Ruth Holland Scott: Neilly Series Lecture


Ruth Holland Scott: Neilly Series Lecture




Born and educated in Albion, Michigan, Ruth Holland Scott is an educator, author, and businesswoman who was the first African-American woman elected to serve on the Rochester City Council, and was elected its president in 1986.  

Scott’s career has included ground-breaking roles in education, banking, and neighborhood revitalization initiatives. She currently serves as a consultant and speaker, and has been a frequent guest on radio and TV news broadcasts in western New York. 

Her 2014 memoir, The Circles God Draws, spans decades of opportunity and challenge, from post-Depression years through World War II to today, detailing her life as an educator and businesswoman in Michigan, Cleveland, and Rochester. The book chronicles family experiences, facing discrimination, and personal triumphs.

Scott holds an undergraduate degree (cum laude) in secondary education and sociology from Albion College, graduate degree from Kent State University, a Chief School Administrator and Business certifications from Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, and two Honorary Doctorates, including one  from Albion College. She and her husband Bill live in Rochester.



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Scott, Ruth Holland, “Ruth Holland Scott: Neilly Series Lecture,” RBSCP Exhibits, accessed February 26, 2024,

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