February 26, 1925 - August 1, 2019
Dr. Julius Samuel Scott, Jr. was a man of great accomplishment and many talents – a devoted husband, father, mentor, educator, humanitarian, and church leader. Yet he was also a man of great humility who was able to mentor students, minister to parishioners, and enjoy friendships with everyone from neighbors to some of his generation’s most influential people. He transitioned on Thursday, August 1, 2019, at his residence in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. The oldest of three children, Dr. Scott was born in Houston, Texas, on February 26, 1925, to Julius S. Scott, Sr. and Bertha Bell Scott. Building on the foundation laid by his father, who like his son, was a minister and college president, Dr. Scott went on to lead a life characterized by compassion, love for people, thirst for knowledge, and a passion for influencing young minds. Inspired to devote his life to serving others, Dr. Scott earned degrees in sociology and religion from Wiley College (with distinction), Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, and Brown University before earning a doctoral degree in Social Ethics at Boston University. His interest in non-violent peaceful protest led him to India to study the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, and after leaving the seminary, he served three years as a teacher and missionary in Hyderabad, India. Upon his return to the United States, Dr. Scott met the love of his life, Ianthia L. (Ann) Harrell, and they were married in 1954. She was at his side as adviser and partner when he began his illustrious career, and she remained there throughout the 65 years of their marriage. As a professor of sociology at Wiley College, Boston University, Atlanta University, and Spelman College, Dr. Scott lived his passion for education, bringing out the best in his students by demanding excellence. He interspersed his teaching duties with acting as Director of the Wesley Foundation at Texas Southern University, and chaplaincies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Brown University, where he honed an aptitude for institutional administration that he would use in the service of others throughout his life. Dr. Scott became a leader in a number of educational and social justice institutions in Atlanta, Georgia, including the Southern Fellowships Fund (associate director, 1967–1970), the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change (executive director, 1970–1972), and Spelman College (professor of sociology and special assistant to the president, 1972–1975). After Spelman, he moved to Augusta, Georgia, to begin serving his first term as president of Paine College (1975–1982). In 1982, Dr. Scott continued his devotion to education and ministry by serving as the associate general secretary of the Board of Higher Education and Ministry for the United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tennessee, where he had primary responsibility for 128 schools, colleges, and universities. In August 1988, he returned to Paine College as its twelfth president, holding an unusual second term at the same institution. After he retired from Paine College in 1994, he was called upon to be interim president at several colleges and universities, including twice at Albany State University (Georgia), as well as at Wiley College (Texas), Philander Smith University (Arkansas), Savannah State University (Georgia), and the Medical College of Georgia (now Georgia Health Sciences University). Dr. Scott was also a strong and enthusiastic community leader. While in Augusta, he served as chair of the Metro Augusta Chamber of Commerce and was a long-time board member of the C&S and First Union National Banks (now Bank of America). He also served on boards of the American Cancer Society, the Greater Augusta Arts Council, the Community Mental Health Center for East Central Georgia, the Central Savannah River Area Regional Development Center, the St. John Towers Retirement Home, and countless others. He and Ann retired to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, in 1994, where he continued his dedication to learning and community. He served as vice chair of the Hilton Head Island Foundation, board member of the Community Foundation of the Low Country, board chair of The Children’s Center, and was a founding member of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Committee. He also served on the boards of Penn Center, the Coastal Discovery Museum, Seabrook, Friends of the Library, and was vice chair of the Native Island Business and Community Affairs Association. From 2004 to 2006, he was elected to serve on the Community Services Associates Board of Sea Pines. Dr. Scott was hardly all work and no play. He enjoyed lively conversation and was well known for his quick wit. Sunday mornings always found him joyfully greeting visitors and church members prior to worship at St. Andrew by-the-Sea. An ardent competitor at the bridge table and on the tennis court, he also indulged his love for jazz music, which began in his days as a musician in the Wiley College Jazz Orchestra. He enjoyed live music performances at venues from the Carousel at Paschal’s in Atlanta to the Jazz Corner in Hilton Head, and he could always be found on the dance floor at social events. Dr. Scott received several prestigious awards and was a faithful member of many organizations. In 1987, he was elected a Distinguished Alumnus of Boston University, and in 1988 was inducted into the Wiley College Alumni Hall of Fame. He received the Africa University Drum Award in 2005 for helping to establish the Africa University in Zimbabwe. He was honored with the Distinguished Leadership Award by the Commission on Colleges in 2006 and received the Century Award of Excellence from Omega Psi Phi Fraternity in 2011. He was a member of Rotary Club International and was elected a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow in 1992. In 1994, he was named President Emeritus of Paine College, and in 2019 he was inducted into the Penn Center 1862 Circle. He was a member of Epsilon Mu Boule, Sigma Pi Phi and Omega Psi Phi Fraternities, and over the course of his long life was awarded fourteen honorary degrees. Dr. Scott was an active member of St. Andrew By-The-Sea United Methodist Church, which he joined when he and Ann moved to Hilton Head. He served the church in many capacities and was recently honored with the title Pastor Emeritus. He was a member of the Bridge Builders, which, together with the Church Council, established the Dr. Julius S. Scott Lecture Series. The lectures focus on faith and race. Dr. Scott carried his zest for life and dedication to service with him everywhere he went, and it earned him the respect and friendship of many of the giants of the twentieth century. He met with Albert Einstein, Jawaharlal Nehru, Bishop Desmond Tutu, Robert Frost, Colin Powell, and Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton; and among those he counted as friends were Martin Luther King, Jr., Coretta Scott King, Joseph Lowery, Benjamin E. Mays, and Andrew Young. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother Lamar Houston Scott and nephew Bertrand Howard Batiste. Precious memories of him will continue to be cherished by his wife Ann; sons: Julius Sherard Scott III, David Kumar Scott, and Lamar King Scott; sister Gertrude Scott Batiste; nephew Harold Eugene Batiste, Jr.; niece Amy Leilani Batiste; and many other relatives, dear friends, and colleagues. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested memorials be made to: Paine College Organ Restoration Fund 1235 15th Street, Augusta, Georgia 30901; the Penn Center, Inc. PO Box 126, St. Helena Island, SC 29920; or Wiley College 711 Wiley Avenue, Marshall, TX 75670.
Dr. Julius Samuel Scott, Jr. was a man of great accomplishment and many talents – a devoted husband, father, mentor, educator, humanitarian, and church leader. Yet he was also a man of great humility who was able to mentor students, minister... View Obituary & Service Information
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