The 59th annual Deborah Morton Society Convocation celebrated the contributions and achievements of four exceptional Maine women, including Maine Governor Janet T. Mills.
Each year, the University of New England bestows this honor 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. When the Deborah Morton Award was first presented in 1961, it was the first annual award in Maine to honor women’s achievement.
“We are fortunate here in Maine to have such a proud tradition of women leaders,” said UNE President James Herbert. “The Deborah Morton Society is one important way UNE honors them. The University’s many women leaders – on our faculty and in the administration – form another link in our identity. And the amazing work our female students and graduates do, on campus and off, extends our mission throughout the state.”
The four inductees were nominated in 2019 by members of the Deborah Morton Society, though the induction ceremony was postponed until October 2021. They are Linda Cross Godfrey, president of Atlantic Leadership Center; Nancy Grant, a lifelong bicycle/pedestrian/trail advocate; Susan Hammond, executive director of Four Directions Development Corporation; and Janet Mills, governor of Maine.
“Throughout our history, in education, sciences, and the environment, government, the economy, the arts, and public discourse, women with courage, strength, and fortitude have made Maine the state we all know and love,” shared Governor Mills, Maine’s first woman governor. “I learned the values of Yankee independence, courage, and a little bit of stubborn self-reliance from these women. I think about them often and the twists and turns they navigated to get to where they needed to go.”
*Linda Cross Godfrey provided her remarks by video