Denison University Receives $10 Million
Posted: March 14, 2008 / Last Updated: March 17, 2008
Denison University announces that two Life Trustee couples have committed a total of $10 million to the college’s Higher Ground fund-raising campaign. Mary Ellen and William Bowen, and Connie and John Taylor have each committed $5 million to the college’s endowments.
“The generosity expressed by the Bowens and the Taylors directly supports Denison’s mission to inspire and educate through active learning in the liberal arts,” says Denison President Dale Knobel. “Bill and Mary Ellen Bowen, and John and Connie Taylor have been at work for years to take Denison to ‘higher ground.’ Together, and as individuals, the Bowens and the Taylors have added wonderful new chapters to their long records of leadership at Denison.”
The Bowens, both 1955 Denison graduates, have earmarked their gift for student scholarships, faculty fellowships, student health and counseling services and a president’s discretionary fund to address student, faculty and staff priorities.
“We are delighted to be able to make this additional commitment to Denison,” the Bowens said. “The college had a major impact on our lives, and it is a privilege to work with others to build Denison’s future—which we believe is a very bright one.”
William Bowen is a renowned economist and educator. He is president emeritus of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and president emeritus of Princeton University. He has authored several important books dealing with higher education in America, including “The Shape of the River: Long-Term Consequences of Considering Race in College and University Admissions” (with Derek Bok) and “Equity and Excellence in American Higher Education” (with Martin A. Kurzweil and Eugene M. Tobin).
William Bowen’s ongoing connections to Denison include two terms on the Board of Trustees before becoming a life trustee. On Oct. 11, 2007, Denison presented “The Bowen Symposium: Equity and Excellence in Liberal Arts Education,” in grateful recognition of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Mellon Foundation created the William G. Bowen and Mary Ellen Bowen Endowed Fund at Denison University on the occasion of William Bowen’s retirement as its president in 2007.
Mary Ellen Maxwell Bowen has been cited for her lifelong dedication to community service. She has had extensive leadership and front-line volunteer involvement with organizations such as YMCA, Reading for the Blind, Youth Employment Service, the University League at Princeton, and several arts and health nonprofit organizations. She also has remained dedicated to Denison, with a lifelong history of support for her alma mater.
Connie and John Taylor are Denison graduates from the classes of 1957 and 1958, respectively. All five of their children are also Denison graduates. Their gift will benefit Denison in several significant ways, including unrestricted support, The Taylor Family Endowed Fund, and support for improved athletics facilities.
“The Denison experience was life changing for both of us,” John Taylor said. “Connie and I have always been grateful we were provided the opportunity to attend. Our additional commitment is simply a way of saying ‘thanks’ as Denison concludes the Higher Ground Campaign.”
After serving in the U.S. Air Force and earning an M.B.A., John Taylor joined Dayton Typographic Service, a local family business. He later worked as a stockbroker with W.E. Hutton, becoming a vice president. In 1974 he bought control of Kurz-Kasch, a custom molder of thermoset plastics. In 1982, he formed CompTech, which later became NASDAQ listed. He has served on the board of directors for a number of public companies and not-for-profit agencies, and has been active in the Young President’s Organization (YPO) and the Chief Executives Organization (CEO).
John Taylor’s involvement with Denison has taken many forms over the years. He has been a member of the Board of Trustees, chairing the development committee; an Annual Fund volunteer, counselor-at-large, career adviser, campaign worker and National Annual Fund chairman. He has served on the President’s Leadership Council and Alumni Council. He’s currently a member of Denison’s campaign executive committee, which provides leadership for Higher Ground: The Campaign for Denison.
Connie Smith Taylor is a dedicated and widely recognized community volunteer. She has been a loyal Denison alumna, serving on reunion committees and on the President’s Leadership Council. She also is a devoted partner in philanthropic endeavors with John. The Taylor team is dedicated to the welfare of children and the overall betterment of citizens and communities. Together they have supported myriad organizations, including Catholic Social Services, Goodwill Industries, St. Joseph Children’s Treatment Center, Sinclair Community College, and the United Way. They have made possible significant Denison projects such as the academically oriented Taylor House residence hall.
With the addition of the extraordinary gifts from the Bowens and Taylors, Denison’s Higher Ground Campaign attainment currently stands at roughly $168 million—more than $8 million beyond its goal. With specific priorities in the areas of instructional technology and student life still to be funded, the campaign is set to conclude on June 30, 2008.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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