The Deborah Morton Society

The Deborah Morton Awards

The Deborah Morton Awards are presented each year by the trustees of the University of New England to outstanding women who have achieved high distinction in their careers and public service, or whose leadership in civic, cultural, or social causes has been exceptional.

The Deborah Morton Award was first presented at the 130th anniversary convocation of Westbrook College in 1961. It was the first annual award in Maine to honor women's achievement.

It was named in memory of Deborah Morton of Round Pond, Maine, valedictorian of the 1879 class of the Westbrook Seminary — the forerunner of Westbrook College, which merged with the University of New England in 1996.

Morton was a teacher, dean, linguist, historian, and prominent Portland civic leader whose service to Westbrook College spanned more than 60 years. Since 1961, more than 180 distinguished women have been honored with the award.

The society also actively fundraises to support the Deborah Morton Endowed Scholarship, awarded annually to two women students who are Maine residents entering their undergraduate freshman year and planning on majoring in a healthcare field. The intention is for the scholarship to follow the two students throughout their four years at UNE. 

Read about the 2024 Deborah Morton Society Awardees