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Roger & Anne as Alumni Leaders

By Jean Anderson '87

Roger Taylor '63 at an FYC event.As an active member of the Chicago Knox Club and Alumni Council, I've been able to watch as Roger and Anne interact with alumni of all generations. I strongly believe in the importance of engaging an organization's people in its successful operation. And Roger embodies this belief. Where else can new graduates recite the three institutional goals Roger set out when he became president? Where else but Knox is the grounds crew asked to stand and be applauded at every Commencement ceremony? And where have you ever dined where the food services staff is called out during the meal so they can be recognized for their hard work? Yep, right here.

Roger also likes to challenge both alumni and current students: "When someone asks you where you go (went) to college, do you say ‘oh, some little place in the Midwest that you've never heard of'?" This is nearly word for word the answer I used in the mid-1980s, but over the 10 years of Roger's tenure, I've observed a clear difference in the response to this question -- and accompanying swagger -- among my fellow alumni.

And I'll always remember a Chicago Knox Club meeting where I was working the registration table, and I saw this woman striding to me with this big smile on her face. My first thought was, "She looks like a lot of fun." A moment later, she gave me her name for the event. It was Anne Taylor. Anyone who knows her knows she's been many things beyond fun in working with Roger to cultivate this renewed sense of pride among alumni old and new. Following Roger's retirement as president, I look forward to enjoying his and Anne's company as fellow alumni of our beloved Knox College.

Jean Anderson has been a member of the Alumni Council since 2005, serving as its chair for the last two years. She is the last chair of the council to work directly under the leadership of the Taylors.

Learn more about the Taylor Presidential Scholarship.

Next: Roger as Cheerleader.