From the fall 2017 issue of The Spirit of Washington University
With an outpouring of support from the university community—and a new $10 million commitment from Life Trustee Andrew Taylor and his wife, Barbara—Leading Together: The Campaign for Washington University has raised more than $500 million for scholarships and fellowships, a record amount.
The Taylors’ commitment establishes the Taylor Family Scholarship Challenge, which will match all new and increased gifts for undergraduate scholarships received by the conclusion of the campaign on June 30, 2018, as well as pledges to be paid by June 30, 2023. Including the gifts it will match, the completed Taylor Challenge will provide a total of $20 million toward the university’s scholarship efforts.
One of the most important priorities of Leading Together, scholarships offer talented young people the chance to fulfill their potential. The Taylor Challenge will expand opportunities for undergraduate students to attend Washington University and become the leaders of tomorrow.
“Scholarships are critical to advancing the university’s mission,” says Mr. Taylor, executive chairman of St. Louis–based Enterprise Holdings and chair of the public phase of Leading Together. “They allow us to serve students from many different socioeconomic backgrounds. These are capable, outstanding students who make valuable contributions to academics, research, and university life. Scholarships are how we empower them to pursue a superb education and go on to serve society.”
The Taylors hope the challenge will inspire alumni, parents, and friends to make gifts of all sizes for scholarships, whether in support of existing scholarship funds or to establish new annual and endowed scholarships.
“Andy and Barbara Taylor are great university citizens, and they are among our most dedicated benefactors,” says Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton. “Under Andy’s leadership, the public phase of Leading Together already has surpassed all previous records in the history of Washington University. We are deeply grateful to both of them for their extraordinary generosity, which will have a lasting impact on the future of our students, the university, and our society.”
A Family’s Dedication
Over the years, the Taylor family and Enterprise Holdings have contributed more than $80 million to Washington University. This total includes $60 million to endow and expand the Enterprise Holdings Scholars program, which was established in 2001 with a gift of $25 million from the Taylor family and the parent company of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental, and Alamo Rent A Car brands. Ten years later, Jack Taylor, Andrew Taylor’s father and the founder of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, gave an additional $25 million for scholarships on behalf of the company. Andrew and Barbara Taylor made a $10 million gift to add to the Enterprise Holdings Scholarship Fund in 2015, lifting the total for the Leading Together campaign past $2 billion.
The Taylors’ involvement with the university extends far beyond supporting scholarships. In 2012, Andrew and Barbara Taylor and the Crawford Taylor Foundation committed $20 million to establish the Taylor Family Institute for Innovative Psychiatric Research in the School of Medicine. In addition to Andrew’s leadership role with Leading Together, he and Barbara are Life Members of the Danforth Circle Chancellor’s Level of the William Greenleaf Eliot Society. Jack Taylor, who died in 2016, was an emeritus trustee. Washington University recognized him in 2001 with an honorary doctor of humanities degree, and he received the Robert S. Brookings Award in 2003.
“My father cared deeply for Washington University and passed on to me a belief that the university’s success is essential to the success of St. Louis,” recalls Andrew Taylor. “He started Enterprise with a few cars and $25,000 in borrowed money. Now I get up every morning, think about what he built from those beginnings, and feel a deep sense of gratitude. Sharing our good fortune with students who need it just makes sense.”
—By Kelly Marksbury