Martha Morton’s Retirement Party is Nov. 16

Santa Fe College is losing a pillar of its institutional memory with the retirement of our beloved Martha Morton, Coordinator, Curriculum and Scheduling. Martha has served the college faithfully for 35 years! Her last day as an SF employee is Jan. 5, 2012, but her actual last day on campus is Nov. 22.

Academic Affairs is sponsoring a retirement party in her honor at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16 at the Retirees’ Patio in front of the Library. (In case of bad weather, we’ll move indoors to the Fine Arts Hall lobby). Refreshments will be served. There will be an opportunity for people to share their sentiments at the party.

We ran an interview with Martha as part of our DROP series in August 2010. (Unabridged interview.) Here are excerpts:

Q: What do you think is Santa Fe’s greatest strength?

Martha: We take in people who are nontraditional students and make them feel welcome and not like they’re on another planet. They come in, perhaps not knowing what they want or what their options are, and we provide them a safe environment to get an education. We do it as a group; we do it as a family. We don’t say, “do it on your own.” We give them the tools, and then care to see that they are successful. I like being part of that. That part of Santa Fe, the connection to the students, is going to be hard for me to give up.

Q: What are you planning to do once you retire?

Martha: My husband, Jackie, and I have a farm in the Bland area south of Providence that requires continual upkeep. We have a vineyard, winery, pecan grove, fruit orchard, and a garden. We need to put up a new high fence to keep the deer under control. We have a huge garden and I can and freeze food.

Mama and I together do genealogy research, and are planning to travel, visiting old courthouses in Alabama, Georgia, Virginia and South Carolina, with my laptop and portable scanner.

I wrote for the Old Florida Journal during its brief existence and now am pulling short stories together about my life experiences, a la Erma Bombeck. I’ve been journaling these stories since I took Cissy Wood’s ENC2301 class in 1988. She taught me to look for humor in everything — it makes life so much easier to enjoy.

Jackie and I have six kids between the two of us and 16 grandchildren. Two of our grandchildren live in Oregon, and we plan to visit them with a long and leisurely road trip.

My three brothers, husband and I play a little bluegrass on cool evenings, but if I don’t give more diligence to practicing my fiddle, I’m afraid I’ll be kicked out of the band.