Thursday, October 23, 2014

Guest Speaker October 26 - Lorraine Morton - Former Evanston Mayor

Though Lorraine has made her home in Evanston since 1953, she was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She came to Evanston to attend Northwestern University where she met her future husband, James T. Morton, Jr., who was completing his requirements for a Ph.D degree. Lorraine received her MA in curriculum development from Northwestern at the same ceremony in which her husband received his Ph.D in clinical psychology. They married and were blessed with the birth of a daughter, Elizabeth Elinor, who is the mother of Lorraine’s granddaughters, Elizabeth Keziah Brasher and Constance Mariah Brasher.

Lorraine’s professional employment in Evanston began as a teacher at Foster School. Later she was transferred to Nichols Middle School, followed by Chute Middle School and Haven Middle School where she was named principal. She was asked by the then mayor to fill the unexpired term of the Fifth Ward Alderman. She agreed and was both Alderman and Principal until she retired from District 65. Two years later she was asked to run for Mayor of Evanston. She accepted and remained in that position for sixteen years. Documents from the City of Evanston upon her retirement stated “Her tenure has been marked by responsiveness, integrity, and care. She represents Evanstonians with civility, grace, and respect......and as an energetic ambassador at events in every corner of our town and in organizations at the regional, state, and national level. She is a strong and enthusiastic advocate for our city.”

Former Mayor Lorraine is very proud of her services to District 65 and to her community. She was very active in many endeavors and received many awards too numerous to record here. She has, however, expressed her appreciation for receiving honorary doctorates from the then Kendal College and Northwestern University. Yet, she relates to all her pride in the contributions she was able to make to the citizens of Evanston. In recognition of her services, the Evanston City Council renamed Evanston City Hall the Lorraine Hairston Morton Civic Center.

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