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Donna A. James

Attended College As A Single Mother

Donna Anita Scott was born on June 30, 1957, in Washington, D.C. Although her mother, Bertha (Searles) Scott, had a high school education, her father, Herbert Scott, was illiterate, having only attended school through the third grade. Bertha Scott taught her husband to write his name. After a long career as a driver for a bus company, Herbert Scott opened his own successful car wash and reconditioning business.

When she was six years old, Donna Scott's parents divorced. Donna, her three siblings, and her mother moved to Greensboro, North Carolina. Although she remained close to her father—who remarried and had another child—Donna lived in Greensboro with her mother and grandmother through her college years. Bertha Scott married Paul Hawkins, with whom she had two more children. In all Donna Scott has five brothers and one sister. Bertha Hawkins worked as a lab assistant in a textile factory until her retirement.

As a child, Donna loved the chemistry set that she received for Christmas and was fairly certain that she wanted to become a chemist. But her interests were wide-ranging. She liked to make things, she loved math, and she loved to read. She also loved being in charge and organizing people. Throughout her school years she was a leader in sports and student government.

As a single mother of a young son, Christopher Michael, Scott attended North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro. Although she considered becoming an engineer, the accounting department offered her more scholarship money than the engineering school. With her bachelor's degree in accounting and as a certified public accountant (CPA), James procured an auditing position with the large accounting firm of Coopers & Lybrand in Columbus, Ohio.

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Brief BiographiesBiographies: Dan Jacobson Biography - Dan Jacobson comments: to Barbara Knutson (1959–2005) Biography - PersonalDonna A. James Biography - Attended College As A Single Mother, Joined Nationwide Insurance, Headed Human Resources, Elected President Of Nationwide Strategic Investments