‘Heart of Baylor College of Dentistry’
To understand the character of Betty Scott, registrar at the dental school for 32 years, one need only talk to alumni who knew her through the decades. Their relationships with Scott began as applicants to the college, with many continuing long after they had become practicing dentists.
Take, for instance, Dr. Scott Waugh ’74. After applying to the dental school and learning he was first alternate, Waugh received his draft notice for the Vietnam War. While he was told he would be accepted into the following year’s dental class if he only reapplied, military orders required he serve in the meantime.
“Ms. Scott sent a postcard to me every month I was in Vietnam,” says Waugh. “Just little things: ‘What’s the weather like?’ ‘We can’t wait for you to get here.’ Little comments but so nice and so caring.”
At the time, he wasn’t even a student at the school.
“That was way above and beyond her job description,” says Waugh, 2014 Distinguished Alumnus. “That is the way Ms. Scott was with many of us. Her job was not a job. It was her passion. She loved her students.”
On Sept. 26, Waugh shared comments such as these during a memorial service for Scott in Mesquite, Texas. An inductee to the dental school’s Hall of Fame the year of her retirement in 1992, Scott’s legacy was cemented in 2001 with the creation of the Betty J. Scott Scholarship Fund. The first scholarship was awarded in 2011 after 10 years of funding, which began with a contribution from Dr. William Forrest ’62.
In a 2002 Baylor Dental Journal article, Forrest explains his reasoning for establishing the fund.
“This is my way of giving a rose to a very gentle lady whose life has been one of service to her fellow man; not just to her family and friends, but to her church and community as well, and especially to the Baylor dental family,” he says. “Many graduates have asserted that they would not be where they are today had it not been for Betty.”