MUMMERT: Uh--the following is an oral history interview conducted as part of the
Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Retirees' Association Oral History Project. The
person being interviewed is Nan Scott. Dr. Scott--is a
retiree of the Tennessee Valley Authority, she worked at TVA for about 24 years
between September 1978 and May 2002. She is being interviewed by Philip Mummert
as part of the oral history project. The interview location is the Fountain City
Art Center in Knoxville, Tennessee. Today is Tuesday, December 4, 2018, and the
interview is now beginning. Well, hello Nan, I've been looking forward to
interviewing you, and--um--I'm glad you are willing to--to go through this.
SCOTT: Well, thank you Phil, I appreciate you asking me.
MUMMERT: I'll be checking this occasionally.
SCOTT: Okay, no problem.
MUMMERT: Well, you're welcome and--um--First question, could you--uh--tell me
what the circumstances were that led to your being hired at TVA?
SCOTT: Well--um--I had just completed my doctoral program at The University of
Tennessee, and actually I was planning to--um--teach in a small university, but
at the time both of my parents became ill with cancer, and so I decided I would
stay in Knoxville. And I went to TVA and I spoke with John Bynon, who was the
Director of Personnel. And I said: "John, you know I'd really want to stay in
Knoxville and I thought perhaps you might have something for me here at TVA."
And he said: "Well, Nan, what are your career goals"? And I said
00:02:00"Well, I'd like to improve the quality of life in the Tennessee Valley region."
And he said: "Could you be a little more specific"? And the rest is history. I
had twenty-four years of improving the quality of life in the Tennessee Valley
region, and I was very, very happy to do so. It was never boring.
MUMMERT: Well, Nan, I'm going to ask you to be more specific, too.-- But at that
time what was your background? You--you were a schoolteacher, weren't you?
SCOTT: Yes, I had gotten an undergraduate degree in elementary education and a
Master's in counseling. And then my Doctoral program was at a time where you
could create your own program, so it was an interdisciplinary option and I had
an area in women's studies, an area in consumer economics and an area in human
development. And the core--the core of my coursework was systems theory
about how all the disciplines work together and. I thought that that
00:03:00was a really appropriate preparation for the interesting work I was hired to do
MUMMERT: You had quite a broad background. And--uh--the--uh--for what--what were
you hired to do--uh--at TVA on your first job?
SCOTT: Initially, I was hired in the Civil Rights Division--um--that had been a
particular interest of mine throughout, I guess my life. And so I was hired by
Frank--what--I was hired by Frank Robinson to bring the Title VI Compliance
Program to the Tenn--to TVA. And I was on a team of four, including Frank, and
we developed the guidelines for implementation of the Title VI Civil
00:04:00Rights Act to TVA which required that all appropriated money be appropriated in
such a way as to have the widest impact for people regardless of income, race
and--um--all the other kinds of social responsibility.
MUMMERT: So nothing like that had--had--uh--been administered at TVA before?
SCOTT: No, not the Title VI program. I think it was a fairly--it--it had just
come out at the national level. I worked with the people from the Office of
Civil Rights in Washington to do that, got to go to some nice parties in the DC
area. I met Ed Bradley--uh--that was--that was an interesting time. Yeah from
the news, he was a news guy back then.
MUMMERT: Oh, uh, on, uh 60 Minutes.
SCOTT: Yeah--yeah that's right, he was on 60 Minutes.
MUMMERT: Well, that was in 1978.
SCOTT: I think so. Yes, it was.
MUMMERT: So--uh--the civil rights--uh--objectives were just really beginning to
be implemented at TVA, and you were one of the first on the team that--
SCOTT: I got to do that. It was exciting.
MUMMERT: Well--uh--this was an agency though that was--um--and you need to
correct me if I'm wrong but that was probably predominantly--uh--white and
also--uh--was filled with--uh--men that were--uh--professional engineers,
scientists. And--uh--I suppose--um--most of the women that worked at TVA at that
time were probably in clerical positions.
SCOTT: That's correct.
MUMMERT: What was it like going in to that job of yours, how old were you when you--?
