he received two bachelor's degrees (Bachelor of Arts in English and Bachelor of Music) with honors in both from the University of Illinois. He received honorary Doctor of Laws degrees from Lawrence College (1935) Southern Illinois University (1954), and Michigan State University (1955), and an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Bradley University (1954). While a student at the University of Illinois, he worked part-time as a clerk in the University Business Office. Upon graduation he became a bookkeeper in the comptroller's office (1911-,13), auditor (1913-16), and comptroller (1916-53). He was certified as a CPA in 1916 (Illinois), winning the silver medal for the second highest grade on the Illinois State CPA examination. In 1917 he started serving concurrently as a teacher in addition to his duties as an administrator. He was an instructor (1917-19), assistant professor (1919-21), professor (1921-55), acting president (1953), and president (1954-55), the position he held at retirement in 1955. He was the first CPA to serve as the president of a major university. In addition to the university positions indicated above, he served concurrently as comptroller of the University Retirement System of Illinois (1941-53), and as treasurer of the University of Illinois Foundation (1935-53). In July 1956, at the age of 70, he came out of retirement at the invitation of the Governor of Illinois to serve as Auditor of Public Accounts of the state of Illinois.
As a result of his joint role of educator and administrator and his authority of governmental and university accounting, he served in a variety of professional capacities. He was president of the Illinois Society of CPAs (1941-42), and chairman (1933-36; 1938-41) of the AICPA's Committee of Governmental Accounting. He was also affiliated with the AAA. He served as president, Association of University and College Business Office (1923-24); chairman, National Committee on Standard Reports for Institutions of Higher Education (1930-35); chairman, Financial Advisory Service American Council on Education (1935-40); vice chairman, National Committee on Governmental Accounting (1934-51); member, National Committee on Manual of College and University Business Administration (1942- 52 an 1963-65); and member, Commission to Study Problems of Higher Education in Illinois (1954-57). In 1955 he received the AICPA's Gold Medal Award, in 1961 he was the recipient of the Alpha Kappa Psi Foundation Accounting Award, and in 1956 he received a citation from the Municipal Finance Officers Association of the U. S. and Canada for distinguished service in municipal and other governmental accounting.
He was active in government, civic, and community services. He was a specialist in educational finance, U. S. Office of Education (1929); consultant, Educational Policies Commission (1936-41); consultant on accounting policy, U. S. Department of Defense (1955-61); consultant, Illinois Municipal League (1920-28); member, Illinois State Fulbright Committee (1953-56); consultant, Florida Council for Study of Higher Education (1955-56); consultant, Virginia State Board of Higher Education (1960-61); president, Association of Commerce, Urbana (1918-19); and president of the Urbana Rotary Club (1952-53).
He wrote more than 150 articles for professional journals and he authored a number of books: C.P.A. Problems and Solutions (1918), Introduction to Governmental Accounting (1927), Manual of Municipal Accounting (1927), University and College Accounting (1930), Financial Reports for Colleges and Universities (1935), Municipal Accounting Principles and Procedure with 0. W. Diehl (1942), Fundamentals of Governmental Accounting with R. P. Hackett (1942), and The State-Supported University (1961). He was editor of Educational Business (1930-38), a consulting editor of the Accountants' Handbook (1943), and editorial advisor, College and University Business, 1950-53. He was a lecturer at a number of universities including University of Southern California (1936), University of Michigan (1956), University of Kentucky (1956; 1959), and Northern Illinois University (1959; 1960). On a number of occasions he served as a consultant to other universities on business and finance. He was an honorary member of Alpha Kappa Psi, Beta Alpha Psi, Beta Gamma Sigma, Phi Beta Kappa, and Phi Kappa Phi.
He married Edna Cox on August 6, 1912; they had no children. He enjoyed music and was active in that field. He composed numerous musical works (band, orchestra, choral, string quartet, piano, and voice). He was Director of Music at Trinity Methodist Church, Urbana, the church of the Wesley Foundation, (1911-39), and was Chairman of the Concert and Entertainment Board of the University of Illinois (1918-38). He died September 29, 1965 at the age of 79.