“Arthur Frederick Scott, known as Scotty, was a distinguished member of the Reed College faculty.” So begins the Oregon Encylopedia‘s new biographical entry on Prof. Scott [chemistry, 1937-1965] (1898-1982) written by Prof. Emeritus Jeffrey Kovac ’70 (Chemistry, U. Tennessee). However, as Kovac quickly makes clear, “distinguished” is a vast understatement of Scott’s life and work. For Scott was not just a member of the Reed College faculty, he was the chair of the chemistry department from 1937-65, and he served as interim president of Reed College for most of World War II (1942-45). In addition, Scott pioneered many projects in chemical research and education, on and off the Reed campus (one of these projects was the creation of the still-operational Reed Nuclear Research Reactor, the only device of its kind to be housed at an undergraduate college), and he received several national awards and honorary degrees in recognition of his tireless efforts. It is only natural that today’s Reed students study chemistry in the Arthur F. Scott Laboratory of Chemistry.
Although Scott had retired from full-time teaching well before Kovac graduated from Reed, Kovac got to know Scott well. As Kovac put it, researching and writing this piece for the Encyclopedia was “a labor of love.”
Kovac has written several other entries for the Oregon Encyclopedia, including a biography of the College’s first president, William Trufant Foster (1879-1950), and a biography of the College’s seventh president, E.B. MacNaughton (1880-1960), who distinguished himself by serving simultaneously as president of the Oregonian newspaper, chairman of First National Bank, and president of Reed College (notable fact: MacNaughton did not accept a salary for his work as Reed president).