SCOTT: Old enough to know better and too young to care. But--um--I
00:06:00was, I think I was about--I think I was about 30 years old when I started
actually because I'd been in school so long and taught some--um--from first
grade, well actually preschool all the way to postgraduate level at the
university so. But of course the staff I was on, and it's probably true of most
federal agencies, I was on our Title VI staff, I was the only woman and the only
Caucasian. Everybody on the diversity development area and the civil rights
compliance people basically were whi--I mean--excuse me, were black. So I was
a--um--I was kind of a minority in that respect. But we did interface with all
of the conservative--um--other elements of TVA, the more technical areas, which
were mostly white male. And it was--it was an exciting time it was
00:07:00really--it was really fun. I was given a wide birth in so many ways because I
was one of the first women and was educated. And by and large, you know at that
time maybe more than now, women were really not a threat to anyone, we were more
of--um--an oddity and so there were a lot of opportunities for being one of the
first professional women workers at TVA.
MUMMERT: What sorts of things did you do?
SCOTT: Well--um--after implementing the Civil Rights Compliance--um--Manual and
Program,which--for which we had a valley-wide conference I'll never forget. And
I actually wrote a speech for Chairman Freeman not knowing that he had his own
speech writer. And I remember taking my speech up there, and his speech writer
tearing it to shreds and throwing it in the trash. But it was
00:08:00actually a good speech that I wrote, but I never really then or now perceived
any limitations to what I could do. But--um--.
MUMMERT: Did Chairman Freeman ever see your speech?
SCOTT: I guess he didn't, but he heard about it from me that his staff person
had torn it into pieces and thrown it in the trash. But anyway I--um--after that
I went pretty soon to personnel to develop--um--a
program that was funded. At that time TVA had a lot of
appropriated money, and there was an older Americans Act at the time that was
developed to help older people who are on fixed income, supplement their incomes
out predominantly in rural areas. And there were also situations where women
were coming into the workforce, and we wanted to have women working in
construction because those are more highly-paid jobs than most of the
traditional women's jobs at the time. So I was hired to develop
00:09:00family daycare networks around some of TVA's nuclear construction projects. And
the one I remember--uh--most vividly was the one that we did around the
Hartsville Nuclear Plant. And I--at each of my--I think there were four sites,
and at each of them, I selected a site coordinator and worked with her, and they
were all women, in that instance and they were all over 50, to develop--um--to
select daycare homes. And then I had some funds that--to bring them up to meet
the regulations that existed for being able to have family daycare homes.
Uh--there were some safety concerns and other things that we had money to bring
their houses up to standard. And then--uh--my--I had to kind of train
00:10:00my coordinators to train the family daycare homes in how to manage children and
what their requirements were. And then those homes opened up, we had about,
seems like we had four to five homes around the nuclear plant site. And----um--I
remember the woman I worked with at Hartsville, her name was Christine York, and
she was the most delightful person, she was an older black woman who happened to
live in the Hartsville area. She was known and loved by everybody, so having her
associated with the project was really helpful. And--.
MUMMERT: Now, Hartsville is--uh--near Nashville, and that was one of
the--uh--nuclear plants that ended up not being constructed--.
SCOTT: Mothballed I know, exactly.
MUMMERT: But, this was a period that there were quite a number of nuclear plants
at different phases of--of development.
SCOTT: Fascinating time to be out there.
MUMMERT: How many, you--you said there were on the average four or five--
SCOTT: Daycare homes.
MUMMERT: For each nuclear site. And--um--I forget exactly but how many nuclear
sites were there then--about--uh--six or seven I think?
SCOTT: Yeah, I know we weren't at all of them, but we were I--th--as I recall we
were at Phipps Bend, at--um--Bellefonte, and Hartsville and maybe Sequoyah.
I--anyway I'm pretty sure I had four nuclear plants. It was one of my first jobs
and--it was exciting.
MUMMERT: While the construction--uh--proceeded at these places, were there many
women construction workers?
SCOTT: Well, we were doing our best to recruit them and at each of the sites,
yes there were. And so--um--I think it was just.--
MUMMERT: A--a few or ten or fifty?
SCOTT: The majority were--were male but I would say as an
00:12:00estimate--um--that there were probably between thirty and forty women in
construction at each of the sites, and they used the daycare centers. They had a
priority, I think that obviously other families could use them as well. But,
women in construction had the priority for having their children in the network.
