CHICAGO - Marvin Scott's community college colleagues from around the state recently celebrated his outstanding service as a trustee of Rend Lake College.
Scott, 82, of Belle Rive, served an unprecedented 35 years on the RLC Board of Trustees. On June 7, in Chicago, he was recognized with a Trustee Service Award during the Illinois Community College Trustees Association Annual Awards Banquet held at the Sofitel Chicago Water Tower.
Outgoing ICCTA President Reggie Coleman - a trustee at John Wood Community College - introduced Scott.
"Marvin, your tenure on the Rend Lake board lasted longer than most careers," Coleman said. "Congratulations on becoming one of our 35-year trustees."
"In 35 years, I saw a lot of change," Scott said. "... I've been to several states. I still think Illinois is on the top of the list. We have good people."
Scott pointed out the tenure of College of Lake County Trustee Richard Anderson, who was first elected while a full-time student in 1974 and has served 39 years. Anderson was at the banquet. Scott joked that it was time to retire because he will never be able to beat Anderson. But that's never been Scott's reason for adding his name to the local board ballot seven times. Scott always ran for the students.
Marvin Scott of Belle Rive was recently honored for 35 unprecedented years of service on the Rend Lake College Board of Trustees. Scott attended his last meeting with the board in April. He received the 35 Year Trustee Service Award from the Illinois Community College Trustees Association at it's annual awards banquet in Chicago. Scott was joined by his wife, Vivian Scott, as well as members of the RLC Board and RLC President Terry Wilkerson. PICTURED ABOVE, FROM LEFT, are; Student Trustee Haden Smith, Trustee and ICCTA Representative Rick Marlow, Scott, former Trustee Ed Cunningham and Wilkerson. (Photo by Nathan Wheeler/ RLC Public Information)
His last meeting with the RLC Board was in April. College President Terry Wilkerson and board members gave him a commemorative plaque and a personalized hunting knife. He is a devoted collector. Scott said, “I’ve enjoyed being here and I want to enjoy leaving too. I’ve made up my mind that I’ve served my time. I want to go out on a good note. But it’s hard to leave. I’ve spent a lot of time here and I love the kids. I’ve seen a great growth here. There’s so many changes since I [joined the board]."
RLC Board Chairman Bryan Drew pointed out that Scott had been a member of the Board since Bryan was 3 years old.
“That tells you how long he has been serving the people of this community,” Drew added. “It’s impressive. It’s not an easy thing to do. People forget sometimes that there’s no pay involved and, most of the time, it’s just you paying to do it. He does it because he loves this college. I can promise you, there is nobody who loves this college more than Mr. Scott. It’s been an honor of mine and a pleasure being on the board with him.”
Scott witnessed the establishment of a new campus, the selection of three college presidents, and the expansion of numerous degree programs and certificates.
"We’ve had some extra good board members. Smart people," said Scott. "You don’t do it all by yourself. Good teachers. Good people around us.”
His biggest supporter has been his wife of 63 years, Vivian Scott. Marvin said Vivian told him not to retire from the board.
“She said, ‘You’re going to miss it.’”
“He really cares about people getting a better education, that they might be better off economically and have a better life,” Vivian said back in 2011 when the college’s Executive Board Room was named after her husband.
“Vivian’s been a good backer. My kids have too,” said Scott. “You can’t come and do all the things [a trustee does] unless somebody takes your place back home.”
When Scott received the ICCTA Trustee Education Award in 2009 - he has more than five - former ICCTA President Jeff May commented on how many training seminars Scott would have had to attend for the award. It was a considerable number, around 60.
“He has really shown a solid commitment to good trusteeship to get the most education possible to do his job well,” May said. “… He has taken the time to be the best trustee he can be. Someone who has been in at his level with as much training as he has had, we can really look to him to see how to be a good trustee.”
Scott is now a lifetime member of the ICCTA. The organization is an advocate for the state's public community college boards. The Illinois community college system, which serves nearly one million students each year, is one of the best in the country.