Those were the words Chancellor Carol Folt spoke in reference to the late Stuart Scott.
A member of the class of 1987, Scott was inducted into the N.C. Journalism Hall of Fame Friday night at the George Watts Hill Alumni Center.
Scott died on Jan. 4 from appendiceal cancer, which he was fighting for the third time in his life.
Speaking at the 2014 ESPYs after accepting the Jimmy V award for perseverance, Scott said, “When you die, it does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live and the manner in which you live.”
The Hall of Fame induction fell on the same day as Late Night with Roy, which Scott hosted 10 times between 2001 and 2012.
The emotional ceremony was filled with fond memories of the ESPN broadcaster. The event kicked off with a highlight package of several broadcasters in North Carolina sharing their stories of how Scott impacted their careers.
Susan King, dean of the School of Media and Journalism, welcomed the guests and spoke of the trailblazing effect Scott had in the industry.
“Stuart Scott was a new voice in broadcasting, an authentic voice that challenged a new generation of students to find their own voice,” King said.
The ceremony highlighted several important parts of Scott’s life, including his persona behind the camera, his love for UNC and the impact he had on so many aspiring journalists.
“Stuart Scott created a broadcasting coaching tree, and there are now hundreds of young journalists, men and women, black and white, who will be true to their experience,” King said.
North Carolina women’s soccer legend Mia Hamm was chosen to induct Scott into the Hall of Fame. Hamm presented Scott’s plaque to his sister, Susan Scott, on her brother’s behalf.
Susan Scott broke the emotional tension in the room by telling heartwarming stories of her younger brother and by touching on the legacy he left.
“I think Stuart’s legacy lives on in the form of his daughters, in the form of what he stood for at ESPN and through the Stuart-Scott.org foundation,” she said.
Hamm and Stuart Scott connected as Tar Heels and were close friends for more than a decade.
She was emotional throughout her speech but was still able to articulate her memories of the fun-loving Stuart Scott that she knew.
“I wanted to give you more of an insight into Stuart Scott the man, but you already know him,” Hamm said. “Stuart was exactly who you saw on TV. He was the same whether he was in front of the camera or just hanging with his boys and talking about sports.”
If Hamm could use just one word to describe Scott, it would be “real.”
“He was never acting,” she said. “Stuart was real. He was genuine, and he was full of life.
“Every time you tuned in to watch him, you saw the love and passion he had for what he did.”