Loudoun Laurels Chairman Joe May announced Monday that legendary Loudoun County Circuit Court Judge Thomas D. Horne and journalist Margaret Morton will be the 2016 honorees at the Loudoun Laurels Gala, Sept. 30 at Belmont Country Club in Ashburn.
“Judge Horne and Margaret Morton exemplify the very best of the traditions of public service, stewardship, and personal contributions to the life and history of Loudoun County,” May stated in making the announcement. “Their lives and work are role models for us all to follow and admire, and we are all, every single one of us, in their debt in some way.”
“Their stories will not only add immense understanding and depth to the Thomas Balch Library’s permanent research collections on the history of the county,” May stated, “they will be preserved online for young citizens and future generations seeking role models and standard-setters for how to live lives of stewardship and service.”
Judge Thomas D. Horne
When Chief Judge Thomas D. Horne retired from the Loudoun County Circuit Court in December 2013, he had served longer than any other judge in the circuit.
Horne is a 1965 graduate of Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA, and a 1969 graduate of the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary.
For three years, from 1980 to 1982, he served as the county’s commonwealth’s attorney. He first took the bench in 1982, and served for the next 31 years until he reached the mandatory retirement age of 70.
In addition to his long and distinguished history as a judge, Horne was a driving force in establishing and maintaining a landmark educational experience for young people considering a career in law, the 20th Judicial Circuit’s Law Camp. There, students meet and interact with professionals in both classroom lecture and moot court environments.
A keen preservationist, he has worked diligently to protect and serve Loudoun County’s historic courthouse building in Leesburg. He also serves on the Board of the Friends of the Thomas Balch Library.
The dean of the active Loudoun County press corps, Margaret Morton is a 1958 graduate of Edinburgh University in Scotland.
In 1966, she left her native Britain to come to America after marrying a Virginian, W. Brown Morton III, later an Episcopal priest and Professor of Historic Preservation at Mary Washington University.
Morton entered the world of journalism in 1992 joining the staff of Leesburg Today in September of that year. Last year, she became a founding member of the writing staff of Loudoun Now, recently recognized as the New Business of the Year by the Town of Leesburg.
With nearly a quarter century of experience, Morton has covered Loudoun, its history, its people and its places, with grace, style, wit and integrity, exemplifying the highest standards of both journalism and community service.
An active preservationist, Morton who served on Loudoun County’s first Historic District Review Board, has been a dedicated, active, personal and professional supporter of a host of county nonprofit and charitable activities.
The annual Loudoun Laurels award ceremony is a highpoint of the Northern Virginia philanthropic season, with many leading individuals, companies and organizations supporting The Loudoun Laurels Stewardship Trust, the education arm of the organization.
Since 2013, the LLST and its supporters have presented $10,000 scholarships to deserving Loudoun County high school students. As of September, 11 such scholars will be attending Virginia schools. Each scholarship winner receives $10,000 a year for four years provided their academic record meets standards.
To reserve tickets to the Sept. 30 Loudoun Laurels Award Ceremony, go to loudounlaurels.org or call 703-787-7807.
The Loudoun Laurels is a registered 501c3 not-for-profit organization. Proceeds from tickets sales and other contributions support both the Loudoun Laurels and its Stewardship Trust scholarship fund.