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Augustana Observer

Dr. Scott remembered as ‘a great navigator’

Dr. Larry Scott, Professor emeritus of Scandinavian studies, died Saturday, Nov. 16.
Dr. Scott, who began teaching at Augustana in 1981 and retired in 2013, was a “tremendous guide in helping students,” according to Kai Swanson, executive assistant to the president.
Swanson remembers Dr. Scott having a passion for sharing Scandinavian customs and helping students become more interested in their studies.
“Especially in those early years, he was everywhere,” Swanson said. “He had a great passion and a great energy.”
Swanson knew Dr. Scott since he was a child and experienced Dr. Scott’s impact towards Scandinavian studies and events.
Swanson said Dr. Scott was great with helping students develop an interest in whichever class they took.
“You don’t have to be a Swedish student,” he said. “He was a great navigator for that. He was a conductor, like on a journey.”
Wendy Hilton-Morrow, associate professor of communication studies, was a student of Dr. Scott’s in the early 1990s.
“He enjoyed his students and tried to make classes fun,” she said. “He tried to relate to students on their own level.”
Hilton-Morrow described Dr. Scott as “boisterous” and passionate.”
“He did not hold his tongue”, she said. “That’s part of what I appreciated about him.”
Senior Torey Baxa, said students loved Dr. Scott because he would “go out of his way to talk to you and help you with any kind of problems, even personal ones.”
Larry Emil “Lars” Scott was born on July 3, 1947 in Oak Park, Ill. He received his doctorate in Scandinavian studies and literature at the University of Washington.
Dr. Scott expanded the Scandinavian program, where Augustana is the oldest Swedish-American institution of higher learning in the U.S., according to Martin Enberg’s History of the Swedes of Illinois. He organized events such as the annual Sankta Lucia celebration and studied abroad with students at the Augustana Summer School in Sweden.
He was a member of the Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study, the American Scandinavian Society, the Modern Language Society, the Swedish-American Historical Society, and Phi Beta Kappa. He was a past president of the Augustana Historical Society.
In 1965, he was a National Merit Semi-Finalist and state championship winner and in 1979, he earned a Royal Swedish Embassy Research Grant. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden also named him a Knight of the Order of the Polar Star in 1996.
Passionate for film, Lord of the Rings, liberal arts, and Sweden, senior Erek Bell said Dr. Scott overall “enjoyed having a good time and making sure everyone felt comfortable and enjoyed themselves.”
“He could relate to students like other professors couldn’t,” said Bell.
Swanson said when he thinks of Dr. Scott, he pictures a “tomte,” which is an elf-like mythical creature from Scandinavian folklore, described as mischievous but good hearted.
“He always looked best when he was smiling,” said Swanson.
A memorial gathering will be held on Monday, Nov. 25 at 6 p.m. at Wheelan Pressly Funeral Home on 7th Avenue. Memorials can be made to the Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center and online condolences can be made at

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Dr. Scott remembered as ‘a great navigator’