In Memoriam: Charlotte H. Scott

March 25, 2010 — Charlotte H. Scott, professor emerita of commerce and education at the University of Virginia and senior fellow at the Darden School of Business' Tayloe Murphy Institute (now Center) from 1976 to 1986, died March 11 in Charlottesville. She was 84.

Scott and her husband, Nathan, came to Charlottesville in 1976, when they both accepted appointments to the U.Va. faculty.

"I knew Charlotte Scott in my early years on the Darden School faculty," Darden Dean Robert F. Bruner said. "She was a wonderful and kind colleague with a sharp intellect and a capacity to get quickly to the heart of a question.

"Most of all, I respected her courage. She was a pioneer – one of the few women faculty members at Darden in those years, and along with her husband, Nathan, the first tenured African-American faculty members at U.Va. Darden benefited by her example."

Charlotte Scott also served at the Curry School of Education as University Professor of Commerce and Education from 1986 until 1998. Stan Trent, assistant dean for diversity and equity at the Curry School, said Scott was a tremendous asset. "Her courage as one of the first tenured African-American professors at the University and her integrity as a scholar created a lasting legacy here," he said. "We will certainly miss her."

Scott attended Yonkers High School and graduated from Barnard College in 1947. She also earned an M.B.A. degree from the School of Business of the University of Chicago in 1964.
Before moving to Charlottesville, she was an economist for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago from 1956 until 1971, and served as assistant vice president from 1971 until 1976 – the first African-American woman to be appointed a vice president at the Federal Reserve Bank.

C. Ray Smith, Darden professor emeritus and associate dean during Scott's time at Darden, remembers her as a "tireless advocate of the University and Darden. She was an active participant in the life of the school and conducted economic studies for the Tayloe Murphy Institute under the directorship of the late Charles O. Meiburg," he recalled.

Darden professor Gregory Fairchild, the executive director of today's Tayloe Murphy Center, where Scott worked for 10 years, met the Scotts at a dinner at their daughter's home.

"I knew of them as celebrities in an academic sense – living parts of history," he said. "So, I was naturally nervous about leaving a proper impression. One surprise was that they were both so unassuming; the other was her past experience at Darden, and her memories of work here."

Scott was active in many community service activities, for which she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree by Virginia Theological Seminary in 2006.

Fairchild said he saw Scott not long after his appointment as executive director of the Tayloe Murphy Center. "We celebrated the welcome coincidence," he said.

Daily Progress obituary