|Link Sarah Strickland Scott
Link Sarah Strickland Scott, co-founder and first national president of The Links, was born in Philadelphia. The daughter of Dr. George G. and Minnie L. Strickland, she was also the sister and widow of physicians. Link Scott attended elementary and secondary schools and college in her home city. After majoring in English at the University of Pennsylvania, she began her career as a teacher in the Philadelphia high schools.
Link Scott did graduate study in the field of guidance and received her master’s degree from Columbia University. For many years she was a guidance counselor at the Howard High School in Wilmington, Delaware. In her profession as well as in her avocational activities, Link Scott projected a deep and abiding concern for the well being of young people who needed some direction in their life choices. Many of her activities were youth or family oriented. She was active in “Jack and Jill’ and served a term as national president of that organization. She was married to Dr. Horace C. Scott and was the mother of one daughter, Marjorie Ann Scott Upshur, who pre-deceased her. She had two grandchildren, Robert Scott and Lisa Upshur. Link Scott’s daughter was the first Black student to attend the Friends Select School in Philadelphia. While her granddaughter, Lisa, was a student at this school, Link Scott served on the school’s Executive Council. Always sensitive to the need for intercultural and social changes in the lifestyles of her community and her people, she was an active member of the Fellowship Commission in Philadelphia.
During the first year of the Philadelphia chapter’s existence, Link Scott served as vice president and continued to hold this office through 1949 when the nationalization meeting was held. At this meeting she was elected the first national president and continued in that office until 1953. Link Scott composed the organization’s pledge, a promise to support the organization, which members make. Later it was she who arranged and presided over the first Assemblies and meetings of the Executive Council. Under her leadership the group was incorporated; fifty-eight chapters were established; Area divisions were reorganized; and The Links became recognized as the “fastest growing, most interesting group of Black women in the country.” (Pittsburgh Courier, June 1953).
After her term as national president, Link Scott served for a time as national director of the “Service for Youth” program facet. For three decades she attended Assemblies and Area Conferences regularly and gave valuable advice and encouragement when officers and leaders faced difficult problems. Even when her health failed and she was confined to a nursing home she would call officers and members to talk about Links.
Her last Assembly was the Twenty-third, in Las Vegas, which she attended in a wheelchair. On Monday, July 4, 1988, a few days after the close of the Twenty-sixth National Assembly, Co-founder Scott died at age 87. Memorial Services were held on Friday, July 15, at the Port of History Museum in Philadelphia. The National President, Link Regina Frazier conducted the service which was attended by organizing members, Atkinson, Stratton, Wright, members of the Executive Council, and other Link members from many sections of the country. President Frazier spoke for all Links when she pointed out that the organization was fortunate to have known Co-founder Scott during the decades of its growth; to have served with her; and to have been touched by examples of the character, integrity and steadfastness of purpose, which characterized her personal life. Link Scott, through the years, had continually admonished Link members to love each other and to work for the “common causes in American life—with emphasis upon the needs of Black American.” After the ceremony, Philadelphia area Links were hostesses for a beautiful friendship reunion.