NGU News

Retired History Instructor Donates Book Collection for Student Research

Posted on: October 16, 2019
By LaVerne Howell,

Tigerville, SC (October 16, 2019)–Scott Withrow, a retired instructor of the Department of History, has donated some of his extensive personal library of Cherokee, Appalachian, and Colonial American materials to the university’s Averyt-Wood Learning Center. The collection includes over 100 books and 14 journal titles.

Dean of the College of Humanities and Sciences Dr. Paul Thompson said the acquisition is an important addition to the university’s library.

“The  History Department is very excited about this donation. As an instructor, Mr. Withrow has been a well-loved and valuable asset to the department because of his passion for local history and Cherokee history, and now in retirement he continues to bless our department with this generous donation of important history books,” said Thompson. “We are very grateful for this donation.”

Withrow taught Western Civilization, History of Appalachia, Colonial History, United States History, Cherokee History, and Environmental History of the South during his time at NGU and said his collection is now more valuable to NGU students than himself.

“I used many [of the books] when I taught these classes, and having read parts or all of the books, I had no further intensive use of them. I have a large book collection, and see them as more valuable to NGU students than to myself,” he said. “I will never get around to all the research and writing I had hoped to do in retirement.”

Withrow began teaching at NGU in 1986 and retired in 2017.

“There was a gap of two to three years when I worked as a park ranger at Cowpens National Battlefield, and I also worked there part-time [during] some of the time I was at NGU,” he said. 

He says he has to credit Dr. Shirley Hickson, retired history chair, with bringing him to North Greenville.

When asked about a favorite memory from his time at NGU, he responded, “receiving papers that showed excellent research.”

He has saved copies of three or four of the best papers he received from students thus his reasoning for donating his collection for student use.

“I am always pleased to hear of students who have gone on to teaching and other responsible positions. For myself, I hope to always be a lifelong learner,” he said.

Withrow earned his bachelor’s degree in 1966 and a master’s degree in 1970 in Social Studies from Appalachian State University, and a master’s in parks and recreation from Clemson University in 1986. He has completed additional work through the University of South Carolina, the University of North Carolina, and the University of Tennessee.  In addition to teaching at NGU, he taught high school classes at T.L. Hanna High School in Anderson, and at Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School in Rabun Gap, GA.  He worked as a park interpreter/living history farm manager at Kings Mountain State Park and as a living history curator at Roper Mountain Science Center in Greenville.

In retirement he has continued to work part-time as a park ranger at Cowpens National Battlefield and taught classes through the OLLI program at Furman University.   He also taught lifelong learning classes at Isothermal Community College, Spindale, NC, near his hometown.  

“My wife and I have also traveled to Nova Scotia, western national parks, and the North Carolina and Georgia mountains, among other places,” he said.

And travel is something Withrow plans to continue in retirement.  

To learn more about NGU’s history degree program or all the degree programs offered in the College of Humanities and Sciences, visit 

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