Should members of the LSU Board of Supervisors disclose who receives their scholarships?|
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|Taylor made a difference|
Dr. F. Jay Talyor's death over the weekend at the age of 87 reminded us of a story about Taylor and former Gov. Edwin Edwards.
The incident occurred years ago during one of Edwards' terms as governor when Taylor served as president at Louisiana Tech University.
At a reception at the university president's home, Edwards joked that he was wrong to believe serving as governor was the best job one could possibly hold in Louisiana. Instead, Edwards said, being a university president was by far the best job because the president lived in a fine home, worked in a plush office, and didn't have much to do all day except keep a close eye on the university's students, especially the female students.
That's the sanitized version of Edwards' comments at Tech years ago during Taylor's tenure, and of course, Edwards was making light of the job Taylor did at Tech where he served as president for 25 years from 1962-1987.
Taylor left his mark on Tech. It's visible at every turn on the campus today, and it's felt throughout Louisiana and beyond.
Known as Louisiana Polytechnic Institute when he was named president, Taylor led the movement to change the school's name, and student enrollment spiked from roughly 4,000 students in 1962 when Taylor became president to nearly 11,000 when he retired in the late 1980s. Along the way, Taylor oversaw the construction of the signature 16-story Charles Samuel Wyly Tower of Learning and a host of new sports venues – Joe Aillet Stadium, J.C. Love baseball complex, Thomas Assembly Center and Lambright Intramural Sports Complex. All of them are first-class facilities.
Taylor probably will be solely remembered by many as the president of Tech when the women's basketball program rose to prominence, notching two national championships in the 1980s. Remembering Taylor simply for the success of women's basketball, however, would be a mistake.
Instead, Taylor should be remembered for putting Tech on the map, so to speak, academically, for it was on Taylor's watch that Tech earned a reputation as a top-notch university where any student was offered an opportunity to get a first-class education. Thanks to Taylor and the men and women he hired to teach at Tech, a diploma from Tech is recognized as a mark of excellence.