• Merriman Morton
    Merriman Morton

Merriman Morton, a 1963 Southwestern graduate who recently completed a six-year term as chair of the Southwestern University Board of Trustees, has been awarded the University’s highest honor – the Southwestern University Medal. The medals are given by the Board of Trustees for contributions to the University, either through service or philanthropy.

Morton served on the Board of Trustees for 25 years and as chair of the board since 2006. Under his leadership, Southwestern constructed two LEED certified buildings; added varsity sports in softball, football and men’s and women’s lacrosse; approved Shaping Our Future: The Strategic Plan for Southwestern University 2010-2020; operated under a balanced budget; and raised $69,304,033 in total gifts and pledges.

The medal was presented March 30, just before Morton presided over his last meeting as chair of the Board of Trustees.

“Merriman’s support of Southwestern and his work on its behalf are appreciated more than we can say,” said President Jake B. Schrum.

Morton spent 40 years in the banking industry, guiding numerous Texas financial institutions to profitability during both lean and affluent times. He previously received Southwestern’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1996.  

The Southwestern University Medal was first presented in 1998. Previous recipients of the award include Red McCombs, Red and Genevieve Caldwell, Bernice Kilgore Giddings, Benjamin R. Oliphint, Evie Jo Craven Wilson, James Walzel, Elizabeth Perkins Prothro, Robert and Ruby Priddy, Joe Seeber, William B. Jones and Ernest Clark.

The medals are cast in bronze and are a faithful reproduction of Southwestern’s official seal, which was adopted in 1879. The seal has four interwoven rings that represent Southwestern’s four root colleges – Rutersville College, Weslayan College, McKenzie College and Soule University. The rings are united by a superimposed shield representing Southwestern today.