G. Stott, 91, teacher, aide at Swarthmore College

Posted: May 12, 2005

Gilmore Stott, 91, of Swarthmore, a Swarthmore College administrator and teacher who was a mentor to generations of students, died of a heart attack May 4 at Springfield Hospital.

In 1950, Dr. Stott was appointed assistant dean of men at Swarthmore. For the next 35 years, he held various positions, including director of financial aid, registrar, associate provost, and special assistant to the president. He also taught philosophy and a popular course on ethics. For years he chaired the college's Upward Bound Program, which helps low-income high school students prepare for college.

After retiring in 1985, Dr. Stott continued to advise students as chairman of the committee for fellowships and prizes.

A native of Indiana, he earned a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in philosophy from the University of Cincinnati. He met his future wife, Mary Roelofs, when her father, Howard, a philosophy professor, invited him home for dinner.

In 1938, Dr. Stott was awarded a Rhodes scholarship to study at Oxford University. His son John said that Dr. Stott had not competed in school sports, and fulfilled the scholarship's athletic requirement by completing a three-month canoe trip and a 2,000-mile trip on a one-speed bicycle. Dr. Stott was later an administrator for the Rhodes scholarship program.

During World War II, he served in the Army as an intelligence officer under Gen. George S. Patton's command and participated in the Battle of the Bulge. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal.

After his discharge, he earned a doctorate from Princeton University and was assistant to the director of the Institute for Advanced Study. One of his duties, his son said, was to chauffeur Albert Einstein, one of the institute's faculty members.

After moving to Swarthmore, Dr. Stott and his wife joined the college orchestra, where they played violin and viola. The couple often invited students home for evenings of dinner and music. They would perform classical selections, their daughter Mary Tyler said, or her father would play the guitar and sing folk songs.

"Music meant everything to him," Tyler said. The day before he died, she said, he had a violin lesson. Though he recently had hip surgery, she said, he was looking forward to his yearly vacation without running water or electricity in a bunkhouse on Lake Huron.

Dr. Stott's wife died in 1994. In addition to his son and daughter, he is survived by daughter Miriam Horrocks; son William; and 10 grandchildren.

A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Saturday at Trinity Episcopal Church, College Avenue and Chester Road, Swarthmore.

Memorial donations may be made to the Gil and Mary Stott Roycroft Fund, c/o TGS Financial Advisors, 103 Chelsley Dr., Media, Pa. 19063.

Contact staff writers Sally A. Downey at 215-854-2913 or sdowney@phillynews.com.

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