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Sen. Jack Scott

California senator to be honored as ACU's alumnus of the year

For immediate release
Feb. 12, 2003

Abilene Christian University has named Sen. Jack Scott, class of 1954, Outstanding Alumnus of the Year and will honor him at ACU's Alumni Day Luncheon Feb. 24.

Scott represents the 800,000 citizens in the Pasadena area in the California State Assembly.

In his career, Scott has served as a minister, historian, professor, college president, and now a state senator.

Scott grew up in Sweetwater and attended ACU, where he was president of the Students' Association and Outstanding Male Graduate. His most notable ACU moment, however, he says had nothing to do with academics.

"I have so many wonderful memories of Abilene Christian," Scott said. "But the best thing that happened to me there was meeting my wife, Lacreta."

Immediately after graduation, he worked in public relations at ACU for two years, and then moved to New Haven, Conn., where he preached and received his Master of Divinity degree from Yale.

Scott headed west in 1962 to join the religion faculty at Pepperdine University, and he preached at Westchester and Crenshaw Churches of Christ. By 1970, Scott had moved into the administration at Pepperdine and launched a college administration career that included serving as president of Cypress College and later president of Pasadena City College, the third largest community college in the nation. At PCC, he launched a $100 million master plan that refurbished and added buildings to the campus.

Upon retiring from PCC in 1995, Scott returned to Pepperdine as a distinguished professor of higher education. Only a year later, after encouragement from friends, he ran for the state Assembly, a job not too different from his college president career.

"A college president is a political role," he said.

Scott never gave up preaching, however. He has been preaching once a month at Sierra Madre Church of Christ since 1974.

As a state senator, Scott has met with remarkable success. He has seen 62 percent of the bills he authored signed into law. Through his leadership, laws have ben enacted that have increased and improved the supply and quality of teachers in California, reformed insurance and forced all handguns sold in California to have trigger locks.

Scott said he sees his success as the result of a gift from God.

"The Bible talks about spiritual gifts, and the gift of administration is one of them," he said. "I have that gift of being able to work with other people to accomplish things. I know politics has a bad name, but I see it as the art of working together to get things done."

Despite his gift, Scott said his career in California politics is something he never planned or even dreamed.

"Believe me, when I was a kid growing up in Sweetwater, I never imagined myself living in California and certainly not as a state senator," he said.

The Outstanding Alumnus of the Year Award is ACU's highest alumni honor and is given for lifetime achievement of an individual who has brought honor to the university through personal and professional excellence and service to the university, the church and the community.

Other ACU alumni awards include the Young Alumnus of the Year and Distinguished Alumni Citation award recipients.

The Young Alumnus of the Year is Bingiee Shiu, orchestra director at Houston's Memorial High School. Shiu has taken the prestigious orchestra to Carnegie Hall and the Texas Music Educators Convention.

Distinguished Alumni for 2002 are Kay Dawdy, Kenneth Greene, Dee Travis and Alton "Rosie" Watson.

Dawdy is principal at Doerre Intermediate School in Klein, a school that has been recognized as a Texas Exemplary School every year since she became principal in 1994.

Greene is minister at the Metro Church of Christ in Dallas, chaplain for the Texas Army National Guard and a member of the Board of Directors for Central Dallas Ministries.

Travis is president of Travis Development Company, a former Texas State Senator, and helped found Healing Hands International.

Watson is a retired president of a commercial painting and maintenance business who lettered in both football and track and field at ACU.


If you are a member of the media who would like more information about this release, please contact Wendy Kilmer, university news coordinator.

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