A history-making Longwood graduate has returned to campus as a member of her alma mater’s governing board. In June 2019, Gov. Ralph Northam appointed N.H. “Cookie” Scott ’72, Longwood’s first African-American graduate, to the university’s Board of Visitors.
“We are proud to warmly welcome Cookie Scott back to campus as a member of the board,” said President W. Taylor Reveley IV. “Her story of courage and perseverance is an inspiration. That she will help lead her alma mater in a rapidly changing world is poetic and meaningful, and we are grateful to have her experience and expertise to guide us.”
Scott graduated with a B.A. in sociology. She was a psychiatric social worker before she began a long and successful career with the Virginia Department of Corrections, where she recently retired as the agency’s deputy director, division of administration. In that role, she oversaw a $1.2 billion budget and managed multiple departments.
In 2012, Longwood named a center for diversity and inclusion in Scott’s honor. Located today in the Upchurch University Center, the N.H. “Cookie” Scott Multicultural Center provides workspace, resources and meeting space for multicultural groups on campus. It is used by the Longwood chapter of the NAACP, Black Student Association, Hispanic Latino Association, PRIDE and the Greek National PanHellenic Council, and as an informal gathering spot for students to work or socialize.
Scott was born in Esmont, a small community in southern Albemarle County, and grew up in Richmond and Albemarle. She attended segregated schools until her senior year of high school. In 1968, she became one of the first African-American students to enroll at Longwood and was the first to graduate four years later.
“Cookie is the epitome of a citizen leader and already is a trusted member of our team as we chart Longwood’s course into the 21st century,” said Eric Hansen, who has served on the Board of Visitors since 2012 and was elected by his fellow board members to serve as rector for the term that began July 1, 2019.
Along with Scott’s appointment, Northam also renewed the terms of board members Michael Evans and David Hallock. Pia Trigiani was elected vice rector, and Evans serves as the board secretary.