The John Morton Project: Rediscovering a Founding Father

Advisory Board

The John Morton Advisory Board, chaired by former U.S. Ambassador to Finland Marilyn Ware, comprises historians, archivists, genealogists, migration experts, former ambassadors, and others interested in the life and contributions of John Morton.

The first board meeting was held in Philadelphia in November 2008. This distinguished gathering was the first dedicated solely to discussion of Morton and his impact on the histories of Finland and the United States.

The second board meeting will be held in conjunction with the John Morton Conference in Helsinki, Finland, June 14-15, 2010. Read more here...

Honorable Marilyn Ware, Chair
Marilyn Ware served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Finland from 2006 to 2008. From 1988 to 2003, she served as Chair of the Board of American Water Works, a New York Stock Exchange company. She was also Honorary President of WaterAid America, an international charity dedicated to the provision of safe domestic water, sanitation systems, and hygiene education in 15 countries. Now retired, Ware serves as Chair of the John Morton Advisory Board.

John E. Costello, M.A.
John Costello is the Executive Director of the Delaware County (Pennsylvania) Historical Society. Prior to this position, Costello was a middle school principal in Chester, Pennsylvania. He has a bachelor’s degree in American history from Widener University and a Master of Arts from Temple University.

Costello is Vice President of the Sun Ship Historical Society and a member of the Society for Industrial Archeology and the Delaware Valley Archivists Group. He also volunteers at Hagley Museum in Wilmington. During college, Costello worked at the archeological dig of the 1740 Morton Mortenson House, and his home is on property once owned by the Morton family.

Peter S. Craig, J.D.
With deep regret, the John Morton Project announces the passing of Advisory Board member Peter Craig on November 26, 2009. Peter Craig was a distinguished fellow of the American Society of Genealogists and the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania as well as the historian and genealogist of the Swedish Colonial Society. His numerous publications include extensive work on the Finns of New Sweden and the Delaware Valley—specifically Mårten Mårtensson, an original Finnish settler of Pennsylvania and great-grandfather of John Morton.

Olavi Koivukangas, Ph.D.
Olavi Koivukangas has been Director of the Institute of Migration since he founded the national foundation in 1974. The Institute is supported by all the Finnish universities as well as four government ministries and numerous other organizations involved in migration studies.

Professor Koivukangas earned his Ph.D. in Demography at the Australian National University Canberra in 1972 and a Ph.D. in History at the University of Turku in 1986, where he now teaches. His research, teaching, and publications focus on the history of Finnish migration, especially to Australia and New Zealand.

Auvo Kostiainen, Ph.D.
Auvo Kostiainen is a professor of general history at the University of Turku, docent of travel history at the University of Lapland, and docent of general history at the University of Tampere. He received his doctorate in history from the University of Turku in 1978 and has been a professor and lecturer in history since that time. His research and publications focus on original Finnish immigration to America and the history of the Morton family in New Sweden and Pennsylvania.

Honorable Antti Lassila
Antti Lassila is a distinguished diplomat who has acted in many capacities for the Republic of Finland. His posts have included the Finnish Embassies in Athens and Rome. Lassila also served as Consul General of Finland in New York City.

Peter Lillback, Ph.D.
Peter Lillback is a professor of historical theology and President of Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. Since receiving his doctorate from Westminster in 1978, he has focused his scholarship on theological history and the history of Colonial America. His most recent publications are George Washington’s Sacred Fire (2006) and Wall of Misconception (2007).

Henrik Meinander, Ph.D.
Henrik Meinander is a professor at the University of Helsinki and Senior Researcher on the project “Finlands svenska historia," an exploration of Swedish Finland’s cultural and historical roots.

Rick Morton
Rick Morton an attorney currently with the law firm of Ryan, Morton & Imms LLC in West Chester, PA.  After graduating summa cum laude from the Delaware Law School in 1984, Rick has served as a state and county prosecutor in New Jersey, and as an attorney in private practice for the last twenty years.  Rick is the chair of the advisory board for the West Chester, PA Salvation Army, volunteers for the Norristown Soup Kitchen, and teaches Sunday School at Christ Memorial Lutheran church in Malvern, PA and the Central Schwenkfelder church in Worcester, PA. He is a direct descendant of John Morton.

Laura Noreila-Manninen
Laura Noreila-Manninen is the Executive Director of the League of Finnish American Societies (SAYL) in Helsinki. SAYL operates as an organization of friendship that promotes mutual understanding of U.S. and Finnish culture. It is one of the largest organizations for friendship with the United States in the world.

Daniel K. Richter, Ph.D.
Daniel Richter is Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Professor of History and the Richard S. Dunn Director of the McNeil Center for Early American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his doctorate in history from Columbia University. His research and publication focuses on Colonial North America and particularly Native American history before 1800.

Laurie A. Rofini
Laurie Rofini is the Director of Chester County Archives and Records Services in West Chester, Pennsylvania. She received her M.A. in History from West Chester University and her M.S.L.I.S. from Drexel University..

Donald C. Ward
Donald Ward is the acting President-General of the Descendents of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence. He is a direct descendent of John Morton. Ward operates a real estate company in Boyertown, Pennsylvania.

Mark C. Ward
Mark Ward is employed with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in West Conshohocken, PA as Financial Advisor and Planning Specialist. Mr. Ward serves on a number of non profit boards and committee's including the Society of the Cincinnati, Pennsylvania Society Sons of the Revolution, Descendents of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence, Colonial Society, Philadelphia International Flower Show, Radnor Races for Open Space, Greener Partners and Liberty USO.

Robert E. Wright, Ph.D.
Robert Wright is the Nef Family Chair of Political Economy at Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Since receiving his Ph.D. in History from SUNY Buffalo in 1997, Wright has authored, co-authored, edited, or co-edited 17 books, including most recently /Fubarnomics/ (2010), /Bailouts/ (2009), /Money and Banking/ (2009), /Higher Education and the Common Weal/ (2009), and /One Nation Under Debt/ (2008). He is the editor of Pickering and Chatto's financial history monograph series and a co-editor of its economy and society series and is also active in the Museum of American Finance.

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