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CNR Honors Dr. Russel Taylor

January 19, 2018
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During International Education Week, The College of New Rochelle honored Dr. Russel Taylor for his generous contribution to the Study Abroad Program, outstanding academic leadership, and extraordinary support of the College. Many former students who benefited from the Taylor Scholarship were on hand to celebrate with Dr. Taylor and thank him for his part in making their study abroad experiences possible through the Russel and Deborah Taylor Scholarship.

The personification of “a life well lived,” Dr. Taylor, born in Ontario, Canada in 1917, celebrated his 100th birthday in September.  After serving as a Lieutenant in the Royal Canadian Navy in the 1940s, CEO of a New York manufacturing business he founded in the 1960s, and adjunct professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University, Dr. Taylor’s career path eventually led to The College of New Rochelle, where he began teaching in 1978. At CNR, he chaired the Business Department and in 1988 founded the H.W. Taylor Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies, named for his father.

It was Dr. Taylor’s father who instilled in him a business sense at a very early age, paying him a “fee” rather than “allowance” for household chores. The young businessman submitted a monthly invoice to his father for work completed before being paid.  Those early lessons in finance and the art of the entrepreneur became the foundation of his life’s work and his generous heart.

Maria Mercader ’87, director of talent strategy for CBS News, is just one of countless successful professionals who acknowledge Dr. Taylor’s mentorship.

“Russel Taylor is a special treasure at The College of New Rochelle,” she said.  “He pushed me to do my very best and helped me hone the skills I needed to excel in the workplace. For this, I am very grateful.”

The inspiration behind the Russel and Deborah Taylor Scholarship for study abroad also came from Dr. Taylor’s youthful experiences. In the early 1930Luisa garcia and Dr. Taylors, using money he had made in the stock market, the not-yet-20-year-old and two friends boarded an ocean liner for London, bought an old car and spent three months traveling through Europe, sleeping in the car, in tents on the side of the road, and at student hostels.

“Those 11 weeks of meeting students from all over the world and traveling through all those countries changed my life,” Dr. Taylor said.

From that experience, he was inspired to provide hundreds of CNR students the same opportunity through scholarships and study abroad stipends.  

“I credit much of my success to Dr. Taylor’s mentoring,” said Luisa Garcia ’14, a digital journalist at CBS News. “He inspired me to see the world, find and expose untold stories and understand conflicts through the eyes of others. Thanks to Taylor scholarships, I had the privilege of studying abroad in Spain, France, Italy and the United Kingdom.  He even helped me land my dream internship at NBC News’ London Bureau. Dr. Taylor has dedicated his life to educating and creating opportunities for CNR students – giving without expecting anything in return.”

“Dr. Taylor has enriched the lives of so many of our students,” said Dr. Dorothy Escribano, interim president of the College. “He epitomizes the essential mission of this institution and our Ursuline principle of serviam.”