MUMMERT: So the--um--there were--um--thousands of employees at these sites at
peak employment, if it ever reached that, and--um--that was very interesting. So
at these daycare centers what--uh--do you remember some of the things that you
were trying to--um--assure--um--were implemented in terms of meeting certain
standards or objectives of families, and--and that sort of thing?
SCOTT: Well, for one thing, we had to, this is one thing I remember
00:13:00is that, it had to be, we had to have like 24-hour coverage in some instances
because they were working around the clock. And so--um--that was an issue having
some you know off. It was and then in terms, of there weren't really
curriculums; these were for younger children--uh so it was
basically--uh--training in food preparation--um--just really basic childcare
kinds of issues. These women who were older Americans kind of functioned as
grandparents really, who had a home that was up to standards for children to
MUMMERT: TVA--uh--you know, at this point in its history had built--uh--of
course dams and coal plant---fired plants. Uh--had TVA done anything like this
for those that you know of?
SCOTT: I'm pretty sure they hadn't. You know, this was the time I was
00:14:00at TVA was when a lot of the new social programming was--was starting and the
thing about trying to get women into nontraditional jobs was fairly new, as was
employing civil rights issues at various TVA work plants and well really in all
TVA facilities. It was an exciting time, for someone who's kind of a--a--you
know--. I've always been a person who's liked to work for change and--and inclusion.
MUMMERT: That's--uh--you're the--the perfect person to do that, but did you run
into any problems--um--with--resistance in different parts of maybe TVA or any
of these communities that TVA--uh--was working in?
SCOTT: I really can't say that I noticed that must resistance. I think probably
because it was so new. It wasn't threatening to people, they were
00:15:00just, people seemed to be interested. And TVA always attracted I think, a
fairly--um--the employees there were o--open-minded for the most part, now in
some--in some instances not so much. But I think that--um--by in large, it was
just a really good time for social ac--activism.
MUMMERT: Well that's--uh--anything else you'd like to say about the daycare work
that you did? How long were you doing that?
SCOTT: I was doing that for several years. And it was a challenging time, but it
was incredibly interesting. I remember when I first went to TVA,
going--um-- I had thought, cause I--my dad worked at TVA, he--in fact
00:16:00he met my mother there. So one of my things is to say is I owe my inception to
TVA, my conception. But--I--as a child I'd watch him go off to work every day,
and I thought, well it seemed kind of like just a boring thing to me. He worked
in personnel, and so I thought well, I'll go to work for TVA and it will boring,
but it will be stable. And as you know from your time at TVA it never was either
one. But anyway, the daycare p--project was one of my favorites, but I had many
others as well.
MUMMERT: Now, I just have one other question about the daycare. Um--did
you--uh--you had to provide buildings or find them. Did you do that or did
tv--ot--someone else in TVA?
SCOTT: It was family daycare hom--they were homes of residents,
yeah--near--wh--that lived in areas. We tried to pick homes that were
00:17:00in--near major thoroughfares coming into the nuclear plant sites. But they were
all rural homes. Yeah, it was family daycare in the homes. And that's why we had
to bring some of the homes up to standards, work some in their kitchens and
things to get them certified so they could be approved as family daycare homes.
MUMMERT: Did you do that like under contract or did TVA people do such work?
SCOTT: We did it under contract.
MUMMERT: And--uh--TVA paid for this?
SCOTT: Yes through, as I was saying, it was through the Older Americans
Act--to--because--. Yeah, it was--it was a dual purpose. One was to create jobs
for senior citizens, people on fixed incomes, and then to also provide
opportunities for women to move into non-traditional roles working construction
at the nuclear plant sites.
MUMMERT: Do you happen to know whether that sort of--uh--thing still
00:18:00happens today when there are such places like power plants built anywhere?
SCOTT: I really don't know of any.
MUMMERT: Was what TVA was doing at that time unique or did you know?
SCOTT: I think we were totally unique with that. Um--you know, in those days we
were called a demonstration agency. We demonstrated work that hopefully would be
picked up by other corporations or other agencies or businesses.
