Morehouse College Alumni Chapter of the year
Receiving the Award
Gregory Martin ′93, New Chapter President
George W. Thompson ’66, Regional Vice-President
Morehouse Alumnus of the Year
Dr. Alvin Thornton, ’71
Nominated by Durand Ford ’97 Chapter President Washington D.C. Chapter and Mark Hill ’67, Regional IV Vice President
Dr. Thornton has demonstrated a unique capacity to provide service in diverse roles and advance the cause of justice and truth. His service orientation is based on a strong family foundation and the support that he receives from his wife of 41 years, Annette, his daughters, Kenya and Octavia, and their grandchildren (Alexander, Nyeilah, Nolan and Miles).
He is recognized broadly for the service that he has provided. He led the long effort to reshape the political boundaries of Prince George’s County to enhance voting rights and political representation for the African American community. He led Citizens for Representative Redistricting, which successfully advocated for a congressional district and other electoral areas from which Blacks could elect candidates of their choice.
Dr. Thornton’s name is synonymous with National Education Excellence. As chair of the Maryland State Commission on Education Adequacy, Equity and Excellence (Thornton Commission), he conceptualized a constitutional framework for education adequacy and equity and led the effort to develop a consensus in support of it. New life was injected into the state’s Education Article, and the Brown vs. Board of Education jurisprudence was expanded. His leadership of the Commission followed his service as an education activist and member of the Board of Education where he led the effort to eradicate the vestiges of “Jim Crow” segregation and improve educational opportunities for African American children.
The “Thornton Funding model” is a key component to the stellar achievement of the Maryland Public Education System. For the fifth year in a row, the State of Maryland was recognized as the number one public education system in the nation.
Dr. Thornton’s service to his community is in the tradition of “Dear Old Morehouse.” He has been loyal to his community; and responsive to its need for service, acting upon the ideals instilled in him at Morehouse.
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