Honoring a life

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Honoring a life

Morley Ballantine, longtime Herald editor, inducted into Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame
The late Morley Cowles Ballantine, former editor and chairman of The Durango Herald, sits in her office at the newspaper shortly after moving into the Herald’s new building at 1275 Main Ave., in 1965. She and her late husband, Arthur Ballantine, moved to Durango in 1952 after buying the town’s two newspapers. For many years, she and her husband shared an office.
Awards

Morley Ballantine’s service has been honored many times during her lifetime. These are a few major ones:
1953: First journalism award, first place in editorial writing from Colorado Press Association.
1967: Outstanding Journalism recognition to Arthur and Morley Ballantine by the University of Colorado School of Journalism.
1970: First-ever Fort Lewis College Distinguished Service Award to Arthur and Morley Ballantine.
1980: Honorary degree from Simpson College in Iowa.
1990: Citizen of the Year by Durango Area Chamber Resort Association.
1998: Athena Award for women in public service from DACRA. In 2007, DACRA renames the Athena Award to the Morley Ballantine Award.
2000: Colorado Philanthropist of the Year at National Philanthropy Day.
2001: Bonfils Stanton Foundation Arts & Humanities Award. Named to Colorado Business Hall of Fame.
2002: Honorary doctorate from the University of Denver.
2004: Margaret Sanger Award, Planned Parenthood’s highest honor. First woman awarded Fort Lewis College Honorary Degree.

Milestones

May 21, 1925: Elizabeth Morley Cowles was born to John and Elizabeth Morley Bates Cowles in Des Moines, Iowa. She is the third generation of a newspaper publishing family.
July 1, 1944: She marries Pvt. Richard P. Gale Jr. He later dies by suicide in March 1946.
July 26, 1947: She marries Arthur A. Ballantine Jr. in Minneapolis.
June 1, 1952: The Ballantines purchase the Durango News and the Durango Herald-Democrat, merging them into The Durango Herald in 1960. Mr. and Mrs. Ballantine work at adjoining desks.
1957: The Ballantines found the Ballantine Family Fund to support local nonprofits.
1960-65: Morley Ballantine serves on the state board of the League of Women Voters as well as on state boards on anti-discrimination, educational endeavors and higher education.
Mid-1960s: After having helped to found it, she begins stint as president of the Southwest Colorado Mental Health Center.
1967: The Ballantines help found the Center of Southwest Studies at Fort Lewis College, eventually donating more than $1 million to the center and its collections.
1968: Morley Ballantine is named the first female chairman of the Colorado Associated Press Association.
April 1975: After attending Smith College, Stanford University and the University of Minnesota, she earns her Bachelor of Arts in Southwest Studies from FLC. She is just a few weeks shy of her 50th birthday.
1977: She joins the Des Moines and Minneapolis boards of the Cowles Media Co., and participates in difficult family decisions such as selling the family’s flagship newspaper, the Des Moines Register & Tribune, to Gannett Newspapers.
1987: She helps launch the Women’s Resource Center in Durango.
May 7, 2005: The League of Women Voters of La Plata County honors her as the chapter’s first 50-year member.
Oct. 10: 2009: Morley Cowles Gale Ballantine dies of respiratory failure at her home in Durango at the age of 84.

Honoring a life

The late Morley Cowles Ballantine, former editor and chairman of The Durango Herald, sits in her office at the newspaper shortly after moving into the Herald’s new building at 1275 Main Ave., in 1965. She and her late husband, Arthur Ballantine, moved to Durango in 1952 after buying the town’s two newspapers. For many years, she and her husband shared an office.
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