John Taylor bequest provides $300,000 to Winston-Salem State

The Heritage Society—Comprised of a special group of supporters who believe in the mission of the university and want to ensure that valuable life-changing educational programs and services will continue for future generations.

Each member of The Heritage Society has remembered the university through a charitable bequest intention, charitable gift annuity, life insurance, or other estate planning arrangements with a value of $10,000 or more. Membership in The Heritage Society is activated when the donor notifies Winston-Salem State University that he or she has named the university as a benefactor of these types of “planned” gifts.

Nigel and Sarah Alston
Cynthia Cunningham
Rotunda Eaton ’11
Cleveland ’60 and Marlene Ellison, Sr.
Terry ’79 and Yvette Griffin
Ernest and Martha Logemann
Jim and Mary Allen Martin
Franklin S. McCarroll ’62
Paul and Marcia Meis
Carl J. Miller ’74
Bill ’83 and Lorraine ’83 Miller
Lynn and Lynette Murphy
Olásopé O. and Eileen Wilson Oyèláràn
Donald and Deborah Reaves
Cedric S. (d) and Mae L. Rodney 
John and Peggy Taylor
David and Crystal Truesdale ’99 Thompkins, Jr. 
Anne M. Tuttle-Avila ’08
Harden “Butch” ’73 and Janet Wheeler

Julia O. Woodard ’61

John and Peggy Taylor with Winston-Salem State University Chancellor Elwood L. Robinson (2015 file photo)

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (March 2, 2017) – The Winston-Salem State University Foundation has received a $300,000 bequest from John Taylor, the retired CEO of Taylor Oil Company and a longtime supporter of the university.

Taylor passed away in August 2016. The gift will create an endowment at WSSU that will support student success.

“Although Mr. Taylor is not an alumnus of WSSU, he understood how our university contributes to the social, cultural, intellectual and economic growth of the region, the state, and beyond,” said WSSU Chancellor Elwood L. Robinson. “Throughout the past 15 years, he helped WSSU to move forward with our mission of preparing diverse students for success in the 21st century. We are so grateful for his support and friendship. With this gift, Mr. Taylor will create a lasting legacy here at WSSU.”

Taylor first became engaged with the university by serving on WSSU’s Board of Visitors. In 2004, he joined the WSSU Foundation Board of Directors where he served as an active member of the finance and audit committees. Taylor was also a member of the Board of
Trustees Endowment Committee, which is charged with management oversight of all of the university’s endowed funds.

The bequest is just one of the many ways Taylor and his wife, Peggy, provided financial support to the university over the past 15 years. The Taylors created several endowments, including funds to support a Ram Athletic Leadership Academy, the John and Peggy Taylor Student Technology Endowment Fund, and a book fund for student-athletes. The Taylors also made the first individual gift – $300,000 – in support of the university’s Student Success Center. All told, the Taylors’ gifts total nearly $1 million.

“Mr. Taylor’s profoundly positive impact on the university is almost immeasurable,” said Michelle Cook, WSSU vice chancellor for advancement. “With his wife, he created endowments and made gifts that have allowed our students to access needed technologies, learn valuable leadership skills, and succeed academically. He championed the cause of education for the entire state of North Carolina. His investment in WSSU is helping to provide educational access. He was a wonderful friend to Winston-Salem State University.”

Taylor, who was 86 at the time of his death, grew up in Winston-Salem, graduating from R.J. Reynolds High School. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before serving in the U.S. Army for two years. After returning home, he joined the family business, Taylor Oil Company, and married Marguerite (Peggy) Bain. He is survived by his wife, three children, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

A bold past. A brilliant future. – For 125 years, Winston-Salem State University has fostered the creative thinking, analytical problem-solving, and depth of character needed to transform the world. Rooted in liberal education, WSSU’s curriculum prepares students to be thought leaders who have the skills and knowledge needed to develop innovative solutions to complex problems. WSSU is a historically Black constituent institution of the University of North Carolina with a rich tradition of contributing to the social, cultural, intellectual, and economic growth of North Carolina, the region and beyond. Guided by the motto, “Enter to Learn. Depart to Serve,” WSSU develops leaders who advance social justice by serving the world with compassion and commitment. Join us in celebrating our 125th anniversary with events throughout 2017. Learn more at the 125th Anniversary website.


Photo: John and Peggy Taylor with Winston-Salem State University Chancellor Elwood L. Robinson (2015 file photo)