MUMMERT: So--uh--what did you do next?
SCOTT: Let's see.
MUMMERT: After you were--
SCOTT: After the daycare thing. I went into the economic development--
MUMMERT: Do you want to look at your--
SCOTT: Yes, Could I? My cheat sheet. Okay, graduated women's studies--
MUMMERT: I'm gonna put this on pause here for a minute.
[Pause in recording.]
MUMMERT: So--uh--what did you do next?
SCOTT: Well, another development that was--uh--underway was, as I was saying,
women coming into the workforce. There was a federal women's program that was
developed to help people at TV--um--the women there, to have lots of equal
opportunities and also to work with people in the valley about women's issues.
And since I had a background in that, and I was interviewed for that
00:20:00position and selected for it. And at that time it was a requirement that all
federal agencies have a federal women's program manager. It was kind of a new
program. I was not the first one, but--um--I was one of the first federal
women's program managers for TVA. And it kind of served me well because--um--for
one thing, I was extremely interested in it--um-- secondly because it was a
requirement, when TVA started having to cut back its workforce, the--um--the
federal women's program was off limits because we were required to have that
program. So that saw me through some of the early cutbacks and gave me an
opportunity to support women in TVA and I was a member of the federal--federally
employed women's group, which was a group within TVA, and I was the president of
that for a while when I was also the program man--the women's
00:21:00program--women's program manager, as well, so that was a really rich time for me
and where I was able to help a lot of women. We did programs for women there at
TVA on--um--all sorts of career development opportunities. And so that was a
rich opportunity. And then I moved from that into our economic development
program, which was one of my favorite times at TVA.
MUMMERT: Now, about when was this?
SCOTT: Uh--I believe that was in 1982. And I developed TVA's first program for
working with small businesses. In the past, our economic development had been
mostly industrial development, which of course created a lot of jobs, but there
were fewer of them. It was known to me or I learned through that job
00:22:00that the majority of jobs created are in small businesses. And I was able to go
around and--um--throughout the valley and do small business development weeks
where we worked with the small businesses. We also had an affiliation with the
Small Business Administration and got a lot of new small businesses developed
throughout the valley. One that I am most happy about and that--that I have
benefitted from over the years was when I helped--um--a couple of women that I
had met before, when they were in--um--jobs working for the hotels
and--um--working you know, to do the banquets and things that TVA would have. I
helped a woman write her budget and her request to the Small Business
Administration to get her business plan approved, and she received
00:23:00funding to create a business down at the former World's Fair there site in
Knoxville, Tennessee. And she developed a restaurant there. It--it was a
convention center really, but one of the things they did was to hold luncheons
and dinners. It was a place called the Foundry. And I worked with the woman,
Mary Ann Green was her name. And she--I had met her when I was arranging
programs for TVA at one of our hotel sites, and she said: "I really think we
need a separate convention site where we could have these." And so Mary Ann and
I worked with the Small Business Administration and wrote her grant for funding
that helped her to start the Foundry, which has become such a wonderful
project, a wonderful resource for Knoxville people who want to have
00:24:00programs. Like for example, this month here at TVA we're are going to be having
our retirees' Christmas party at The Foundry. And Mary Ann is very fond of
coming up and saying to me, at these events: "This is the woman who is
responsible for me getting the money to start the Foundry when I became a woman
business owner." So it's all these things coming together that made my career at
TVA so exciting.
MUMMERT: So, The Foundry is still there, and also the--she is?
SCOTT: Yeah, Mary Ann still is operating it. Yeah, I've worked with her recently
on it. Yeah she--she's you know, she's provided jobs to plenty of people over
the years. And I think it's considered really our best conference center in
Knoxville still. And--um--I also when I was with the small business
00:25:00ad--program, I went to Washington for enterprise development training, and they
were just ta--talking about a new concept called the Small Business Incubator
Project. And that basically was just where they would get an old facility that
had probably had been something that had gone out of business, and put in some
central services and house small businesses in the facility. And they would have
the central services and they would move in at a very low rate per square foot,
but as they developed their business, the rate would move--get more expensive so
that they would be ready to graduate out of the incubator into their own small
business. And it was a very exciting concept that I got to introduce to TVA, and
then we developed a lot of small business incubator projects across the valley.
