life ought to be in service for others."
So, he studied religion at what is now known as Abilene Christian
University and went on to the graduate divinity program at Yale
University. Meanwhile, he went from giving sermons before small groups to
leading a small Church of Christ congregation in a suburb of New Haven,
But life's turns led Scott into education and, later, politics.
The Democratic assemblyman for the La Crescenta area since 1996 is now
running for the 21st state Senate District seat.
Scott, 66, feels the turns have been natural transitions.
When he graduated from Yale in 1962, Scott decided to teach religion
and history at Pepperdine University, something he believes "was still,
in many ways, a religious calling."
"It wasn't an abrupt switch," he said. "It wasn't like I went from
being a minister to selling insurance."
After taking a break from teaching to work on a doctorate in history,
he returned to Pepperdine in 1968 and went into administration two years
He eventually became the provost of the university's Los Angeles
campus and then spent 23 years as an administratorat various community
colleges. One of them was Pasadena City College, where he served as
president from 1987 to 1995.
"I'm very much a believer in that education changes lives and gives
people much greater potential," Scott said.
It was his work at PCC, such as instituting a $100-million
construction and renovation plan for the campus, that brought Scott into
A college trustee and two others familiar with his efforts came to
Scott in 1995 and asked him to run for the 44th Assembly District.
"Naturally, I had some hesitancy," Scott said. "You have to campaign.
You're attacked. I didn't confront that in academic life."
But something convinced Scott to run.
"I also thought to myself 'If good people refuse to run because they
might be attacked then, to whom do we leave office.' "
In his first three years in the Assembly, Scott said he had 40 bills
signed into law, more than any of his peers.
But most of his recent notoriety has come from pending legislation, a
bill that would require licensing for gun owners.