Roy Beck's Picture


  by  Roy Beck
NumbersUSA has lost a powerful Board presence and a good friend with the death this week of Stuart L. Scott, 80. He has played an integral role since 2011 in guiding the institutional and policy directions of our organization as a member of our Board of Directors and as the chairman of our Independent Audit Committee.

Stuart rose to international heights in his business career, at one time having 40,000 employees under his management. We have been blessed to have a businessman of such profound experience on our Board. But Stuart was emphatic that business and economic interests should not crowd out the natural world or the ability of future generations to have access to the wonders of nature that still exist for today's generation.

That philosophy led him to devote much time in Africa where he was a trustee of the Nairobi-based African Wildlife Foundation. Wikipedia states: "Since its inception in 1961, the organization has protected endangered species and land, promoted conservation enterprises that benefit local African communities, and trained hundreds of African nationals in conservation--all to ensure the survival of Africa's unparalleled wildlife heritage."

The main thrust of the African Wildlife Foundation today "is on protecting land, ensuring that large open landscapes are available for wildlife." And that was Stuart's main reason for working with us at NumbersUSA to reduce annual immigration numbers in the United States. At his final board meeting last year, Stuart proclaimed for the umpteenth time and in his declarative manner that his involvement in NumbersUSA was for the purpose of stopping the environmental damage caused by rapid U.S. population growth which is fueled by excessive levels of immigration. He was a big supporter of the NumbersUSA sprawl studies that quantify the massive destruction of natural habitat around U.S. cities. Farmland and habitat are being lost at an alarming rate to accommodate the growing population that is projected to expand by another 75 million over the next 40 years if immigration admissions are not reduced to protect our own country's "open landscapes available for wildlife."

Stuart was devoted to his alma mater, the prestigious Hamilton College of New York, where he graduated with a degree in English Literature in 1961. He was a Hamilton Life Trustee and Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Trustees.

He earned a J.D. from the Northwestern University School of Law and began his career as an attorney with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

After joining LaSalle Partners of Chicago in 1973, he became its CEO and helped lead the firm's rapid growth into the largest real estate investment firm of its kind in the United States. When it merged with Jones Lang Wooten of London in 1999, Stuart became the first CEO and chairman of Jones Lang LaSalle, the world's leading real estate services and investment management firm, based in Chicago with employees in more than 100 key markets on five continents.

Stuart retired from Jones Lang LaSalle in 2005. He served seven years as the board chairman of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

Hamilton College's obituary of Stuart references the tough, forthright attribute of Stuart on the Hamilton board that all of us at NumbersUSA recognize from much experience of our own:

He made difficult and sometimes unpopular decisions because he knew they were in Hamilton's long-term best interests."

So, too, on NumbersUSA's Board, Stuart never hesitated to speak an opinion different from what others on the NumbersUSA board and staff may have been saying at any particular time, something every organization needs. His appeals for moderation and a kindly spirit toward immigrants and would-be immigrants were much appreciated and shared. I personally am much in debt to Stuart's challenging as well as affirmative guidance to this CEO. (Click here to read about NumbersUSA Directors that Stuart leaves to carry on the work.)

Updated: Thu, Mar 14th 2019 @ 6:30pm EDT

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