The District 65 School Board is considering renaming Haven Middle School for its former principal, Lorraine Morton, the long-time mayor of Evanston.

Board President Mary Erickson proposed the name change at Monday’s board meeting, saying it would be nice to have the decision made by the time the retiring mayor leaves office in May.

School Superintendent Hardy Murphy said the decision is up to the board, which would form a committee, seek community input, and consider the cost of the name change before acting.

Board member Bonnie Lockhart said, “As a graduate of Haven, I can’t think of a better way to honor Mayor Morton. I think Mayor Morton’s accomplishments should live forever.”

Morton began her Evanston teaching career in 1953 at Foster School, and became the first black teacher at Nichols Middle School in 1957. She was named principal at Haven in 1977 and served there until her retirement from the district 12 years later.

The school, at 2417 Prairie Ave., like Haven Street in Evanston, now is named for Erastus Otis Haven, who was president of Northwestern University from 1869 to 1872.

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Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. Honor Morton, but . . .
    Doesn’t Erastus Otis Haven deserve his recognition too? Or do we keep renaming schools every generation whenever we want to honor some noteworthy local citizen?

    Why don’t we name something else after Mayor Morton, like the Parasol Room at the Civic Center? Or the Civic Center itself?

    Let’s leave poor Erastus Haven’s legacy alone.

    1. Yes, rename it
      Dr. Haven had his day in the sun for, what, 80 years? That’s more than adequate recognition, and he still has a street named after him. Really, the only consideration on this name change is what the school is going to do about its annual variety show “Haven help us” — the kids will have to get work on a different name

      1. Morton v. Haven
        Mighty entertaining comment, to be sure. I understand now that the city council would prefer naming the civic center for our retiring mayor. I wonder what’s wrong with the name “Evanston”. Seems fitting to me.

  2. Tough Call
    I agree with the above person. Morton is a great lady and probably very deserving of the honor, but why erase the honor given to Haven? Shouldn’t we remember his legacy as well.

    Perhaps the school can be renamed Haven Morton? It actually has a nice ring to it.

  3. Name the New LMC in Honor of Morton
    Haven is in the process of renovating the Library Media Center; why not keep the school name Haven and dedicate the LMC in honor of Morton? This way Mayor Morton will still be recognized within Haven, but the name and traditions won’t have to change.

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