SHERMAN, TEXAS -- Austin College President Oscar C. Page announced a $1 million gift from Kenneth and Caroline Elbert Taylor of Wyalusing, Pa., at the College's Award Gala dinner March 5 on the campus. Caroline Taylor is a 1966 graduate of Austin College and a native of Tyler, Texas, where her mother, Helen Elbert, resides.
The gift will provide significant support to students through
establishment of the Kenneth and Caroline Elbert Taylor Endowed Founders Scholarship Fund and the Kenneth and Caroline Elbert Taylor Endowed International Scholarship Fund. The Taylors' gift also includes a pledge in support of the $5 million Priddy Challenge.
A dedicated alumna of Austin College, Caroline Taylor has served as a
member of the College's Board of Trustees since 1999. Her husband is a 1966 graduate of Dartmouth College and a native of Pennsylvania. He was the president and CEO of Taylor Packing Company, a multi-generation, family-owned meat -packing business from 1979 until his retirement in 2002 when he sold the company.
The Taylors' gift to Austin College is a continuation of their longtime
support for the College. In addition to regular Annual Fund gifts, the
couple has made several major gifts including support of the Harry E.
Smith Teaching Professorship in the Arts, (part of the National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant) in 1994; the naming gift for the Campus Activities Board Office within the Robert J. and Mary Wright Campus Center in 1998; and establishment of the Kenneth and Caroline Taylor Academic Honors Sponsored Scholarship in 2000.
"As an alumna of Austin College, I'm very happy my husband and I are able to make this gift," said Caroline. "Through my own college experiences and now my work on the Board of Trustees, I value the goals and philosophy of Austin College, including emphasis on high academic standards, community service, leadership development, and international study -- all very important for young people. It is exciting to me to think that our scholarships might enable some deserving students to benefit from the enrichment of the Austin College experience"
The Taylors are active citizens in their communities of Wyalusing, Pa.,
and Jackson Hole, Wyo., where they also have a home. Both are members of the Wyalusing Presbyterian Church, where Caroline is an elder and Ken is a former chair of the trustees. Caroline has served as president of the Wyalusing Area School Board, trustee of the Wyalusing Public Library, president of the Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, and chairman of the Children's Cultural Program Trust. She is currently a volunteer at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, Wyo.
In addition to business and professional involvements, Ken has served as a director of the Central Bradford County United Way and as a trustee of Wilkes University. He is currently a member of the board of the Guthrie Health Care System and is chairman of the board of People's State Bank of Wyalusing.
Austin College, affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA), is an
independent, liberal arts college of 1,300 students located 60 miles north
of Dallas in Sherman, Texas. Chartered in November 1849, it is the oldest college in Texas under original charter and name as recognized by the State Historical Survey Committee.