Jean Scott (2000-2012)
As Marietta College entered the new millennium, the Board of Trustees was pressed with a new challenge—to find Marietta College’s 17th President.
By the time Dr. Larry Wilson announced his pending June 2000 retirement, he already quelled much of the turmoil that he inherited from the previous administration and was halfway into the six-year, $45 million Comprehensive Campaign. The next leader would have to pick up the reigns of the major fund drive already in progress plus help devise a strategic plan that would enable the College to increase its survival rate by identifying and improving various aspects of the institution.
When the Board of Trustees announced their choice for President, their decision was historic. For the first time in the College’s 165 years a woman would fill the executive seat.
Dr. Jean A. Scott, a Harvard-educated historian, was the President of Bradford College and had served as Interim President and Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services for State University of New York at Potsdam.
"We could not be more delighted with our selection," said then-Trustees Chairman Tim Cooper ’73 at the time of the Board’s announcement. "Jean Scott brings a well-rooted appreciation of liberal arts colleges and how they can prepare students for all aspects of life and work. That is a core value—perhaps the core value of Marietta College, and Dr. Scott will help us achieve that and other aspects of our vision."
Because Marietta was still in the process of recovering from hard times, the Board of Trustees wanted a strategic plan for the College. Thriving in the Floodplain was a directive that would lead to financial stability through growing student enrollment numbers to 1,250 students by 2006.
The College identified priorities, which included the Leadership and the China programs, during Dr. Scott’s tenure.
From the time she took office, the Marietta College community experienced a dramatic physical change. A few weeks before taking on her new role, the College broke ground on the 52,000-square-foot residence building, McCoy Hall.
Similarly, days before the Fall 2000 semester began, she received word that an alumnus’ foundation had committed the largest single donation in the College’s history. Dave Rickey ’78 and the J & D Family Foundation gave $10 million to revive Marietta’s math and science programs.
"Look for wonderful things to come out of this time-honored institution," Dr. Scott said in response to the donation. "I know I am proud and excited to be a part of the progress, and judging from the reaction of the faculty to the news of the Rickeys’ gift, we’re all eager to get to work to make the Rickeys’ vision a reality."
In 2003, the College celebrated the openings of the Rickey Science Center and the Dyson Baudo Recreation Center, an 86,000-square-foot athletic facility made possible with the lead donations by Rob Dyson ’68 and Laura Baudo Sillerman ’68. Ban Johnson Fieldhouse and Fenton Court were also renovated during this time.
By the time the Comprehensive Campaign wrapped up that spring, the $45 million goal was eclipsed and the College closed the fund drive having raised more than $62 million.
Construction didn’t stop with the two major additions to campus in 2003, though. The following year, Don Drumm Stadium received a major overhaul. In 2005 Fayerweather Hall and Mills Hall were remodeled and new fields were created for softball and soccer. Edwy R. Brown Petroleum Building was also refurbished.
Soon after these renovations were complete, the College received two major donations from Dyson and Baudo Sillerman that would lead into the next major fund-raising endeavor. The alumni gave $5 million each to build a new library. In 2006, the College officially began the Legacy Campaign, which had a goal of raising $50 million in three years.
"Rob and Laura have helped transform the Marietta College campus through their generosity and loyalty to their alma mater," Dr. Scott said during the library’s groundbreaking ceremony. "I am proud that Rob and Laura chose to honor the College’s storied history by collaborating and recommending the name of the new library, the Legacy Library. This is a remarkable show of respect to those who came before us and left their mark at Marietta—names such as Dawes, Slack and Cutler. The name choice also pays tribute to the dedicated and outstanding faculty who have served Marietta’s students."
The building of Legacy Library coincided with the College’s auxiliary strategic plan Higher Ground, which supplemented Thriving in the Floodplain. The newest plan consisted of seven additional goals for the College to achieve between 2004 and 2007. One of those goals included renovating the existing Dawes Library.
In November 2007, Rickey and his wife, Brenda, announced that they wanted to honor two of Dave Rickey’s former professors—Dr. Lester Anderson ’55 and Dr. Whit Hancock—by donating the majority of the cost that it would take to build a state-of-the-art planetarium that would annex the Rickey Science Center. Both the Anderson Hancock Planetarium and Legacy Library opened in 2009.
