In Memoriam

Harold Russell Scott Jr. (1935-2006)

Harold Scott, an award-winning actor, producer, and director and former head of the directing program at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, died late last month at his home in Newark, New Jersey. He was 70 years old.

Scott was a native of Morristown, New Jersey, but went to high school at Philips Exeter Academy. He later went on to graduate from Harvard College.

Scott had already made his mark on the New York stage when in 1972 he became the first African American to be named director of a major regional theater, the Cincinnati Playhouse. He later directed four Broadway shows. Scott continued working in the theater during the time he was at Rutgers University. He was on the faculty for nearly two decades.

Robert Gex (1935-2006)

Robert Gex, the former chancellor of Southern University in New Orleans, died from heart disease late last month at a hospital in Henderson, Nevada.

Gex led the New Orleans campus of Southern University for eight years from 1989 to 1997. In the fall of 2005 he was once again called upon to take the helm of the university after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the city and the Southern University campus.

Dr. Gex was a native of New Orleans and a graduate of Xavier University, the historically black educational institution in the city. He went on to earn a master’s degree in French from the University of Illinois and a Ph.D. in romance languages from the University of Missouri.

On two occasions he was a Fulbright Scholar studying French and teaching American studies at the University of Clermont-Ferrand in France. He joined the Southern University faculty in 1963 and served as dean of the Evening and Weekend college before becoming deputy chancellor and later chancellor.

Loretta Myrtle Butler (1915-2006)

Loretta Butler, a former professor of education and long-time civil rights advocate, died late last month from kidney failure at a hospital in Takoma Park, Maryland. She was 91 years old.

A graduate of Miner Teachers College, which was absorbed into the University of the District of Columbia, Butler went on to earn a master’s degree and an educational doctorate from Catholic University in Washington. After teaching in the public schools in New Orleans, Butler took faculty positions at Paine College, Xavier University, and Roosevelt University in Chicago.

After retiring from teaching, Butler developed the Black Catholic History Project for the National Catholic Conference for Interracial Justice in Washington. She was the author of three books and numerous articles on social justice issues.