Spring 2009 Issue
Sister Arlene Scott, OP
December 2, 1953 – April 2, 2009
A vibrant Adrian Dominican sister known for her good-humor and enthusiasm, Sister Arlene Scott, an esteemed teacher and advocate of social consciousness, died April 2, 2009. She was 55.
Sister Arlene Scott was born Mary Arlene Scott in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, December 2, 1953 to parents Robert and Mary Lou Scott. The eldest of four children, Sister Arlene grew up in an exceptional home: Her father, an honorable judge; and her mother, a graduate of then-Barry College, class of 1949.
Sister Arlene graduated from Cardinal Gibbons High School in Fort Lauderdale in 1971 and went on to further her education at the University of Florida, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in early childhood education in 1975. She earned two master’s degrees at Loyola University of Chicago; the first in 1987 for religious education, the second in 1992 for pastoral studies.
“She had a great passion for activities that addressed injustice, not just locally, but globally,” said Barry University President Sister Linda Bevilacqua, OP, PhD. “Another passion of hers was to lead students to a deeper appreciation of their baptismal call to preach and live the Word of God.”
A respected teacher, Sister Arlene held teaching certificates in Illinois and Florida, where she taught hundreds of elementary school-aged children how to read, write and do arithmetic for more than 20 years. Her first position was in her native city at Saint Clement School. She went on to teach at other institutions, including St. Eulalia School in Maywood, Illinois, St. Mary of the Lake in Chicago, Illinois, and St. Jude Cathedral School in St. Petersburg, Florida.
In 1999, Sister Arlene joined Barry University as the director for Mission and Ministry, now known as Campus Ministry, and later became assistant vice president of the department. In the last two years, she served the university community as assistant to the president for Mission Integration.
During a decade at Barry, Sister Arlene served her community in many capacities including coordinating many activities and forging strong relationships. Annually, she organized a trip to Fort Benning in Columbus, Georgia, where every year, for the last 19 years, an advocacy group called School of the Americas Watch and its supporters stand outside the main gate of the School of the Americas to protest its training of mostly Latin American soldiers who have allegedly committed abuses against innocent people.
Sister Arlene’s idea to raise a “Peace Pole” at the foot of the Cor Jesu Chapel became a reality on September 11, 2002. She also re-established a student chapter of Pax Christi USA at Barry University, a national Catholic peace movement committed to peace education and nonviolent action and works to promote the gospel.
Sister Arlene’s keen social awareness also caused the first observance of Earth Day at Barry. She also forged ties with campus ministers at Barry and local universities including St. Thomas, University of Miami, Florida International, Florida Atlantic and Miami-Dade College.
In addition to serving on the Adrian Dominican Sponsorship Commission, Sister Arlene was a member of the Adrian Dominican Financial Stewardship Advisory Board (FSAB). Locally, she was also a member of the Archdiocesan Commission on Religious Life and Ministry.
Sister Arlene is survived by her father, the honorable Robert C. Scott, her mother, Mary Lou, sister Julianne Cleary (Jack) and brothers Gregory and Patrick Scott (June) and her niece, Mary Kate and nephews Brian and Austin and loving aunts, uncles and cousins.