Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Audrey E. Scott
MSA SC 3520-14033

    Audrey E. Scott is a lively and accomplished woman who has thrived on her endearing sense of community and education throughout her adult life, a combination that she believes goes hand in hand.  In her words, "Audrey Scott cares.  Compassion to care about every citizen. Action-oriented to get the job done.  Relationships to bring people together.  Experience to resolve problems."1  As a motivated and successful career-woman for over fifty years, Ms. Scott has faced many political and professional challenges and she has been greatly rewarded by her peers and community with many promotions, honors, and awards for her achievements.

    Ms. Scott was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. While growing up, Scott’s family struggled financially; “Scott is the only one of four children in her family to attend college and she credits family sacrifice for allowing her that opportunity.”2  With her family's support, Scott worked hard in her pursuit of a degree at Tufts University; she waited tables and commuted to classes because she could not afford to stay on campus.  At Tufts, Scott ran for and was elected the first woman Mayor of the campus.3  This particular accomplishment drove Scott’s ambition later in life, when she chose to run for political office in Bowie, Maryland.  Ms. Scott graduated from Tufts University in 1957 with a B.A. in English.  With a degree in English and only a small income, Ms. Scott pursued an adventurous career in education overseas; she taught public school for the U.S. Department of Defense under the Overseas Teacher’s Division in France and Japan.  This was a decision that grew out her desire to travel.  Since Scott did not have extra funds, she found a way to work hard and gain the experience that drove the beginning of her career life.

    Growing from her initial role as an educator and independent young woman, Ms. Scott began to take a larger interest in her community after she moved from England to Bowie, Maryland with her husband in 1966.  Shortly thereafter, in 1970, Ms. Scott took an interest in improving her community with a better medical facility.  She actively promoted and supported the Bowie Health Center and chaired its Board of Directors, 1970-94.  This particular endeavor connected Scott to her community and led her directly into her political election to the Bowie City Council in 1975 and eventually her election as the first female Mayor of Bowie, Maryland in 1976. She served for three terms, leaving office in 1982.  Scott is also notably recognized during this era of her career for joining the Maryland Municipal League in 1976. She served as president in 1979, and remains a current and active member today. She also maintained a position on the Board of Directors with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, National Capital Chapter from 1976-1991, with a promotion to Executive Director, 1991-1994.  Ms. Scott’s diverse participation in many civic areas shows her persistence and commitment to help build a strong and unified community.

    Ms. Scott's experience as mayor led her to a ten-year position, 1981-1991, with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as Special Assistant in Community Planning and Development (HUD), where she actively participated in preservation and improvement of communities.  Ms. Scott’s professionalism and dedication to her community led her to a quick promotion as General Deputy Assistant Secretary with the Department, a job she coveted for nearly ten years.  During this era of her career, Ms Scott also participated in another notable election for Congressional Office in 1981, to fill the seat of the sick Gladys Noon Spellman.  She was defeated by Steny Hoyer (D).  Her campaign for Congressional office is remarkable because it included television commercials, which at the time were quite enterprising and expensive for a female candidate who had to be especially diligent in raising campaign funds.  During this era, she was also recognized by local organizations such as Bowie-Crofton Business and Professional Women’s Organization which named her Women of the year in 1984, and Women of History in 1990.4  The Bowie-Crofton Soroptimist International awarded her Women Helping Women Award.5  Ms. Scott is also notably distinguished as a community leader in Women of Achievement in Prince George’s County History.6  With all of this incredible civic activity, Ms. Scott also earned her Master’s degree in legislative affairs from The George Washington University in 1989, an outstanding accomplishment in addition to her many civic-minded goals.