Aside from the buildings and expansion of the physical plant, Dr. Scott’s leadership showed one of great vision. In 2007, she led College planners through the development of a goal list for Marietta. This plan—Vision 2020—was the product of a task force that had a broad representation of campus, including administrators, faculty, alumni and trustees. Dr. Scott closed the statement by citing the vision for the College through 2020:
Marietta College transforms intellectually curious students into agents of change for the global society of the 21st century.
A distinctive integrated liberal arts curriculum prepares all graduates to understand such issues of their time as global competition and the rise of China as a world power, the growing demand for energy and for protection of the environment, and the role of leaders and leadership in every field or endeavor.
Every student develops knowledge and problem solving skills in the classroom, through international experience, internships and research or creative activities, and in co-curricular activities that develop individual talents, civic responsibilities, teamwork and leadership.
Marietta College will offer every student the opportunity to become more than you imagined and will prove that the education it provides meets that expectation.
Post Your Remembrances of President Scott
Following 12 years of leading Marietta College to new academic heights and a facilities renaissance across campus, Dr. Jean A. Scott is retiring as president on June 30, 2012. We would love to present her with your comments, special stories or memories about her or your time on campus.
Please be sure to include your name, class year (Ex: '92, '08) and current location (Ex: New Haven, Conn.) along with your comments.
Remembrances of President Scott
President Scott has always been an inspiration to those who have had the honor of meeting her. She has been a wonderful president and an even greater person.
— Kay Johnson '12
Since I arrived on campus you have been a friend and a mentor. Your leadership has been outstanding for the College and your friendship is one I will continue to cherish for a long time.
— Gloria Stewart,
Director of Physician Assistant Studies
Giving President Scott a hug after winning the National Championship and seeing how proud she was of us. I'd like to get another one of those hugs this year.
— Michael Mahaffey '12
Several years ago when I encountered obstacles getting a memorial bench for Jackie DeLaat, you met with me, and then intervened on my behalf to allow it to happen. That meant a lot to Jackie's former students and colleagues, and to me, and I wanted to thank you again. Best wishes on your retirement!
— Mike Tager,
Associate Professor of Political Science
Dr. Scott has been a great supporter of the arts during her time at Marietta College. During one particular choir performance, I can remember standing next to her and singing the Alma Mater, The Navy Blue and White, and I vividly remember her singing with gusto and thoroughly enjoying her chance to sing with the Concert Choir. She has always been and will continue to be such an inspiration for me and I am glad that I had the chance to spend three years at Marietta College with her.
— Claire Murphy '13
You have been such an inspiration to all of us. You were always professional and representing the College through difficult times and issues. We are all grateful to you for your leadership and you will not soon be forgotten…hopefully we'll have have your picture to look at in the President's Conference Room instead of all those old bearded men. Thank you for everything and enjoy your retirement.
— Debbie McNutt '03
I have to say that myself and my family have been touched by how much you care about the students here. In August of 2010 I had a severe brain injury. My parents were astonished but so happy because you took time to call them and ask how I was doing! You truly do care and you are such an amazing person! I am sad to see you go but I hope retirement is everything you want it to be! We all appreciate you so incredibly much!
— Samantha Rementer '12
Drexel Hill, Pa.
If you think of Marietta College as a large sailing ship, then President Scott stopped us from taking on water and set us sailing in the right direction. Without her leadership I'm not sure I would have been able to do the job I love in a place I love. Thank you so much, best wishes and remember you have a lifetime invitation to Marietta College's Friday Happy Hour!
— Dr. Mark Sibicky,
Professor of Psychology
As a current student, I only begin to express how appreciative I am of Dr. Scott's involvement in campus life. Whether watching performances or attending ceremonies, I have always felt the support of Dr. Scott in all of my endeavors at Marietta College. In a school with Leadership as a core value, Dr. Scott serves as an invaluable model of a poised, gracious, and articulate leader whom every student can strive to emulate. We could not possibly ever express our gratitude to Dr. Scott for all that she has contributed to our education, and we wish her all the best in this the next chapter of her life.
— Sydney Maltese '14
Dr. Scott you have always been pleasant and personable. It's nice to be called and recognized by name no matter if on campus or out somewhere in town. Thanks for being who you are.
