(Ashland, Ore.) Southern Oregon University (SOU) has awarded its 2011 President’s Medal to Ashland residents Jerry and Jeanne Taylor, creators of the Taylor Family Foundation, and active supporters of SOU and many Rogue Valley organizations.
“The Taylors greatly deserve the honor of the President’s Medal. I am delighted to recognize their generosity, their hard work, and their commitment to so many important causes throughout the region. They are wonderful friends of SOU and of the Rogue Valley,” says SOU president Mary Cullinan.
The presentation was made Sunday, May 22, at a surprise event for the Taylors at SOU’s Plunkett Center.
“I was flabbergasted,” said Jeanne Taylor, who had thought the event (which she was aware of) was just for her husband. “I was very surprised to receive the award with him.”
“We had many friends in the room, and we were honored to receive the medal,” says Jerry. “It was fun to watch my wife’s face change when she also received it.”
In a letter to the Taylors, Congressman Greg Walden wrote, “Southern Oregon is lucky to have such a dynamic couple that is so highly engaged in the community. The leadership, perspective, and passion you’ve offered to the numerous non-profit boards of directors and educational institutions you work with are truly outstanding.”
Jerry Taylor is the former Senior Vice President and CFO of Applied Materials, the world leader in semiconductor fabrication systems and service for the worldwide semiconductor industry. After retirement, Jerry and his wife Jeanne moved from the Silicon Valley to Ashland, became involved in local philanthropic work and realized the great reward of living in a small community. “People are inclusive. People are generous,” says Jeanne. “This is a great community with wonderful people.”
The Taylors have helped raise money for SOU in support of Hannon Library, the Schneider Museum of Art, Chamber Music Concerts, the Raider Club, the RCC/SOU Higher Education Center, and the SOU Annual Fund. They also support music scholarships at SOU. The Taylors contribute in other ways, as well. Jeanne has served on the SOU President’s Advisory Board, and Jerry has been a member of the Foundation Board.
The Taylors are also active supporters of many Rogue Valley organizations. Jeanne has been a supporter and board member of the Ashland YMCA, and the Taylors have become very supportive of La Clinica del Valle, Community Works, the Children’s Advocacy Center, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF)—where Jerry is the past president of the OSF Foundation.
Established in 1984, the Southern Oregon University President’s Medal is given each year to a member of the community whose actions merit such a distinguished honor. It is awarded to a person (or in rare instances, a company) whose exemplary service to the University, the region and the greater community represents qualities such as compassion, integrity and service.