Erica Clark –Asst. News Editor
On Friday, April 12, Rhode Island College received the unexpected news that Daniel M. Scott, who was head of the RIC English Department, passed away due to an ongoing battle of multiple myeloma for two years. Dr. Scott was part of the RIC community for 25 years and had two degrees from Georgia State University in Atlanta and from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (M.A. and Ph.D.).
Dr. Scott was a professor of the English Department and studied various literature including African American, Western, Non-Western, and postcolonial texts. He published work on multiple novelists, including Harlem Renaissance figures Wallace Thurman and Zora Neale Hurston. He was an active member of the Preparatory Enrollment Program (PEP) and the Dialogue on Diversity.
Dr. Scott was also an officer and served as Treasurer of the Rhode Island branch of the ACLU, and additionally a board member of Youth Pride.
RIC released a memoriam describing what they called the passion, and compassion Dr. Scott shared with the educational community:
“To describe Dr. Scott as much beloved by his family, students, friends, and colleagues is a woeful understatement. He was a genuinely good person who inspired respect and affection in everyone he met. No other person could be as witty, wry, and brilliant while still being so incredibly kind and humble. He never dominated a room, but his presence always sustained and enhanced the conversation.”
Dr. Stephen Brown, Assistant Chair of the English Department, described his experience with Dr. Scott as less of a specific memory, but as a man and professional he will always carry with him.
“I have never known anyone in a professional setting who could do such fine work with students and colleagues in so kind a way,” said Brown. “It was a kindness more than felt–it had being and meaning. Within and beyond the professional setting, I have never met his like, and I never will.”
Administrative Assistant to the English department, Armande Aywas described the sincere approach Dr. Scott had towards his advisees and fellow colleagues.“Dr. Scott was a man that understood people and would never hurt anyone, he appreciated people,” she said. “Every student leaving his office felt at ease and happy to have been advised by him, they felt a sense of comfort saying he is the best when it comes to putting their schedule together or guided them to what to take next. He never once not listened to what you have to say to him.”
“He never forgot my birthday in 6 years,” said Aywas. “He was a great human and I will never forget Dr. Scott.”
There was a celebration held on April 19 at 2 p.m. in Alger Hall to celebrate the life of Dr. Daniel M. Scott and the positive mark he left on the RIC community.