And I think--I'm--I'm sure that some of them are still operating. Our best
one probably was in Chattanooga because Chattanooga, the community
00:26:00got behind their small business incubator. And at one time I--there was an
organization called the--um--well the founding organization for small business
incubators. And I was on the--I was one of the national officers of that and got
to be involved with seeing that technology develop. And that was just a real
exciting thing for small business development.
MUMMERT: And I would think that--uh--at that time--uh--TVA maybe did--uh--were
able--they were able to help get incubators started faster than other agencies
or places in the country.
SCOTT: Absolutely they were we had--.
MUMMERT: Was TVA viewed as kind of a model in that--at that time period?
SCOTT: We actually were. We were a model for small business incubation
development. And--uh--we had participated very heavily in the one in
00:27:00Chattanooga. I can't remember what the old company was that had been in it, but
they housed a number of small businesses that went out from there and became
part of Chattanooga's vibrant downtown redevelopment process where a lot of
innovative small businesses came into place.
MUMMERT: Were all these incubators in primarily urban areas or were there some
r--mo--in what you would call rural?
SCOTT: Well, we developed one in Haywood County North Carolina. And--um--that
was a--that was a--a rural area, of course. And I remember the exciting thing of
going down for when the incubator opened up, it was at a time when the tunnel
had collapsed on the road on I-40. And I got to fly in with--in a helicopter
with the TVA chairman at the time to cut the ribbon for that small business
incubator. And coming back, Chili Dean, who was our director at the time, he
wanted to take the-- the--um--helicopter through a real low trip
00:28:00through the Cades Cove area, and he was hanging out of the window taking photos.
And it was so--it was so exciting getting to do that as well, but the small
business incubator there, I think, started a number of small rural businesses. I
really couldn't tell you what they were, but I know it was successful for a
while. It was a partnership that TVA had. And also, one of the small u--colleges
that was in the area helped to develop that small business incubator project.
MUMMERT: Did you keep track of--uh--those businesses that were start ups and
successful when you were doing that job?
SCOTT: That would have been such a good idea, and I'm sorry there wasn't that
MUMMERT: Do you remember any?
SCOTT: No, I do not. I don't. That was my crowning jewel. Because I get to keep
going there so often, it's easy to remember that one.
MUMMERT: Now, was that project, or that small business program was
that--uh--something that was kind of running all by itself with you, or did you
have a team of people that you worked with? Or was it fold--folding into the
SCOTT: It just--it folded actually just into the communities to keep them going.
MUMMERT: I--I--I meant--uh--within the TVA bureaucracy?
SCOTT: Within the TVA bureaucracy? Well-um--there were some other programs that
instituted small business incubators. Um--and they were never part of the
industrial development though. But, that Special Opportunities City and County
Project that Tom Rogers and Tom Hunter did, I think they did some business
incubators in some of those rural counties, so.--
MUMMERT: Yeah, Tom Hunter has been interviewed as part of this project.
SCOTT: Well good, maybe he said about it. I hope he did.
MUMMERT: --He--he talked about the Special Opportunities County.
SCOTT: Well, small business incubator was one of the things that they
00:30:00did in some of those counties.
MUMMERT: And everyone worked together. And I--I re--.
SCOTT: Yeah, it was--was a very good time to work at TVA.
MUMMERT: Well--uh--that's very interesting and--uh--that went on for a while.
And--uh--how long did you work--uh--in the small business arena?
SCOTT: Well, until about 19--the early 1990s when--um--I moved into personnel
work, which was kind of following my father's footsteps. I was recruited by the
director of personnel to dev--to help develop a new pay system at TVA because
there was a lot of changes going on. And they wanted to develop something or to
initiate something that would be more-- well, that everybody in TVA
00:31:00would be using the same system. Um--there had been a little variability in the
past, but we implemented the Hay System of Job Evaluation, which I got trained
in down in the Atlanta area. And this program was used at many large companies.