— Linda Gorman '93
Jean, a mere "thank you" seems inadequate to express our gratitude for all that you have done for Marietta College. In your 12 years here you have transformed the College in so many ways. As a result of your leadership, we are a much better academic institution and our facilities have undergone remarkable improvements. But, perhaps most importantly, you lifted our spirits and showed us how we can set and then achieve higher goals. It was a privilege to work at Marietta College under your guidance.
I wish you the very best in your retirement. Take it from me — retirement is GREAT!
— Dr. Robert Walker,
Professor Emeritus, Chemistry
When I was first employed by Marietta College I was impressed by Dr. Jean Scott. On first appearance she reminded me very much of Barbara Walters but with just a hint of a southern accent. She was poised and elegant. As I have come to see her in action over the past six years I see that she is even more than that. She is a leader and I can always trust that she will do or say the right thing. Now I think Barbara Walters reminds me of Jean Scott.
— Becky Cutlip, Safety Officer
It has been an absolute pleasure to work with you the last 12 years. I remember when you started as it was approximately two weeks after I did. I worked in the alumni office at that time. It is hard to believe it has been 12 years. You should be very proud of what you have accomplished for this college during your tenure here. Without your leadership, the college would not be what it is today. I wish you the very best in your retirement and hope you are able to relax and take some time for yourself.
—Penny Rose, PA Clinical Coordinator
Thank you for your remarkable tenure at Marietta. As I have told you before, you have made all of us on the presidential search committee look pretty good. I wish you peace, happiness, and good health on whatever avenues you may choose next. I am sure all who meet you will experience the joy we have had knowing you. God bless.
—Jacob (Jay) Showalter '71
While I will remember many significant accomplishments and events from your time as the leader of Marietta College what will always stand out for me is the morning we met and you asked me to serve as a member of the board of trustees. Your faith in my ability and support of my efforts has meant a great deal to me. Working with you the past seven years has been an honor and privilege. Paul and I wish you a happy, healthy retirement filled with family, friends and those things that bring you pleasure. You have led this college with distinction and your legacy will place you among the finest presidents Marietta has known. Enjoy this new chapter in your life.
—Barbara Perry Fitzgerald '73
250 years ago when the famous British evangelist George Whitefield preached in North America, a young man from Maryland asked a friend if he should take the time to hear Whitefield. The unequivocal answer was: Hear him. He will not pass this way again. That is precisely the way we feel about the privilege of benefiting from Jean Scott's presidency. Marietta College, its students, faculty, staff and alumni have never witnessed a comparable dozen years, nor are they likely to again. There are no adequate words sufficient to thank Jean for what she has done in transforming us, one and all. For your grace, courage, intelligence, vision, patience, energy, imagination, and sense of humor, we give you our thanks and wish you every earthly happiness.
—Jim and Mabry O'Donnell, Emeriti Professors
Thank you President Scott for your excellent stewardship of my school — the place where I grew into adulthood as a student and began my career as an international educator. Special memories include your heartfelt words and strength during tragedies on a global and local scale, and your smile and warmth during celebrations and reunions.
Thank you for your wisdom, integrity and passion; each year under your leadership, I have grown even more proud to be a Marietta College alum than the year before. You've made a tremendous impact on my life and I am truly, forever grateful.
—Jamie Kendrioski '01, '04
Your leadership brought my beloved institution back from the brink, and I will always appreciate your work. The Marietta College I attended as a student is, happily, not the MC I love to visit. I consider myself very fortunate to have had the privileged to have worked for you, and even more so to have known you as an alum. Thank you for all you have done, and welcome to The Long Blue Line.
—Andrea Reusser '95
President Scott gave a personal reflection at the Sept. 11th 10th Anniversary ceremony that I planned this past fall. Her words were wise and easy for the small audience to relate to and I was honored that she accepted my invitation to speak at the event.
The first word that comes to my mind when I think of her is "stately." She shrugged it off when I accidentally called her Dr. Kipp when I was a freshman. She addressed the passing of students and faculty with respect and concern. She shared academic, athletic and extracurricular successes with us and prodded us to achieve even more.
And she loved to use quotes … end quote.
—Connor Walters '13