Harriet R. Junior Walton

Born: September 19, 1933

place: Claxton, Evans County, Georgia

Mathematics (1952) Clarke College; M.S. Howard University (1954)

Ph.D. (1974) Mathematics Syracuse University
thesis: ; advisor:

area of degree:

Harriett Rose Junior Walton was the second of three children (and the only daughter) born to Rev. Ester James Junior, Sr. and Mrs. Mable Rose Junior. During her early years, her parents moved to Glennville, Tattnall County, Georgia where she grew up and obtained most of her education prior to entering college. Both of her parents were teachers. Harriett was taught to read early; she was taken to school at an early age, enrolling in the third grade at the age of six. She always liked to study and always tried to excel. She ranked first among four graduates in the county in the 7th grade and first (valedictorian) among four 9th grade graduates from Glennville JR High School. There was no high school for blacks in Tattnall County in 1946 so Harriett and her brother Ester Junior, Jr. rode with their father daily to Walker High School in Ludowici, GA (a trip of 20 miles each way) for the 10th and 11th grades. She was Salutatorian in a class of 16 graduates. Harriett entered Clark College in Atlanta, GA (turning 15 years of age a few days after arriving) in September 1948 and graduated with a major in mathematics (ranking 4th in a class of 90+) in June 1952. Her mentor, Joseph J. Dennis, assigned her to teach a freshman mathematics class during her senior year at the college. She entered Howard University in the fall of 1952 with a University Fellowship. During her second year at Howard, she was a Graduate Teaching Assistant and a Research Assistant under David Blackwell. Blackwell directed her Master's thesis. She also studied under Elbert Cox, George Butcher, and W.W. Claytor. and graduated in June 1954 from Howard University with a Master of Science degree in mathematics. A position as Instructor of Mathematics was assumed at Hampton Institute in the fall of 1954. While attending the annual meeting of MAA at the University of Pittsburgh in the fall of 1954, Harriett met a black woman who was a graduate teaching assistant there and decided that she wanted the same kind of experience. She was offered a Graduate Teaching Assistantship at Syracuse University and studied there during the period 1955-1957, graduating with a Master of Arts degree in mathematics. Dr. Abe Gelbart was her mentor there; he encouraged her to stay two years and complete a degree (1957) rather than leave after one year in order to get married. Harriett returned to Hampton Institute as Assistant Professor of Mathematics during the year 1957-58 academic year. In June 1958 she married James Walton and joined the faculty of Morehouse College in September 1958 during the presidency of Dr. Benjamin Elijah Mays; that union is responsible for four children and there are now three grandchildren. Having maintained an excellent record while working toward the master's degree in mathematics at Howard U. and Syracuse U., Dr. Walton later earned the Ph.D. degree in mathematics education at Georgia State University in 1979. In order to prepare herself for the computer age in higher education, Dr. Walton followed the unusual path of earning the master's degree in computer science in 1989 at Atlanta University while she was a postdoctoral student. In addition to carrying a heavy teaching schedule at Morehouse, Dr, Walton has served as a part-time teacher at other institutions in the Atlanta University Center, at Georgia State University, and at Atlanta Junior College.

In addition, her professional activities include Speaker/Presider, NCTM annual and regional meetings; Committee Member/officer, MAA, AMS, NAM; Consultant, Atlanta and local area public school systems; Proposal Review Panels, NSF; (1985-87) Morehouse College Board of Trustees, Faculty Representative, and director of several mathematics institutes in the AU Center. She is also a published author. As a college professor, Dr. Walton has been primarily interested, first, in getting the best possible graduate education for herself (including additional studies at Georgia Institute of Technology, 1964-1966 and Emory University, summer 1966), and, second, in giving the best possible college education to her students; a

Among her former students are mathematicians Geraldine Darden, Benjamin Martin, and Johnny Houston. She is known throughout the Atlanta University Center as a teacher who really cares for students and as one who generously helps those who come to her for tutoring. Because of her success as a teacher and as a scholar, Dr. Walton was chosen as a Fulbright Fellow to go to Ghana and Cameroon in West Africa in the summer of 1989 and as Teacher of the year at Morehouse in 1990. Other honors and awards include (1975-77) U.N.C.F./Dana Fellow, GSU.; (1965-66) NSF Faculty Fellow GA Tech/Emory U.; (1964-65) U.N.C.F. Fellow GA Tech, a 50 year member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and two Distinguished Service Awards from NAM (of which she is a life member and was one of NAM's Founders in 1969). Although Dr. Walton has kept very busy as a teacher and counselor at Morehouse, she has found time to serve in the unusual capacity of Deacon at Providence Baptist Church and in leadership positions in professional organizations in mathematics; including serving as Secretary-Treasurer of NAM for approximately ten years. Because of her professional activities, she, is listed in several Who's Who and other publications: (1985) Who's Who Among Black Americans, (1982) Who's Who in Georgia, (1982) Men and Women of Science, (1974) Who's Who of American Women, (1974) Personalities of the South, (1971) Outstanding Educators of America, and (1951) Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities. In May 2000, Dr. Walton retired from Morehouse College after forty-two (42) years of service. She now plans to devote more time to her hobbies of cooking, sewing, singing, and gardening.

REF: [Houston, Harriet Junior Walton]


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