Dale Morton


Alumnus’s Passion for All Things UVI Runs Deep

UVI alumnus Dale Morton has the rare distinction of
having served under four of the five Presidents of the
University of the Virgin Islands (UVI), formerly known as
the College of the Virgin Islands (CVI).

He arrived on campus in 1979 from his native St. Kitts in
pursuit of his higher education goals and recalls with
great fondness the mentorship, care and attention he
received from his faculty advisor, Dr. William McLean, who
“invested in the students and made them feel valued”.
After Morton earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology, it
was McLean who encouraged him to apply for a position
with UVI’s Cooperative Extension Services (CES) – part of
the land grant programs at that time – where he had
been working as a student employee. He eventually went
on to earn an associate’s degree in business.

Dale Morton
Dale Morton

Due to his 44-year association with the University,
Morton is often regarded as the University’s unofficial
historian, a role he relishes, particularly given his passion
for photography and the remarkable collection of
images of University community members, events and
celebrations he has amassed capturing more than 62
years of growth, progress and success.

Morton’s dual role as Extension Agent III and Student
Recruiter means that he has plenty of opportunities to
interact with potential students and members of the
Virgin Islands community. With his infectious
enthusiasm, it might be more accurate to describe him
as an ambassador. Not surprisingly, he has seen many
changes and developments at UVI over the years,
including the agriculture academic program, which was
once housed within the then-Division of Science and
Mathematics. In the early days, for about eleven years,
only an associate in general agriculture was offered.
Today the program is part of UVI’s School of Agriculture;
six certificate programs, four associate’s and five
bachelor’s degree programs are offered.

Morton states that the CES is an “informal teaching
resource, connecting the University and the general
public”, serving the community through workshops,
webinars, home visits, school presentations, special
events, agriculture fairs, farming-related conferences
and even church presentations.

When he is not engaged with or promoting the Extension
Service’s offerings to farmers, community groups,
schools, or individuals, Morton can often be seen at UVI
events with his ever-present camera in hand, capturing
the visual history of the institution. His catalog of images
numbers in the tens of thousands.

Dale Morton
Dale Morton

Morton describes the publication of “Caribbean Healthy
Homes” as one of his proudest achievements at UVI.
Recognizing the absence of and need for a Caribbean
version of the national Healthy Homes publication, one
that reflected and took into account the unique
Caribbean environment and experience, Morton boldly
approached the national program leader while at a
stateside national conference in Washington, D.C. on
healthy homes.

His well-articulated statements resulted in the
publication one year later of a Caribbean-focused edition
of the resource.

The CES publishes “Help Yourself to a Healthy Caribbean
Home” through a partnership with the U.S. Department of
Agriculture/National Institute of Food and Agriculture and
Housing and Urban Development. The 60-page booklet
has information on protecting families from accidents
and illness in and around the home, and provides a
historical glimpse with pictures of Caribbean housing, as
well as a look at sustainable energy for the future.
Morton’s passion for all things UVI runs deep. He does
what he does so that people will recognize and “treasure
the diamond that we have here,” including the rich history
and natural resources.

One of those treasures was meeting his wife, Carolyn, at
CVI. Over the years, he has formed many friendships and
makes an impact wherever he goes. An avid traveler,
Morton has visited many European nations, several
islands in the Caribbean and made many journeys with
UVI’s Passport to the World program to South Africa,
Spain, Morocco, Egypt and Ghana.

With a camera in hand, Morton plans to continue to
capture vibrant images of life, experience many new
destinations and share it all through his lens.


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