And there was some resistance, of course, people were really afraid that people
were going to mess with their pay system. But actually a pay system is just a
technology, and it's how it's implemented that would affect all of that. And I
think it was implemented in a fair-minded manner, but I learned how to take jobs
and develop them into factors and then assess certain points to each factor. And
that was--um--something that, for me, was a little bit technical. But, I think
it was good for me. And--I-- my father was still living, and he was
00:32:00really proud of me that I was working in the Hay System, he knew something about
the Hay System of Job. And so, I went around the valley, and as I said, people
were a little bit nervous. But, I went around to various places in the valley,
out at construction sites and all to talk about the Hay System, to kind of put
peoples' minds at ease that it wasn't something that was going to result in loss
of funding. It was just something that would give us a more unified approach
toward evaluating jobs, so that it would really be fairer for everyone. --That
just lasted a few years. That would just--that did not last for--I was happy.--
MUMMERT: I think I probably as being one of those employees that were affected
by it. I'm--I'm--I didn't realize, but I'm glad you were the person--.
SCOTT: I did all I could to make it fair. But--um--it's just the technology and
how it was implemented I think was fair, too, but there was always
00:33:00margin for some manipulation of any system. But I think that TVA really had in
mind just to make it systematic so we would all be evaluated in the same way.
Um--then after that I moved into another part of TVA's personnel area. It
was--TVA University was just getting started, which was--this was something that
was going on across the area. It was kind of, other companies were starting
their own universities. We'd always had some development for employees, but they
centralized it to where it was kind of like a university. We had a staff and
they went out and did training in all of TVA's--uh--various locations in all
sorts of things like--um--you know how to--how to manage people, there were
management courses. And there were--um--all sorts of different kinds
00:34:00of career development courses that were taught through TVA University. And one
of my interesting projects during that time was when the manager, the vice
president of TVA University came to me and said: "Nan, we need to develop some
prevention of sexual harassment training." And so I just started researching it,
and I developed the program. And then I field tested it and it was approved. And
it--then it was used throughout TVA. And I think it was extremely forward-thinking.
MUMMERT: This would have been mid--mid 90s.
SCOTT: It was very much ahead of its time. And only recently you know, it's been
back in the--in the news, more or less, and I've noticed that they're still--it
hasn't really, the technology hasn't cha--changed any. And you know,
there-- that was an exciting thing to do. And I remember giving that
00:35:00to people in nuclear plant sites and in c--all kinds of construction sites.
And--um--I tried to make it non-threatening--um--but also to get the basics out
there so that people would realize what was inappropriate and what they needed
to be careful of so that they could know when advances were unwelcome. It's
amazing how people can try to pass those things over. And--um--s--I think it--I
think it was probably helpful and as a result of it, one of the interesting
things was, Jim Clayton, at the Clayton Corporation, heard about our training
and asked me to come and do it for his company. And so TVA allowed me to go and
do it--um--in that private industry. And probably it was very welcome
00:36:00there as well, although I remember the people in private industry were just
shocked by the fact that TVA would have developed that--um--because it was very
forward thinking at the time.
MUMMERT: Yeah, and I remember now that--uh--it--I guess probably shortly after
you developed that, it was mandatory training because I and everybody I think--.
SCOTT: Did you all have to take it?
Well every year, when things--when computer technology developed, and we could
do things online, every year we had to do--uh--take that as one of our mandatory
you know, survey refresher courses.-- And I thought everybody was doing it, but
I don't think they were. And it's 2018 and we are just hearing in the news that
the US Congress is going to have a--.
SCOTT: Isn't that just nuts. It's nuts, we were so advanced. And I
00:37:00guess one of the things about being at TVA, there's so much going on in so many
different areas; it's kind of like your own little world. And you lose sight of
the fact that you're so far ahead of the curve.
MUMMERT: That's right.
SCOTT: And then I guess I'd like to talk about my crowning piece of work at TVA.
Um--as you know from the things I said early on, I had a background in
education, and so when Director [William] Kennoy, one of the TVA directors, he
happened to live in the downtown Knoxville area and he would see on weekends all
the facilities of all the employers in the downtown area closed down. And a lot
of kids in the area--children who, and young people who didn't have the best
opportunities and not the best things to do with their time. And he
00:38:00came up with this idea, why not open TVA facilities to our neighborhood children
to inspire them to become interested in developing their potential to perhaps
become the workforce of the future for TVA and other businesses. And so that was
about as far as his ideas went and they--.
