Dr. Tommie Morton-Young

Nashville – Activist, author, scholar, Vanderbilt University Pioneer, and one of Peabody College’s most distinguished alumna, Dr. Tommie Morton-Young took her final sojourn on March 11, 2022.

A product of the Nashville Public Schools, she was a graduate with honors from Tennessee State University; she was the first African American to graduate from Peabody College, now Vanderbilt University. She earned her doctorate degree from Duke University.

Dr. Morton-Young held positions as Professor and Senior Administrator at several distinguished colleges and universities; she retired from the University of North Carolina. She also held several positions in the US Federal Government.

She was the only woman to chair the North Carolina Advisory Committee to the US Commission on Civil Rights, was a member of the Advisory Council for the National Institutes of Health, the Tennessee Economic Council on Women, the Tennessee Judicial Council and served on the Native American Justice Council.

She presided as president of the Davidson County Democratic Women and the American Association of University Women (GSO); she was also Executive Committeewoman of the Davidson County Democratic Party.

Awards and recognitions were many, which included the Distinguished Service Award from the USSCCR, several service awards from the NAACP, the National Institutes of Health, the Tennessee Democratic Party, the Business and Professional Women’s Clubs. She was the 2006 recipient of the Athena Award, the Governor’s Tennessee Excellence Award, and the E-Excellence Award from the Tennessee Economic Council on Women; her civil rights papers are housed in the Dr. Tommie Morton -Young Collection at Duke University’s Perkins Library.

Author of 10 books, she founded the African American Genealogical and Historical Society of Tennessee and North Carolina; both her publications and methods in genealogy research are used throughout the US and by genealogists as far away as Australia.

Dr. Morton-Young is preceded in death by her parents, William S., and Myrtle M. Morton and seven siblings. She is survived by a devoted daughter Pamela (Johnnie) Sanders, grandchildren Ashley and Jonathan Sanders, all of Birmingham, AL, nieces Claudia McGriff of Vallejo CA and Jean Buchanan of Clarksville, TN, nephews Robert Taylor of Clarksville, and Herbert Taylor of California and a host of grand nieces, nephews, relatives, and friends.

A private funeral will be held; interment will be at the Morton Family Lot, Greenwood Cemetery. In lieu of flowers please give to the United Negro College Fund or St. Jude’s Hospital for Children in the name of Dr. Tommie Morton-Young.