In Memorial to Scott Ridley

We grieve today as we remember Scott Ridley, dean of the school of education at Texas Tech University, who passed away yesterday at the age of 63.

Those who met Scott know firsthand how he cut an unforgettable figure in our world, most recently at Texas Tech, and after a long tenure at Arizona State University. He was deeply committed to improving education in egalitarian fashion, and had no time for elitism. He always preferred action to talk — but if there had to be talk, he would get right to the point. And he premised everything upon his unyielding belief in the potential of every student to achieve great things, aided by the power of great teachers.

As a founding member of Deans for Impact, as in so many of his other roles, Scott made incalculable contributions that will continue to reverberate as our work presses on, as it must. What I will remember most about him personally, however, was his love of a good whiskey, preferably consumed on his ranch porch in his beloved home state of Texas, wearing his customized cowboy boots.

I am struck by the fact that throughout his long battle with cancer, virtually everyone I spoke with about Scott would say, “he’s a fighter.” Indeed he was. I will miss him greatly.

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