NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown shares life story with NECC students

Scott Brown served as United States Senator for the Bay State from 2010 until 2013. Brown rose to the Senate after running a successful campaign against former Attorney General Martha Coakley during the special election for Sen.Ted Kennedy’s seat, who had died in August of 2009.

Before his tenure as a senator, Brown served as a property assessor and selectman for the Town of Wrentham, and as a state representative and state senator. After successfully winning the United States senate seat in 2010, Brown served until 2013 before Senator Elizabeth Warren succeeded him.

Brown most recently served as the Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa from 2017 until 2020. After his time as ambassador, Brown was appointed as the Dean of New England Law School in January of 2021. Brown served as the dean until August of 2021 before departing New England Law school, after deciding that he may want to give thought to another run for public office.

Senator Brown highlighted how his rocky childhood led to a successful career in politics.

Brown dealt with both sexual and physical abuse as a child. Brown was arrested during his early teenage years after shoplifting several record albums and appeared in front of a judge at the Salem District Court, Judge Samuel Zoll, who he has credited at turning his life around. Judge Zoll ordered the young Brown to write a 1500 word essay on if his siblings would like seeing him play basketball in jail, as Brown has been an avid basketball player throughout his life.

Brown currently coaches the girls’ varsity basketball coach at Amesbury High School.

Brown went on to graduate from Wakefield High School in 1977 before attending Tufts University and graduating Cum Laude in 1981, with a Bachelor of Arts in History. While attending Tufts, Brown was a star basketball player and was a captain during his senior year.

After graduating from Tufts, Brown graduated from Boston College Law School in 1985 with a Juris Doctor.
Brown’s biggest advice to Northern Essex students? “Read the bill.”

The advice came from the former senator’s first vote at the national level. Brown was known as an independent thinker and a bipartisan law maker. Brown’s vote in 2010 to end the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” helped sway fellow Republicans to vote no as well, successfully ending the policy to end the ban on gay members in the military.

Professor Richard Padova of the global studies program helped plan the event. Padova has hosted several elected officials on campus and teaches courses about American politics, including Quest for the Presidency, which is taught every four years during presidential elections.

When asked what his students biggest takeaways should be after listening to the former senator, Padova said, “To get insight from someone who has worked in different positions in government, to listen to their experiences, their insights, and their perspectives instead of just listening to me in the classroom.”

Padova focused on the outside speakers and the value they bring to a college like Northern Essex, “I think it is important for students to listen to outside speakers who are involved in government and politics, business, or arts and to have them interact with students and give students a chance to interact with them and hopefully broaden their horizons.”

Amy Callahan, Dean of Liberal Arts was also present for the event. She echoed Professor Padova’s remarks saying, “It gave our students a wonderful opportunity to ask questions and to demonstrate their interests, knowledge, and concerns about current affairs. I was impressed by the questions asked by our students.”

Callahan also went on to discuss the importance of having outside speakers who are apart of the political process,

“The biggest takeaways for me regarding the event with former Senator Scott Brown were the opportunities for our students to learn more about democracy and the vital democratic process in our country.”

Students also asked what the Senator’s future political plans are, to which he answered, “I have one more run in me.”