Rutgers President, 1891 to 1906
An eminent and influential teacher, Austin Scott (1848–1922) was professor of history, political economy, and constitutional law in Rutgers College when the trustees elected him to succeed Merrill Gates as Rutgers’ 10th president in 1891. He was born in Maumee, near Toledo, Ohio, graduated from Yale College in 1869, and spent a year at the University of Michigan, where in 1870 he received a master of arts degree. He studied for three years at Berlin and Leipzig and received his Ph.D. from the University of Leipzig in 1873, writing his dissertation on “Relations of Macedon to Rome in the War with Carthage.” In Germany, he assisted the famed historian George Bancroft, at that time U.S. minister to Germany, in preparing the 10th volume of History of the United States. He was also charged with the responsibility of carrying dispatches to Washington on the decision of Emperor William as arbitrator between Great Britain and the United States in regard to the Northwestern boundary. On his return to the United States, Scott was a German instructor at the University of Michigan from 1873 to 1875, and then, for seven years, an associate in history at Johns Hopkins University, where he organized a seminar on American history. During this period he continued as assistant to Bancroft, assembling and arranging historical material for his History of the Constitution of the United States. In 1883 he was appointed to the faculty of Rutgers College and served with distinction until his election as the eighth president of the college.