Portrait of Maurice Horton Sr. unveiled at ceremony

Horton Family

Family members participated in the unveiling of Maurice Horton Sr.'s portrait at a ceremony May 6.

In 1957, Maurice Horton Sr. became the first African American to receive a degree from Henderson State.

Following an unveiling ceremony held Thursday, May 6, Horton’s painted portrait will be displayed in Henderson’s Garrison Center. Horton family members attended the event, along with friends and distinguished guests.

Horton graduated from Peake High School in Arkadelphia and originally attended college in Pine Bluff. At the encouragement of his mother and others, he returned home and transferred to Henderson State Teachers College.

Following graduation, he taught math and science at Peake High School and returned to Henderson in the early 1960s to pursue a master’s degree, which he completed in 1963.

The Horton family established the Maurice R. Horton Sr. Emerging Leader Scholarship in 2012 through the Henderson Foundation. The scholarship is awarded annually to an incoming freshman from Clark or Jefferson County.

Henderson’s Black Alumni Chapter started the Maurice R. Horton Awards Ceremony in 2018 where African American graduates receive a medallion to wear during commencement.

Ed Martin, professor emeritus of art at Henderson, painted Horton’s portrait.

Ed Martin

Ed Martin, professor emeritus of art at Henderson, poses with the portrait he painted of Maurice Horton Sr.