MUMMERT: But, it was a great idea and--.
SCOTT: It was so--it was so great and at the time it was not fully received. I
remember our chairman said just don't embarrass us. But as it turned out, it was
MUMMERT: And--uh--now Director [William] Kennoy became director about when?
SCOTT: Oh, I would say about--this was right when he was getting ready to leave.
MUMMERT: I should know myself.
SCOTT: We'll have to check that, but I think it was--um--the early 90s. And back
then they had a nine-year term, which would make that about right. Because he
was-- he was completing his term and he wanted to leave something of
00:39:00value to TVA. It's interesting--um--
MUMMERT: He was the first--uh-- TVA director too, from the State of Kentucky.
SCOTT: He was and another thing that's kind of interesting right now is, he
probably was appointed to the board, well he was appointed to the board by
George H. W. Bush. And he had been, the first person, the owner of
the--um--Kennoy Electric Company there in--in Kentucky, which was a pretty large
company. And he was one of the first people to get in and fully support
President Bush to become president. And President Bush, as we are hearing
now, he did the points of lights, and he also was,
he'd done a project, there was a project done under President Bush that showed
that the years between the third and fifth grade for children was a
00:40:00time that was critical for them developing an--an identify of themselves as
either successful or failures in life. And so that was what we were taught to
focus in. This came right from the study doing--done during the Bush
Administration that--that third through fifth grade was critical to children
beginning to see themselves as successful. And that was the years that we used
in the Weekend Academy. Uh--we--we selected children who the teachers knew they
had potential, but that without a program like the Weekend Academy, wouldn't
have had the opportunity to develop it. And our kids--we had a program in
Knoxville, Chattanooga, Memphis and Nashville. And that was just such an
exciting time. And Director [William] Kennoy said: "I wanted them to feel like
they're part of a--a good gang, that they belong to something." And we got them
all, we had money to buy them jackets you know, that said Weekend
00:41:00Academy. We--we had these beautiful blue bomber-style type jackets, and we had
T-shirts. And they felt like they really belonged. And I remember one of the
kids saying: "If I--when I come to the academy, can I have any job I want at
TVA"? And I said "Well, yes, you could you know, you just start looking around."
We had TVA employees would come in to volunteer on weekends to talk about their
jobs and to interest the kids in the kinds of things they were doing. I'm
telling you that was the perfect. That was like going full circle in my career.
And that was the that job I retired from, I had to retire a little bit early to
take care of my aging parents. But the--the project did go on for fifteen years.
And I remember Director [William] Kennoy telling me--um--:"Nan, this Weekend
Academy accomplished far more than I--than my greatest hope for it ever was."
So, it was a very gratifying way to end my career. Thank you Phil for
00:42:00letting me talk about the work I've done at TVA. I think I've left out some
things, but those are the highpoints that I remember.
MUMMERT: Well, what are some of the things that you did do--examples of some of
the activities you had going on for the Weekend Academy? You--I mean are there
any things you would like to tell me or can?
SCOTT: Oh, you know, I remember, for example, Roosevelt Allen coming in and
talking to the kids, teaching them about the--how important recycling was. And
then we had people come in and talk about--um--their various hobbies--TVA
employees' hobbies. But mainly, one of the major areas was computer. We had the
computer rooms, and people from TVA's Information Technology would come in and
teach the children how to use computers. And at one time-- um--I got
00:43:00our TVA director, at the time, the chairman, to designate our TVA Weekend
Academy students to receive free computers when TVA--uh--surplus computers, they
would go to our Weekend Academy students. So that was a wonderful thing. We were
basically trying to let these children know that they could become anything they
wanted to and help them get the technology to do that.
MUMMERT: Was it competitive as this program developed wer--for students
to--try--to get involved or and were they all--uh--accepted or, how?
SCOTT: Well, the--the guidance counselors in the schools did the sel--they did
and they rec--. I'm sure it was competitive, the children loved to come. It was
just great, and we had the funds to do a really nice program. Um--that was
funded well--just though--just through TVA funding, which was very
00:44:00forward-thinking of looking at these children as being the future workforce. So yeah.--
MUMMERT: Did--uh--have--di--have you ev--gotten any much or any feedback from uh--?
