From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Drewes, Lula B. Morton

(born: 1945) 

Lexington native Lula Morton (Drewes) was the first African American student at Transylvania College (now Transylvania University) in 1963. She was the first in her family to attend college. At the May 2014 graduation ceremonies for Transylvania University, Dr. Lula Morton Drewes was given an honorary doctorate. She is a graduate of Bryan Station High School, Transylvania College with a B.A. in psychology, and she earned her doctorate in clinical psychology at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee and did post-graduate studies in Germany. She served with the Peace Corp in Chad, Africa, and now lives in Germany and is a healthcare provider in Berlin.

Lula Morton had come to Transylvania shortly after the school was denied a Ford Foundation Grant because the school was segregated. Transylvania is a liberal arts private college. In 1963, two seniors at Transylvania, Patrick Molloy and Michael Mitchell, decided it was time to desegregate the school and they went in search of an African American student who might be a good student at Transylvania. Lula Morton, who was at the top of her senior class at Bryan Station High School, was selected. Morton thought she had received a scholarship at Transylvania, but unbeknownst to her for 40 years, Patrick Molloy and his mother, Betty Haggin Molloy, paid for her education. For his great effort, Patrick Molloy was also recognized with an honorary doctorate during the 2014 graduation ceremonies at Transylvania. Michael Mitchell received the President's Award. 

For more see C. Truman, "Three pioneers of integration receive awards at Transylvania commencement," Lexington Herald-Leader, 05/24/2014, p.B1.

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Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Drewes, Lula B.Morton,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed March 21, 2023,

Last modified: 2018-01-05 01:41:04