Dr. William R. Scott September 22, 1940, ~ May 7, 2017 (age 76)
Dr. William R. Scott was born on September 22, 1940, in Philadelphia, the son of Eleanor Plummer Scott. He graduated with honors from Central High Boys School, where he lettered in varsity track and football. He received the bachelor’s degree (cum laude) in history from Lincoln University, where he joined the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, NU Chapter. He earned a master’s degree in history from Howard University, and a master’s and doctoral degree in history from Princeton.
In 1968, he co-founded the New Jersey Committee on Southern Africa, one of the first antiapartheid movements in the country. He later taught at the University of Wisconsin (Madison), Wellesley College, Harvard University, Oberlin College and Lehigh University. Dr. Scott authored and edited a number of scholarly articles and three books on African American history. The focus of his scholarship was Ethiopian symbolism in U.S. black thought.
He traveled extensively---to Ireland, Germany, Austria, England, Barbados, Antigua, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico but mostly to Africa. He did volunteer work in Ethiopia and Tanzania and served as a U.S. scholar in Kenya, Lesotho, Swaziland, Botswana, and South Africa. He also worked in Johannesburg with the Educational Opportunities Council, headed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. He served too as Associate Dean at Wellesley and Oberlin College; Dean of Arts and Sciences at Clark Atlanta University; Director of the UNCF/Mellon Minority Fellowship Program; and Director of Africana Studies at Wellesley, Oberlin and Lehigh University.
Dr. Scott was deeply involved in the Cultural and Scholarship Ministry at the Greater Shiloh Church, in Easton, Pennsylvania. He wrote and narrated a 90-minute documentary video of the church’s history entitled a “Long Walk by Faith: History of the Greater Shiloh Church, 1904-2010. Later as a member of the Resurrected Life Community Church in Allentown, he served as the church’s scholar in residence and a director of its Community Development Board.
He is survived by daughters, Holly Alston and Padma Scott, two step-children, John Noel and Alana Yates, grandsons, Kai, Thomas, Amari, and Dejour. A grandson Terrell predeceased him.
Funeral Services will take place on Monday, May 15, 2017, at 11 AM in the Packer Memorial Church on the grounds of Lehigh University 18 University Drive, Bethlehem, PA 18015 (Enter at West Packer Street). Viewings will be held on Sunday from 5-7pm in the Judd-Beville Funeral Home, Inc. 1314 W. Hamilton St. Allentown and again Monday at 10 AM in the Church. Entombment in the Mausoleum at Cedar Hill Memorial Park will follow services. A time of reflection and fellowship will be held in the Asa Packer Dining Hall on the 3rd floor of the University Center Building. The reception will be from 12:30 PM until 3 PM. Those who wish may go directly to the reception after services, the family along with those traveling to the cemetery will greet you in the Dining Hall after services are concluded at the Memorial Park.
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