Morton memorialized with marker

Published 10:23 pm Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority has made it possible for Pauline Morton’s history to live on with the placement of a historical marker in Franklin.

A ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. March 10 at Paul D. Camp Community College Workforce Development Center to commemorate the installation of the marker.

“Mrs. Morton chartered our chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha in Suffolk,” said Dr. Cynthia Nicholson, Lambda Psi Omega chapter president. “At Paul D. Camp, for a woman of color at that time, that was really an accomplishment.”

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Morton was the home economics teacher at Paul D. Camp Community College, and she also was a board member at the community college. Her service to education extended far past Suffolk and surrounding areas.


She served as an officer in the Statewide Home Economics Association. She also served as president of the Virginia State University Human Ecology Alumni Chapter and president of the Old Dominion Home Economics Association.

“She spent so much time as a trailblazer for education, and she was someone who believed in the possibility of education,” said Nicholson. “She put herself in the service position where she could make decisions that could affect her community. She was that type of woman.”

Members of the sorority chapters she helped to charter, Lambda Psi Omega in Franklin and Zeta Epsilon Omega in Suffolk, remember her as a woman who made sure others had the same opportunities to succeed in education.

“She was an educator, and I’ve always looked up to her. I remember she took us to ballets and symphonies,” said Alpha Kappa Alpha member Rhonda Chambliss. “Personally, she had an impact in my life.”

“For young people who don’t think they can’t do this because of obstacles, it’s great to see someone like her that had a ton of obstacles be so successful. She didn’t allow the mission of education to take the back burner,” Nicholson said. “Hopefully she can inspire young people.”

Morton gave considerable time and energy making her community a better place by being an active citizen. She served on the boards of more than 23 organizations.

“She would always say, ‘Well the only way you can make a difference is being involved.’ She was really always involved,” said Judge Alfreda Harris, a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha. “Pauline was not one to just sit back and complain, but she really tried and got involved. She was willing to put in the work and get involved in the activity or idea.”

Having a historical marker in honor of Morton is important to the members of Alpha Kappa Alpha and the Suffolk community, the members said. The marker serves to keep Morton’s accomplishments and her story alive.

“It’s wonderful just seeing that her works and her influence in the city will never be forgotten because this marker will go up in her honor,” Chambliss said. “It will not only be for us that remember her but (also for) who comes after. She invested a lot of time serving on different organizations and bringing people together and improving our community.”