April 2005, Vol. 6 No. 5
Presenting AUB to the Outside World on
Film and Video
Choral Concert Workshop and Guitar
Festival Held at the Assembly Hall
Civilization Sequence Program Screens Falstaff
Oleanna Play Reading: Power Dynamics and
Book Review: In the Path of Hizbullah by Ahmad Nizar Hamzeh
A Tree Grows in Hanine
Professor Richard H. Scott taught in the Philosophy Department of AUB for 37 years. He died peacefully on March 18 in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, his adopted home after his retirement. Professor Scott’s classes have remained in the memories of countless AUB graduates, including a number of current members of the faculty. A former student, Mahmoud Chreih, currently teaching in the Arabic Department, wrote in An-Nahar in February, “During the end of the forties and the early fifties Khalil Hawi, Fuad Rifka, Diana Takkieddine, Nadim Naimy, Monah Solh, Selim el Hoss, and Abdel Wahab Kayyali all studied under him. They were followed by Sadik al-Azm, Assaad Khairallah, Anis Sayegh, Youssef Ibish, Sami Hawi, Waddah Nasr, Najla Selman, Richard Freigi, James Mishalani, George Khairallah, Assad Razzouq, Adonis and Eddie To'meh, Joyce Said, and many, many more, not to mention those who studied under him in the sixties, seventies, and eighties.”
Dick Scott was a student’s professor. Students met frequently in his faculty apartment on campus to discuss philosophical ideas and enjoy Mrs. Scott’s baking. Shortly after his arrival at AUB back in the late 1940s, Professor Scott wrote, “The business of philosophy is to try to throw new light on old things and to try and help men wrest themselves free from the limitations of the status quo and push on to farther and undreamed of horizons.”
Addressing Professor Scott on the occasion of his retirement in 1984, Professor Nadim Naimy of the Arabic Department said, “I cannot differentiate between you and my country... Lebanon was our material homeland and you, teacher of great ideas, are the homeland of our thought, our soul, our aspirations.” Having spent so much time in Lebanon, Dick Scott grieved for his adopted land on his return to the United States in 1984. But he quickly involved himself with the students of Gettysburg College and the broader
on community, where he continued to work actively community projects addressing such issues as peace, justice, racism, literacy, conflict resolution, and the abolition of the death penalty. Together with his wife Elizabeth, who taught in AUB’s Communication Skills Program for many years, he was awarded the 2001 Peacemaker Award by the Gettysburg Interfaith Center for Peace and Justice. On the occasion of the receipt of the award Martin Malone wrote, “There are many people who make Gettysburg a great place to live. Dick and Elizabeth Scott have devoted their lives to making the world a better place.”
Richard Scott lived his beliefs. As a conscientious objector in World War II he completed his alternate service in a Quaker forestry camp and as an orderly in a mental hospital. Returning to university after the war, he finished his BA at Duke University in 1945 and his MA at Harvard in 1947. He completed all requirements for a PhD in philosophy at Harvard, working on Whitehead’s theory of value, but never submitted his dissertation.
While at AUB, Dick Scott served many times as chair of the Philosophy Department and also for three years as director of what is now known as the Civilization Sequence Program. Throughout his long tenure at AUB he helped shape curriculum development, expanded the Philosophy Department, advised and sponsored student organizations, and during the prolonged strike of the early seventies, worked tirelessly to sponsor student-faculty and student-administration dialogue. He also served on the University Senate and numerous university committees.
Associate Provost Waddah Nasr, also a member of the Philosophy Department, remembering his decision to major in philosophy when he first joined AUB, wrote, “Professor Scott’s love of philosophy and his enthusiasm for the subject, the intensity with which he posed the questions, and the sincerity and thoroughness with which he sought and examined the answers, allayed my doubts about the value of philosophy and strengthened my resolve to make the study of philosophy a lifelong project. Professor Scott was living proof that philosophy matters.”