Gov. Janet Mills to be inducted into UNE’s Deborah Morton Society

Governor Janet Mills
Maine Gov. Janet Mills

Maine Gov. Janet Mills will be inducted into the Deborah Morton Society of the University of New England in a convocation event at the University’s Portland Campus on Tuesday, Oct. 12.

The honor recognizes Maine women distinguished by their careers and public service, or whose leadership in civic, cultural, or social causes has been exceptional.

Gov. Mills will be recognized for her service and leadership to the people of Maine at a ceremony starting at 11 a.m. in Innovation Hall. The Governor will give remarks via video. The event will also be livestreamed at

Mills is one of four prominent women to be inducted this year. Also being awarded are Linda Cross Godfrey, president of Atlantic Leadership Center; Nancy Grant, lifelong bicycle/pedestrian/trail advocate; and Susan Hammond, executive director of Four Directions Development Corporation.

Janet Trafton Mills was sworn in as the 75th Governor of Maine on Jan. 2, 2019. She is the first woman governor of Maine. In her historic victory, she earned more votes than any governor in state history and is the first governor since 1966 to win a majority of the vote for her first term.

Gov. Mills was born and raised in Farmington, Maine, where she still proudly lives today. She graduated from Mt. Blue High School in Farmington, the University of Massachusetts at Boston, and the University of Maine School of Law.

Prior to becoming governor, Mills served as the Attorney General of Maine – the first and only woman to hold the job. As Attorney General, she made it her mission to stand up to those who have tried to exploit Maine people — from fighting dishonest mortgage lending companies to help keep Maine people in their homes, to fighting big Pharma for their role in creating the opioid crisis and then using that money to purchase overdose-reversal kits that have saved more than 900 lives, to fighting to protect health care coverage for young adults.

The annual Deborah Morton awards celebrate the memory of UNE’s own distinguished Deborah Morton of Round Pond, Maine, valedictorian of the Class of 1879 of Westbrook Seminary, the forerunner of Westbrook College, which merged with the University of New England in 1996.

After graduating, Morton served as a longtime faculty member at the seminary as a teacher, lecturer, reformer, and advocate for equal rights on social, political, and economic levels.

In her honor, the Deborah Morton Society continues to promote education and the fostering of leadership for future generations of Maine women. It does so by providing this renowned annual award as well as annual scholarships for two female rising seniors in the Westbrook College of Health Professions who, like Morton, represent rich qualities of character, academia, and leadership.

Linda Cross Godfrey
Nancy Grant
Susan Hammond

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