Charles Lewis Scott, affectionately referred to as Chuck, was Professor Emeritus and co-founder of Ohio University’s School of Visual Communication in the Scripps College of Communication. He is considered a giant in the field of photojournalism.
In 1969 he was recruited by OU to expand the visual education program. His efforts led to the program to be internationally recognized. He left the Athens area in 1974 to work at the Chicago Tribune but returned to OU two years later to help establish the Institute of Visual Communication with his son-in-law Terry Eiler BFA ’66, MFA ‘69. This laid the groundwork for the School of Visual Communication that resides in today’s Scripps College of Communication.
Charlie Nye, BSJ ‘74, a former student of Scott’s, recognized that Scott had an energy and passion for photography and how that translated into the classroom: “He would recount to his students how driven he had been to compete and create these wonderful pictures. He was just an amazing presence, and his sense of humor and his confidence and excitement for photojournalism just bubbled over into everything.”
Scott retired from his position of Director of the School of Visual Communication in Winter Quarter 1995 and from Ohio University in 2003. On his retirement, dean of the Scripps College, Scott Titsworth, admired his compassion and commitment for photojournalism. “Chuck’s tireless advocacy for photojournalism was seminal to the rise of imagery in print, and later, digital publications. Chuck helped frame the importance of visual images in storytelling. Indeed, our experiences as consumers of journalistic storytelling are much richer because of what Chuck did to advance the field.”
Sadly, Chuck passed away at 91 in November 2015. He was surrounded by his family and has since been commemorated in more ways than one. The Chuck Scott scholarship created in his memory benefits VisCom students and keeps his name and legacy alive within the college. In fact, Scott’s granddaughter, Christina Baird BSVC ’06, MA ’12, even focused her Masters Project on his life, aligning it with three phases of his career: photographer, picture editor, and educator.
In 2020, the Charles L. Scott Scholarship was awarded to four students: Jake Steed (Lima, OH), Kailee Richey (Loveland, OH), Mackenzie Kress (Bridgeport, WV), and Mary Berger (Pataskala, OH) and each echoed the same honor and relief they felt when learning they were recipients of this named scholarship.
Richey, a junior majoring in commercial photography, sums up what it means to be a college student and a recipient of this award: “Some challenges I face being a college student are balancing my school life with that of working, staying active, and being in student orgs, as well as maintaining creativity and my mental health. Balancing all the different elements college has to offer is very tough! This scholarship helps me address these challenges because it offers confirmation that the work and effort I am putting in is paying off in a tangible way! It is nice to be rewarded and recognized for the work I’m doing.”
Kress, also a junior, majoring in interactive design, has yet another connection to former professor Scott: Her mom attended Ohio University, was a visual communications student, and Scott was her advisor. Kress shared, “In general, I was elated to find out I was awarded additional merit-based scholarships, but this one feels especially close to my heart. Chuck Scott was my mother's advisor during her time at OU and she has spoken highly of him my entire life, even before I was interested in VisCom or OU. I feel lucky to be carrying on the legacy of someone my mother knew and thought so highly of; she swears her college experience would not be the same without him. I was also relieved, knowing that I'd be able to save more of my income than previous semesters.”
Kress continued, “Being a college student comes with many obstacles. I’m a full-time student and work a part-time job — so I can have spending money — but the pay and hours are low, and books/food/parking are expensive. Receiving Chuck Scott’s scholarship has helped so much because I am able to save more money for essentials, as well as save money for after graduation. The nature of the jobs I'm interested in will require me to move to a metro area where the cost of living is higher. I hope to use money I’m able to save now because of scholarships to get me started when I inevitably must move to a city.”
Your gift to the Charles L. Scott Scholarship will have an impact on students studying in the School of Visual Communication at Ohio University. The School will be able to award more and bigger scholarships in the years ahead, adding Scott’s legacy and influence onto the next generation of OU students, photojournalists, and visual communicators.
Although this campaign has concluded, it's easy to give to Ohio University and support the Charles L. Scott Endowed Scholarship Fund.