Maureen Morgan, SMM ’63

Maureen Morgan, SMM ‘63
Musician, environmental advocate and educator
Ossining, NY
What do you do?
It has been twenty years since I held a Music Director/Organist position in the church, but as other interests become dominant in my life, the influence of that experience fifty years ago has never diminished. My association with Union began when I arrived in the New York Metro area in 1958 as an organist with four years training in college but little experience as a professional, a husband, two small children, and a third on the way. It soon became apparent that if I wanted a music position in Westchester County where we had settled, I had to have a “Union Card” – an SMM from the Union Seminary School of Sacred Music, a seemingly impossible achievement at the time, but it soon became my goal. I began taking courses without matriculating, knowing I would fail the entrance exam if I tried. After accumulating forty of the required sixty credits, I did fail the exam! Not enough proficiency in four-part hymn and fugal writing. Nonetheless, by 1963 I had met all the requirements, including a recital at St. Paul’s Chapel at Columbia University, for the degree of Sacred Music Master. By then I had five children, the first mother to graduate from Union. Dr. Van Dusen, president of Union at the time, said I had too many children.
What’s the best thing about your job?
The 1960s and 1970s were extraordinarily turbulent times, and by 1968 the need to expand

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