In the fall of 1884, Deborah N. Morton was invited to fill a vacancy in the faculty of Westbrook Seminary. Thus began her lifetime of devotion to the institution.
Morton had entered the school as a student in the fall of 1876 and graduated as valedictorian of the class of 1879. Teaching in her hometown of Round Pond, Maine filled the next few years.
Morton’s return as a member of the faculty of the Seminary in 1884 opened an ever-widening sphere of influence which goes on to this day. She was appointed teacher of grammar, rhetoric and algebra. In 1885, Deborah Morton became Preceptress and teacher of French and rhetoric.
During the next two years, Morton privately studied French, and in the summers attended Sauveur College of Languages. In 1888, a year’s leave of absence was granted to her for study in France and Germany.
In 1917, Morton left the Seminary believing she would like to be free to engage in club and war activities. At that time she was president of the Women’s Literary Union and was active in the YWCA war council.
After five years away from academic life, Morton returned to the Seminary to continue teaching French. There was general rejoicing among the alumni who, in their visits from time to time, had missed her welcoming presence.
Morton spent many of her summer vacations organizing and conducting trips to Europe and acting as interpreter in French and German. She spent other summers studying at Middlebury College, the University of Vermont and the Sorbonne in Paris.
Morton’s deep interest in art led her into the informal teaching of various groups in the study of painting, sculpture and architecture.
Deborah Morton’s long and wholehearted service to the Seminary makes her an important link between UNE's past and present commitment to serving others.