Helping Pave the Way for Others to Succeed

The Julius Morgan and Verona L. Morgan Scholarship

Verona and Julius Morgan

After Verona Morgan’s husband Julius passed away, she and her four daughters knew exactly what they wanted to do to honor his memory: create a scholarship in his name.

“I made that decision right away,” Verona shared about establishing the Julius Morgan and Verona L. Morgan Scholarship. “Julius believed that education is the foundation for everything in life, especially for young men and women of color.”

As the first African American programmer analyst in the Wisconsin Department of Industry, Labor and Human Relations, Julius often found that, despite the extensive computer training he received during his 12 years in the Air Force, people often were unwilling to accept his expertise. At the same time, Verona was advancing in her career at Wisconsin Telephone Company. “I discovered abilities I had no idea I had,” Verona explained. “Being an African American woman and supervising men was tough, but I really wanted to excel. So when I heard Edgewood College was setting up a weekend degree program, I looked into it and signed up.” And Julius went with her.

“Julius had an opportunity to continue his education and see the benefits that came from that,” Verona explained. “The girls and I wanted to honor him, so we set up the scholarship for a young African American man involved in computer science, because that’s the field Julius worked in. Julius knew what young Black men have to go through to become successful. We want to help others along so that maybe they will have to struggle less.”

It was through her work at Women in Focus, Inc., an organization that works to encourage and support students of color to succeed in education, that Verona was introduced to Madison Community Foundation.

She saw that working with the two organizations together would provide everything she needed for the scholarship fund. “I chose to work through Madison Community Foundation to set up the fund, but to have Women in Focus choose the recipient each year and award the scholarship.”

The Julius Morgan and Verona L. Morgan Scholarship fund has already been able to award its first scholarship, to an East High School graduate.

“I read his resume, and right away I knew,” Verona recalled. “He had started taking computer classes in high school, and already had worked as an intern. I said, ‘I’m glad this young man received our scholarship.’”

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