Surrounded by friends and family, longtime Catawba College employee, Oliver Gilbert Scott of Salisbury, was recognized April 26th when a walkway and fountain on campus were dedicated in her honor.
For more than 25 years in her role as assistant to the president for specialEvents, Oliver has planned luncheons, dinners, retreats and other special occasions for the college. In recognition of her service, college trustees, members of her family and friends made gifts to refurbish and rename the walkway between the Omwake-Dearborn Chapel and the Robertson College-Community Center as "Oliver's Way."
The walkway has been relit, replanted with indigenous plants and grass, and is graced by a tall central fountain. Along the edges of the walkway, benches are placed to provide seating. The completed "Oliver's Way" comes two years after trustees gathered in February 2005 and voted unanimously to formally authorize it.
Those making donations to the effort include Oliver's daughters and sons-in-law who donated the fountain, Margaret and Freeman Barber and Mary and Jim Henderson, along with Paul and Sue Fisher, Renie Gorsuch, Shari and Bill Graham, Linda and Harold Hamilton, Gerry and Jim Hurley, Volinda and Nash Isenhower, Brenda and Bob Knott, Kay and Jess McCartney, Mary Messinger, Eloise Peeler, Julie and Ott Pinkston, Patsy Rendleman, Mary and Carl Repsher, Alice and Fred Stanback, Rachel and Charlie Bernheim, Mona and Lee Wallace, Chris and Jim Whitton, Brenda and Gerry Wood, Jean Wurster, Prudy and Charles Taylor, Anne and Clay Lindsay, and Dan Sears.
Oliver came to work at Catawba in 1981 for a supposed ‘one year' as the assistant for specialEvents to late College President Dr. Steve Wurster. But close to 15,000Events later, she is still on the job, now serving as assistant for specialEvents to Dr. Robert Knott. Not only does she plan menus, entertainment, and decorations for Catawba's specialEvents, she is responsible for overseeing decorating projects on campus, including color schemes, furnishings and accessories in meeting rooms, offices, residence hall lobbies, and the College Cloninger Guest House.
Knott made reference to Oliver's distinctive taste and style during the dedication. Oliver's Way also has a dual meaning, he said. It literally means a physical way to get from one building on campus to another, but it also is a phrase used to indicate how things are planned, decorated or executed if Oliver is involved.
"Our alma mater hymn has a line that refers to a campus of ‘fond memory lanes,' and Oliver's Way will become one of those ‘fond memory lanes' for those of us who love and enjoy the beauty of this campus," Knott said. "Oliver Scott has been single-handedly responsible for creating beautiful places and beautiful occasions on this campus for 25 years. Her interior designs grace our administrative offices, our residence hall lounges, and other places on campus. It is therefore especially appropriate that this beautiful site be designated Oliver's Way in tribute to her commitment to beauty and to Catawba College."
Oliver grew up in Elizabeth City, N.C. as Oliver Windsor Gilbert. She graduated from Salem Academy and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She taught English at Knox Middle School in Salisbury for 13 years before joining the staff at Catawba in 1981. She is married to retired Salisbury physician Dr. Alan Scott.
The Scotts are members of St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Salisbury and parents to six children including Alan, Jr. of Stuart, Fla.; Stuart of Tampa, Fla.; Susan Winkler of Shreveport, La.; Elizabeth Poole of Greensboro; Mary Henderson of Charlotte; and Margaret Barber of Charleston, S.C.
Oliver and her husband are long time benefactors of the college. In October, 2003, they became members of Catawba's Tower Society when they made a $100,000 gift to Catawba in the form of a charitable remainder annuity trust. The Alan F. and Oliver G. Scott Trust will pass to the college upon their deaths and is designated for the endowment and support of the College's Cloninger Guest House. The Scotts had previously established the Alan F., Betty R. and Oliver G. Scott First Family Scholarship at the institution and are members of Catawba's President's Circle.