SCOTT: I see those children all the time, and they're adults now. And a lot of
them have been.--
MUMMERT: So you're really getting the kind of feedback you would have if you
were a school teacher.
SCOTT: I was so fortunate, exactly. Yeah, I see them all the time. Uh--just on a
routine basis, I guess I see several a month working in various areas.
And--um--we had--we also had tutor leaders, we called them, they
were--uh--lo--they were from high schools in those same inner city areas. We
would recruit tutor leaders to work with the younger children. And that was
really good too, because you know kids, they identify with--these--these would
be leaders in the high schools. And it was just was wonderful. Two of
00:45:00our tutor leaders married, and they--they have children, and I see them from
time to time. And--um--they're working both in professional careers. So--.
MUMMERT: So maybe Weekend Academy had something to do with it.
SCOTT: I think so--I think so. They're always--they're always telling me
that--that they're so grateful for the opportunities that they received.
MUMMERT: Well, Nan, you've had a really interesting--uh--in--and
varied--uh--career sometimes challenging but full of opportunity as well as
you've really contributed a whole lot to TVA and--and people. But--uh--looking
back on it all--uh--I was wondering--uh-- what was one of your more--most
memorable experiences or favorite--favorite--- uh--uh--experiences
00:46:00amidst a whole lot of interesting experiences?
SCOTT: Well, my favorite ones that I can think of right now, of course, were
more associated with Weekend Academy. Since it's the thing that I'm most proud
of that I got to do at TVA. And I just remember every time, well when we would
open a new Weekend Academy, I remember the Knoxville opening--um--how exciting
it was to bring the children in and their parents. We'd try to get the parents
involved, and--um--the board would be there. And I remember our tenth
anniversary for Weekend Academy, where we brought the kids from all over--all
across the valley, they met over in Nashville because it was the most
00:47:00central. And I remember Director [William] Kennoy coming because a lot of the
children--we always had a recognition for him on the second Saturday of May,
would be our Founder's Day. And on this particular Founder's Day, our tenth, we
brought everyone together to Nashville. And Director [William] Kennoy had tears
in his eyes, he was so happy. And he was cheered, and we had a--they served us a
wonderful lunch at Tennessee State University, all of us together. I guess that
that's something that I'll never forget. And it was at that time that he told
me: "This has far exceeded my--my hopes and dreams for the Weekend Academy." And
that was just so gratifying to me, and see he passed away a few years later.
MUMMERT: That was a wonderful program. I didn't have the opportunity to be at
SCOTT: Well, Herman Morris, who was at that time was CEO of
00:48:00Memphis--our Memphis power distributor. Um--he said to me: "Weekend Academy is
the best thing TVA ever did." And so that made me feel really good, and at some
of TVA's major univ--major anniversaries, they would cite tv--uh--the Weekend
Academy as one of the things they were most proud of. And that of course, it
said a lot about TVA. TVA, I think during those times, was an agency that had
the good of the valley and its residents and the hopes and dreams of the
residents of the Tennessee Valley area as one of their main goals. And I got to
work in programs that furthered that goal.
MUMMERT: That's a wonderful place to--uh--end the interview, but I
00:49:00have one more question for you. Uh--and that is--uh--are there
any--uh--questions that--uh--you wish I had asked that I didn't ask?
SCOTT: Well, I really can't think--I think that you asked a lot of good
questions. And I think looking over the notes that I prepared, I think I was
able to cover the things that I felt were the highlights of my career. I'm sure
there are other things, but all in all, I was very happy to have worked at TVA.
There were times, of course like any--working anywhere, when I was thinking that
I wish I had never come to TVA. But, for the most part and especially getting to
conclude it with the Weekend Academy was just--made me feel that I
00:50:00had made a contribution, and that my own potential was not only--I actually got
to work above what I thought my potential was in developing these projects. So,
I will always be grateful for the opportunities that I had. Thanks for giving me
the opportunity to talk about it, Phil.
MUMMERT: Well, you're welcome, and I appreciate your spending the time and
sharing those thoughts.
SCOTT: It was my pleasure, I always loved to talk.