UNION — Bill Taylor — an adjunct professor of computer science at USC Union — suffered a personal tragedy this past spring when his wife of nearly 39 years, Alice Dawn Taylor, was struck and killed in her car during a two-vehicle accident in Wellford.
Dawn Taylor — a caring woman who knitted hats, scarves, and other clothes for the homeless — had been on her way home to Spartanburg from an alpaca farm, where she picked up more wool for her volunteer tasks.
“She and her knitting group would meet at the local library here in Spartanburg,” Bill said, adding that his late wife also enjoyed corresponding with pen pals from all over the world.
Taylor decided that an endowed memorial scholarship was the best way to honor her life, so he invested nearly $90,000 to establish The Dawn and Bill Taylor Scholarship Fund, with Dawn’s maternal aunt, Lucille Barnett, also contributing an extra $10,000 to make the final amount $100,000.
Starting in the spring of 2014, the annual scholarship will benefit one USC Union student who has completed two years of college and is set to attend Palmetto College online to earn a bachelor’s degree from USC. Essentially, the scholarship assists the student for his or her junior and senior years.
USC Union is one of Palmetto College’s four regional campuses. Bachelor’s degrees are offered online through programs at USC Aiken, USC Beaufort, USC Columbia, and USC Upstate. Traditionally, USC Union has been a two-year school, but students now can graduate after receiving four-year degrees online here in Union.
“It’s one of the reasons I’ve configured the scholarship the way it is — to promote Palmetto College,” Taylor said.
Taylor — who used to manage textile plants in the area — has taught computer science at USC Union for eight years. He has two children — Bill Taylor IV and Elizabeth Dawn Taylor — who live in Chicago. The couple would have celebrated their 39th wedding anniversary July 27.
“I also consider the University of South Carolina part of my family,” Taylor said.
This story was written by Annie Smith, Marketing and Development Director for USC Union.