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Tom Scott's History Page
Dr. Thomas A. Scott Thomas A. Scott
Professor of History

Department of History & Philosophy
Kennesaw State University
1000 Chastain Road
Kennesaw, Georgia 30144-5591

Office Phone: 770-423-6254
FAX: 770-423-6432

Email: tscott@kennesaw.edu

Welcome to my History Page! I've been teaching history at Kennesaw State University since 1968, when we were a little junior college of 1300 students (about one-sixteenth as many as the 20,000 we have today. I've written a short history of KSU for the New Georgia Encyclopedia.  You can read it by clicking on KSU History.

I live in Marietta with my wife Kathy in a 1920s house that is part of the Atlanta Street-Frasier Street National Register district. In the early 1990s the district was placed in the National Register of Historic Places.

I received my Ph.D. in history from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in 1978. You'll notice that I was teaching here for a decade before I finished my degree. That was possible in the early days of the college when few faculty members had the terminal degree. When we were hired, however, we were told that we would be expected to finish our doctorates as soon as possible. I took a leave of absence in the 1970-71 school year so that I could finish my course work. I passed my prelims a couple of years after that, then spent over four years writing my dissertation while I worked full time here. I was able to write my dissertation on Cobb County in the late nineteenth century. The title of my thesis was "Cobb County, Georgia, 1880-1900: A Socioeconomic Study of an Upper Piedmont County." If anyone wants to see it, a copy is in the library at KSU and in the Georgia Room of the main Cobb County Public Library. To check out my academic background and teaching and scholarly accomplishments, please click on VITA.

Fortunately, I finished my graduate work just at the time that Kennesaw began to offer upper level courses. The Board of Regents in 1976 converted us into a senior college, with the stipulation that we spend two years preparing for the transition from junior to senior status. The first upper level classes were offered in 1978. Georgia History was not one of the original courses offered after the transition. But due to a request from the teacher preparation program, we began to offer the new course in 1979. For the next decade or so, I was the only KSU faculty member to teach Georgia History. Click on HIST 3304 to see the current syllabus for Summer Semester, 2008. About once a year I team up with Dr. Dede Yow of the English Department for a course in Georgia history and Georgia literature. Students can register for either History or English or American Studies credit. To see the syllabus for Spring Semester, 2007, please click on H3304/E3350. The course will be offered again in Fall Semester, 2008. The new syllabus should be available soon.  

In 1986 I had the opportunity to teach a graduate course for the M.Ed. program titled Local History Research and Resources. Currently numbered HIST 7710, the class contains some content on Cobb County and Georgia History and focuses on how to teach local history. We take field trips to a number of historical sites and the students write a major term paper. You can access the most recent syllabus from Spring Semester, 2007, by clicking on HIST 7710. The course will be offered again in Fall Semester, 2008. The new syllabus will be available by the end of July.  

In the early 1990s the History Department did some major course revisions as part of a general study of the baccalaureate. One of the more significant changes was the division of the old HIST 300 into two classes. HIST 2275 became the introductory research class, while HIST 3376 dealt with the philosophy of history and historiography. I was fortunate to be involved in shaping HIST 2275 into a local history research class, allowing students to take advantage of the great archival resources of the Atlanta area. More recently, in 2007-08, the department has moved away from the local history emphasis by creating a more generic skills course, HIST 2270.  But to see what we used to do, please click on my lasst HIST 2275 syllabus from Fall Semester, 2006. If you would like to see what students have written about in the past, please click on Term Papers. Copies of almost all papers are available in the KSU Archives on the second floor of the Sturgis Library. The website for the Archives is www.kennesaw.edu/archives/.   

With the conversion to the semester system in the late 1990s the American historians developed a new general education course, HIST 2112, The U.S. Since 1890. The course is unique in that most colleges divide their survey classes at 1865 or 1877, while we chose a later date. By focusing on the last century, HIST 2112 seems to connect to the interests of majors and non-history majors alike. I thoroughly enjoy teaching this class. You can click on HIST 2112 for my most recent syllabus from Spring Semester, 2008.

Several years ago I developed an Oral History course to help support the Public History certificate program. I've been conducting oral history interviews since the 1970s, and we have a large collection in the KSU Archives and in the Georgia Room of the main Cobb County Public Library.  The last two times I've taught the Oral History class, we have teamed with community groups to do class projects of local interest. During Spring Semester, 2006, the class project was the history of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO).  The ASO started shortly after World War II, so the 60th anniversary seemed a good time to document its history, while many of the founders and early members were still around to tell their stories.  Please click on the ASO Oral History Project for a link to the ASO's website that tells about the project.  In Fall Semester, 2007, the oral history class worked with the Aviation Museum at Marietta, Georgia, and with the Lockheed-Georgia Management Retirees Association on the history of aviation and airplane building in Georgia.  Both class projects were supported by grants from the Georgia Humanities Council, making it possible to transcribe the tapes and put on public programs.  To see the latest syllabus for the Oral History course, please click on HIST 4425

My professional passion has been researching, writing, and speaking about Georgia and local history. I do about twenty-five talks a year to civic or school groups. At least once a year I teach a one-night class on Marietta history for the Marietta Community Schools. Several years ago I put together a book for Georgia history classes entitled Cornerstones of Georgia History: Documents That Formed the State. The University of Georgia Press published it in 1995, and we use it in the HIST 3304 classes. In 2001 my article on Marietta's Bell Bomber plant appeared as a chapter in a book entitled The Second Wave: Southern Industrialization from the 1940s to the 1970s, edited by Phil Scranton and published by the University of Georgia Press. The online New Georgia Encyclopedia has published articles I have written on Bell Bomber, Lockheed Martin, and a general manager at both plants, James V. Carmichael.  I have a Bell Aircraft Project website that contains oral histories and rare photos.  In October 2003 Cobb Landmarks & Historical Society published my latest work, Cobb County, Georgia, and the Origins of the Suburban South: A Twentieth-Century History.

The KSU Oral History Project started with interviews of people from the community who have contributed to the development of this area.  To see who has been interviewed in the old Kennesaw College Series and its successor, the Cobb County Oral History Series, please click on Oral History Project.  Currently, I am conducting an oral history series on Kennesaw State University.  The Center for Excellence in Teaching & Learning (CETL) is sponsoring interviews with all the recipients of the Distinguished Professor, Teaching, Scholarship, and Service Awards and the Preston Community Service Award.  The College of Humanities and Social Sciences has financed additional interviews with faculty members and administrators, and the KSU Foundation has supported several oral histories with Foundation trustees.  I have teamed with Dr. Dede Yow, a professor of English, on most of the interviews.  So far, we have interviewed 77 people for the KSU series.  A few are still being edited and indexed, but seventy are now online.  To read the transcripts, please click on KSU Oral Histories.  Eventually, we plan to write a book-length history of KSU.  

While researching KSU's history, I have become interested in the history of higher education in general.  In the Summer Semesters of 2007 and 2008 I taught a senior seminar on the history of American colleges and universities. To view the syllabus, please click on HIST 4499.

Along with Dr. Randy Patton, a colleague in the history department, I am directing our Center for Regional History & Culture.  Please click on Center for Regional History and Culture to see the various activities in which we engage.    

 I hope this gives you some idea about my interests and about the courses I teach. If you have any questions that I can answer, please contact me at tscott@kennesaw.edu or at 770-423-6254.

Thanks for reading my History Page.

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