David Morton discovered College of DuPage through his high school guidance counselor.
“I didn’t work hard in school until my senior year, so my grades were not going to get me accepted by many colleges,” he said. “I didn’t have the money to pay for a four-year college or university. I also don’t think I was mature enough to go away to school at the age of 17.”
COD was opening its doors in 1967, and Morton was part of the school’s first class. It was the best decision he could have made.
“COD gave me confidence that I could do college-level work. I took it seriously and never missed a class or an assignment,” he said. “My instructors were very helpful. My football coach, Dick Miller, showed faith in me as a student/athlete and gave me tips on how to manage my time. I was so fortunate that I was able to stay home and go to school. Working part time and with a Grant-in-Aid for football, I was able to afford it and have the opportunity to improve my grades to a 2.8 GPA.”
Morton also met his wife, Linda, at COD during his freshman year, but they didn’t start dating until after he earned his Associate in Arts degree. He transferred to Western Illinois University, where he played football and completed his Bachelor of Science in Business. After marrying Linda, he started in sales which led to a career in software, selling manufacturing and supply chain planning tools to many Fortune 500 companies. At one point, he sold against IBM but later worked for IBM.
He contributes the success of his career to COD, which continues to play a role in his life. Morton once sang with the community choir and took courses for enrichment, and he stays connected through Alumni Relations. In fact, his daughters are also COD alumnae.
“When my daughters graduated from Glenbard South, we could afford to send them away to school. But we advised them to go to COD to make sure they were ready for it and that they could do college-level work,” he said. “They agreed and they loved their experience. They also won national championships with the COD softball team – Kris’s team was second her freshman year and then won it the next year, while Lisa’s team won it two years. They were both inducted into the NJCAA Region IV Hall of Fame, earned their Associate in Arts degrees and went to Illinois State University for their bachelor degrees. They both are teachers in the area and coached softball at Glenbard South.”
Morton would advise students to consider COD and look at everything it offers.
“Whether you want to get an associate degree and transfer to a college or university or enroll in one of the many career and technical curriculums, COD has so much to choose from,” he said. “One key benefit is less risk. You can find out what college is all about without spending thousands of dollars. Also, many kids are simply not ready to go away to school, and COD lets you mature so you are more prepared to do so. There are many sports and other activities you can get involved in as well. And you have great instructors and a beautiful campus.
“A personal goal for me was to get a college degree. Another goal was to play major college football. I achieved those goals because of COD. I am proud to say I was on the first football team at COD and in the first two-year graduating class. Another personal goal was to be in the COD choir and music theater. I often say that if it wasn’t for COD, I’m not sure where I’d be.”