Marker dedicated to Pauline Morton unveiled

Published 12:47 pm Saturday, March 17, 2018

“This is a wonderful and significant day,” said June Fleming last Saturday morning. The PDCCC college board chairwoman was referring to the program then dedicated to unveiling the historical marker in Pauline Cauthorne Morton’s memory.

“She gave every fiber of her being to here,” Fleming added about the late prominent educator and activist. “She didn’t let things just happen. She always planned ahead.”

The ceremony was the culmination of months of planning by the Lambda Psi Omega, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. The chapter also co-hosted the event with the Zeta Epsilon Omega chapter from Suffolk; Morton was a founding member of both groups, as well as serving as the sixth Mid-Atlantic Director of AKA, having served from 1968-1970.

Clara Hines, the 14th director, was the guest speaker for the occasion. She said of Morton, “When I think of Pauline, I think of an inner beauty, such as the beauty of Alpha Kappa Alpha womanhood.”

Hines referred to a quote from the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “Everybody can be great because everybody can serve.” Such a philosophy was part of Morton’s life, and the speaker outlined the woman’s numerous accomplishments in her 91 years of life.

“We will cherish her memory in our hearts forever,” Hines said.

Audrey Morton Smith, the surviving daughter of Samuel P. and Pauline C. Morton, remembered her mother as “very strong and very determined.”

Smith acknowledged that she did not pledge to AKA as her late sister, E. Jean Minor, “But I lived it,” she added with a smile and laughter.

Following the reciting of a litany and benediction, members and guests walked to the site on North College Drive between the school and the library. There they witnessed the placing of a wreath, a blessing of the plaque given by local AKA member Andrea Hall-Leonard, followed by the unveiling.