Monday, June 9, 2014 —
A man with boyhood ties to Albemarle has gifted more than $500,000 to Stanly Community College, making it among the school’s largest donations of record.
Last year, Jack Morton established a $503,000 charitable remainder unitrust gift and named SCC as the ultimate beneficiary of the proceeds at the time of death. In addition, he has pledged the quarterly income payments from the trust to SCC. By the end of 2014, the total gifts will be approximately $547,000.
Other than his childhood years, Morton spent limited time in Stanly County and he had no direct connection to SCC. He graduated from Albemarle High School in 1950 before he left for Duke University. After graduating from Duke in 1954, Morton served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.
Once he was honorably discharged he entered law school at Wake Forest, graduating in 1959. Morton spent his professional law career with the chief counsel’s office with the U.S. Treasury Department.
Meanwhile, his parents, Claude Bryan and Bethie Almond Morton, remained in their native Stanly County.
Whenever Morton visits the area, he stays in his boyhood home.
Morton, 82, said when the time came for he and his brother, Joe, to leave an endowment to a school they discussed the matter at length. Jack admitted that he influenced Joe, a graduate of the University of North Carolina, to also become a benefactor to SCC.
“Big name schools already have endowments,” Jack said Thursday night from his home in Rome, Georgia.
“We wanted to give to where they really need it; where it helps a student find a job — a better job.”
Jack said he knew how badly the economic downturn affected Stanly County.
“I wanted to do something to help my kind of people — the people I grew up with,” Jack said.
“I wanted to help those in need of money to continue their education.”
Jack said his gift was not necessarily intended for an honor student, but one who needed a financial boost for a chance at getting an education.
With a childhood friend telling him about SCC’s plans to establish an Advanced Manufacturing and Industrial Technology program, Jack was then convinced to split his contribution between assisting the program and needy students.
The gifts are to support the college’s AMIT building renovation, equipment and programing. On receipt of the trust principal at death, SCC will use such funds to satisfy any remaining construction debt for the AMIT renovations, with the remainder to be used by SCC Foundation as an endowed fund for the support of deserving students who need financial assistance to remain in school.
Between helping AMIT that will in turn bolster the county’s economic development and financially-challenged students, Jack’s gift accomplishes both of his intentions.
“Stanly Community College is so appreciative of the overwhelming generosity demonstrated by Jack Morton through this major gift to the institution,” Brenda Kays, SCC president, said.
“His visionary leadership and true care and concern for the people of Stanly County and the students of Stanly Community College are laudable. Mr. Morton truly understands the workforce mission of SCC and the importance of post-secondary education for all students.”
Christy Bogle, SCC Foundation director, echo-ed similar sentiments.
“Jack Morton’s depth of commitment to Stanly Community College will forever change the college and our community,” Bogle said.
“Mr. Morton clearly understands that the Advanced Manufacturing and Industrial Technology program is vital to economic growth and sustainability for Stanly County. His gift ensures that our students have access to a quality education with leading technology. This is an exciting time for SCC and we are sincerely grateful for the generosity of Jack Morton.”
The trust and gifts were given to honor and in memory of Jack’s deceased wife, Jerrie Sue Moffitt Morton (2009), of Asheboro, and his father and mother who died in ‘85 and ‘91, respectively.
In recognition of the gift, the renovated building will be known as the Morton-Moffitt Advanced Manufacturing and Industrial Technology Center.
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