Mary Shy Scott, LHD*
23rd International President
1990 – 1994
Administration Theme: Creative Strategies for Action in the areas of Education, Health, Economics, Family, Arts, and the World Community.
Initiated into the Kappa Omega Chapter, Atlanta, Georgia.
Dr. Mary Shy Scott was born and raised in Atlanta. She graduated from Spelman College with her B.A. degree and was initiated into the Kappa Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® in 1953. Dr. Scott earned her M.A. degree from New York University and completed post-graduate work in humanities at both New York and Georgia State Universities where she became certified in supervision and administration. Additionally, she was awarded her Doctor of Humane Letters in 1990 by the Miles College Board of Trustees in Birmingham, Alabama.
From 1982 until 1984, Dr. Scott served as the 10th South Atlantic Regional Director of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®, which includes the states of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. Dr. Scott was elected the sorority’s First Vice President in 1986 and in 1990, she was installed as the 23rd International President. The tremendous strides made under her leadership included addressing creative strategies for action in education, health, economics, family, arts, and the world community.
Dr. Scott completed a $4 million building project for the sorority’s International Headquarters in Chicago, Illinois, and received a $15.5 million federal contract from the U.S. Department of Labor to refurbish and operate the Cleveland Job Corps Center, which offers youth aged 16-21 training in alternative programs for education. In addition, Dr. Scott capitalized at $1 million on the sorority’s Educational Advancement Foundation which annually awards more than $100,000 in scholarships. She also introduced the Ivy AKAdemy where every chapter committed to addressing the reading needs of African American children. Dr. Scott also ushered in a program to train graduate sorority members to serve as graduate advisors to guide undergraduate members. The Graduate Advisors’ Certification training program remains in place today as a testimony to her vision.
In 1991, Dr. Scott led a delegation to Honolulu, Hawaii to both install and dedicate the first non-military commemorative plaque honoring unsung WWII hero Doris “Dorie” Miller an African American sailor and unsung hero. A proponent of education, she leveraged her position as international president to forge a partnership with the Library of Congress in their collaborative mission to promote reading. Under her leadership, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® chartered a chapter in London, England. With the sorority growing and expanding, Dr. Scott successfully led the effort to add a third floor to the sorority’s corporate office in Chicago, Illinois. This renovation strengthened the sorority’s operations and helped the organization better serve its members worldwide. She also assured that the sorority’s history is shared with the public when the Alpha Kappa Alpha Archives was officially opened at the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center at Howard University on November 6, 1993.
Dr. Mary Shy Scott became an Ivy Beyond the Wall on April 15, 2013. The Ivy Community Foundation, Incorporated, offers The Mary Shy Scott Merit Scholarship posthumously in her honor. The scholarship is awarded to college-bound and current college students who have demonstrated significant academic achievement, leadership, and community service.