Befittingly, both the ceremony and award were among Scott’s countless contributions to Mary Baldwin and the regional community.
“When Edward came to MBU in 1990, there was nothing in the town or campus that celebrated Dr. King,” said Cornett-Scott. “He encouraged his colleagues in the [philosophy and religious studies departments] to do something, and together they started the annual celebration.”
Scott was Mary Baldwin’s first African American faculty member. He was instrumental in advocating for the adoption of better diversity practices on campus, forming the Black Student Alliance, creating the African American Studies minor, and founding what has since evolved into the OIE.
“His and President Fox’s efforts have helped radically transform the university’s student population,” said Cornett-Scott. In the late 1990s people of color made up less than 10 percent of that population. Today, they comprise about half.
Though grateful for the recognition, Fox and Scott agree that their — and the university’s — work around manifesting King’s Beloved Community is far from over.
“There is still much to do on our campus, in our society, and in our world, as King’s words continue to resonate with pressing and uncomfortable persistence,” said Fox. “In essence, the credo of diversity and inclusivity at Mary Baldwin pledges to build on our campus, and in this community, a more just and committed network of mutuality so that our students and citizens can take this reflective action into the wider world they wish to build from here.”