NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Will Braxton Scott (1925-2004 )
In presenting Will Scott with "The Voice of Wisdom Award", students stated that "The one sentence biographical statement would say that his professional activities have all been directed toward teaching students (undergraduate and graduate); the development of faculty to teach and staff to support the teaching-learning delivery; the development of the content and methodology of the profession; the development and accreditation of undergraduate programs in social work; the influence of various private and public agencies to support the development and improvement of social work education and the discovery of new knowledge or the rearrangement of old knowledge to extend scholarship in the discipline of sociology and the applied discipline of social work."
Born in Kingsville, Texas, Scott held a variety of jobs, including construction worker, railroad dining car cook, dishwasher, porter, and laborer until his military service. He then performed with various jazz, blues, and gospel groups until 1955 when he formed a jazz trio.
In 1960, he entered Indiana University where he received a BA degree in 1963 (social work major, sociology minor); an MA in Social Services in 1964; and an EdD in 1965 (higher education major, minors in social work and sociology). His dissertation was on Race Consciousness and the Negro Student at Indiana University.
Scott's pioneering efforts are in improving and/or instituting outstanding programs in social work and sociology, especially in undergraduate programs. His first academic position was at Knoxville College. From 1967 to 1976, Scott was Chair of Sociology and Social Services, Professor, and Director of the undergraduate program in Social Work at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. He developed the program which achieved accreditation from CSWE.
Scott joined Texas Southern University from 1976-1979. As Director of the undergraduate program in social work, he developed the program and achieved CSWE accreditation. From 1979-1984, he reorganized and developed the social work program, achieving CSWE accreditation for Clark College and Atlanta University. He was chair of the Department of Social Work/Sociology and director of undergraduate programs in social work at Grambling from 1984-1988. There, too, he reorganized the program, receiving CSWE accreditation. Bennett College was the smallest institution Scott helped to earn CSWE accreditation, serving from 1988-1992. He has served as consultant to more than 25 other programs seeking accreditation. In all cases, the programs have been accredited.
Scott's dedication to his students and their dedication to him is legendary. He believed in professional socialization experiences for students. During one experience, they "held the doors" during a discussion of opportunities for African Americans and the training and professional responsibilities of the profession for African American professionals and their clients. This led to the founding of the Association of Black Social Workers.
Scott is active in numerous professional organizations. He has published extensively. Next to music as a hobby, he fishes whenever possible and is an excellent cook.