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Retired Faculty Member Makes $1 Million Donation to Montgomery College

Professor Emerita will become first-ever faculty member to have a building dedicated in their honor

Montgomery College Professor Emerita Catherine F. Scott retired in 1986 after nearly 30 years of doing the work she loved. Her commitment to the students at Montgomery College never waned, and in 2007 she established an endowed scholarship in her name. Her latest gift, at age 95, is a $1 million donation to the Montgomery College Foundation.

As a result of Scott’s generosity, Montgomery College, for the first time in its history, will name one of its buildings in honor of a faculty member. The Commons building at the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus will be renamed the Catherine F. Scott Commons. A celebration to mark the event will be held June 12, 2013.

Scott became a faculty member in 1958 at the then-Takoma Park Campus, where she taught secretarial studies and served as chair of what was then known as the Department of Office Education. She became the driving force behind the creation of several important academic programs at MC, including the legal secretarial curriculum, the medical assistant curriculum, and the legal assistant/paralegal curriculum.

“I have such a strong connection to the students, faculty, and staff of Montgomery College,” Scott said. “After all, it was my home from 1958 to 1986. It has been my privilege to watch the College grow and adapt to the times. And I feel it’s my duty to be part of the change; to support the important mission and programs at the College.”

The Foundation has earmarked the funds for two vital programs: Achieving Collegiate Excellence and Success (ACES), a partnership between Montgomery College, Montgomery County Public Schools, and the Universities at Shady Grove, which offers a seamless pathway from high school to college completion by providing comprehensive support to students who are underrepresented in higher education; and the Macklin Business Institute honors program, which provides high-achieving business students with a challenging curriculum, experiential learning opportunities outside the classroom, mentoring from business executives, and scholarships.

“Catherine Scott’s many years of service to Montgomery College and her generosity are inspiring,” said Montgomery College President DeRionne Pollard. “Investing in our students is critical. We appreciate her extraordinary gift, and we are honored that she has such strong faith in Montgomery College and has chosen to invest in our students.”

Scott currently serves on the advisory board for Housing Unlimited Inc., a Montgomery County nonprofit that ensures safe, affordable, permanent housing for adults with mental illness. In addition, she is an active member on the social justice council at the Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church in Bethesda, and represents the church on the social justice group of the Unitarian Universalist Churches of the Baltimore, Washington, DC, and Northern Virginia area.

“I have always felt it is important to give something back to the community,” said Scott. “It is a responsibility every citizen has.”

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