Inspired by her HUD position and civic participation, Ms. Scott was elected in 1994 to the 4th district Prince George's County Council-4th District, where she remained until 2002. While she held this position, Ms. Scott chaired many municipal committees and served as vice-chair of the council in 2001. With her revival in politics, Ms. Scott chose to run for Prince George’s County Executive in 2002.  She told her constituents that “her decision to run for county executive was motivated by the need to improve the county’s public school system.”7  Although she was defeated by Jack B. Jackson (D), she remained particularly active in many civic committees and activities into the millennium, which earned her an appointment to Governor Robert L. Ehrlich's gubernatorial cabinet in 2003 as Secretary of Planning, a position she held until 2007.  The Governor said,

Audrey Scott is an example of the type of leadership we want to reestablish in State government.  Her countless executive positions in both government and community organizations have earned her a place in my administration.8
During this late period of her career, she became most recognizable as a role-model to women in the state; in 2002, she was again distinguished as a leading female exemplar in Women of Achievement in Maryland History.9   The Prince George’s County Historical Society also honored Ms. Scott in 2003, with The Saint George’s Day Award for “her efforts in support of historic preservation at both the county and state levels.”10   As a highly recognized and celebrated Maryland woman, Ms. Scott is held in high esteem by her peers and constituents who nominated her to the Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame in 2006.  She was officially inducted into the Hall of Fame in March 2007.  She also was awarded the Civic Leadership Award by Prince George’s Community Foundation in 2007, and “a proclamation and a key to the city from Bowie City Council in late 2006.”11

    Ms. Scott has recently retired and currently resides in Queenstown, Maryland, where she can be much closer to her family and grandchildren.  Over the course of her career, Ms. Scott successfully managed her personal role of wife and mother next to her public goals; she enjoyed her marriage to John while they raised four sons, Lawrence, Bryan, Kenny, and Eddie.  Bryan said, “Her public activities have been a part of our lives as long as I can remember!”12   Her family takes pride in her career and has worked on almost all of her campaigns while supporting her ambitions and goals in the community.  Reflecting on her career, Ms. Scott keeps Bowie, above all, near and dear to her heart, “I’ll always be a Bowieite!”13   Overall, she, as a community activist, also wants people to realize their potential,

…that even a housewife can become a powerful political figure with just being active in your community…my experiences evolved because I got involved, I would recommend to anyone in the community to get involved because you get so much more out of it than you give.14
Notes:

1.  “Maryland Voters Guide,” Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/metro/elections/2002/1362.htm  (accessed January 10, 2003). return to text
2.  Walter Lee Dozier, “Politics and Family Make Scott a Winning Combination,” Gazette.net, August 22, 2002, http://www.gazette.net/gazette_archive/2002/200234/princegeorgescty/county/118054-1.html, (accessed June 12, 2007). return to text
3.  Ibid. return to text
4.  Therese C. Yewell, Women of Achievement in Prince George’s County History, USA: Anaconda Press (1994), 209. return to text
5.  Ibid. return to text
6.  Ibid. return to text
7.  Walter Lee Dozier,  “Scott makes Education the Focus of her Campaign,” Gazette.net. August 8, 2002.
http://www.gazette.net/gazette_archive/2002/200232/princegeorgescty/county/116354-1.html (Accessed June 12, 2007). return to text
8.  “Governor-elect Ehrlich Announces Nominees for Key Cabinet Positions,” Press Release, Department of General Services, www.dgs.maryland.gov/press/2003/010603.htm , (accessed June 12, 2007). return to text
9.  Carolyn B. Stegman, Women of Achievement in Maryland History, Maryland: Anaconda Press, (2002), 360. return to text
10.  “The Saint George’s Day Awards,” Prince George’s County Historical Society, www.pghistory.org, (accessed June 13, 2007). return to text
11.  “Former Mayor, County Councilwoman to leave Bowie,” Gazette.net, http://www.gazette.net/stories/120706/princou225426_31995.shtml, (Accessed June 12, 2007). return to text
12.  “Politics and Family make Scott a Winning Combination.” return to text
13.  Ibid. return to text
14.  Ibid. return to text


Biography written by Jenette Parish, Summer Intern 2007.

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