There is no conversation more boring than the one where everybody agrees.
Volume 73 | Issue 3
May 2005

Remembering Bill Scott, ACUI past president

Bill Scott had an eye for detail, a caring attitude, and a ready smile. Before his death on April 1 at age 85, Scott touched the lives of his colleagues and students at the University of Houston and in ACUI.

"[Scott] hired me fresh out with my master's degree at an APCA conference in Dallas," said LarryCAMarkley, former night manager and campus activities advisor at the University of Houston and now director of the Brown-Lupton Student Center at Texas Christian University. "Bill provided a great mentorship relationship for the seven years. ... It is always a sad day when you lose one of the best persons, boss, mentor, and friend. He treated people so well and he will be missed from our profession."

William D. Scott served as ACUI president from 1965-66. His career as a union professional included the University of West Virginia, Texas Tech University, the University of Massachusetts, and finally the University of Houston where he served as director of student activities until his retirement in 1984.

Harry Sharp, former vice president for student affairs/dean of students at the University of Houston from 1973-82) said Scott "had creativity, energy and a 'get-up-and-go' spirit that was unmatched. ... Bill kept the University Center spotless, which students very much appreciated, while his staff adored him. He had an opportunity to move up into upper-level administration of UH and chose not to--and stay at the University Center director level--a decision which was most appreciated by the staff and students of UH."

However, Scott's time as director was not easy, said Luz Guerra, former secretary with Scott and now executive administrative assistant to the vice chancellor/vice president for student affairs at the University of Houston; "Mr. Scott was remarkable man. He was the director of the University Center during a time of turmoil (the '60s), but also tremendous growth. I remember he watched as the University Center was being damaged and pillaged during a period of student unrest and refused to leave the building."

But when things in the University Center were damaged, you could be assured they would not stay that way. As Connie Wallace, former dean of students at the University of Houston and Scott's colleague from 1965 until his retirement in 1984, said: "Bill had very high standards for his University Center buildings. Nothing in one of his buildings was broken for long. He could spot a spider web on the ceiling as soon as he entered the room--and it would quickly disappear."

Wallace also noted Scott's firm commitment to the college union ideal and that he "believed strongly in the value of student organizations as effective laboratories for leadership development and his actions reflected that value."

Scott also valued his own role in teaching and developing young staff members and students. "As I was a young professional and by myself initially, he was my father away from home," Guerra said.CA"... Working for Bill was a real pleasure and learning experience.CAHe was always honest and straightforward with his thoughts, always positive about the direction the student center was going and cared about what the students, faculty, and staff wanted. ... I believe everyone who worked for him greatly benefited from his leadership."

Scott earned a degree in physical education from Marshall University in Huntington, W.Va., followed by his master's degree in education from Michigan State University.

He also was a naval pilot during World War II and continued his service as a member of the United States Naval Reserve for 27 years until his discharge as a Lt. Commander in 1979. In the years following his retirement from the University of Houston, Scott was able to combine his love of campus community with his enthusiasm for golf by creating a charitable golf tournament to raise money for college scholarships. During this time Guerra remained close to Scott as his golfing buddy; he said: "[I] always claimed that there never was a more lucky golfer than Bill Scott.CAFor example, he would hit a ball into the trees and everytime the ball would bounce back into the fairway."

In lieu of flowers the family asks that memorials be sent to the St. Joseph Hospital Foundation, P.O. Box 1919 Houston, Texas 77251-1919 or www.sjhf-hou.org/donate.