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Advancement Notes

Taylor endowment to help future teachers


"The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires."

Photo by Tom Campbell

For 50 years, Bob Taylor kept his students at his fingertips in this office card file. Now, thanks to the establishment of the Robert Taylor Farm Management Excellence Fund, some of those students will be able to help future generations of Purdue Agriculture students by making a donation in his honor.

William Arthur Ward's quote describes different types of teachers, but it's fair to say the College of Agriculture's professors and teachers are truly great educators. This is illustrated in Robert "Bob" Taylor, whom you read about in this issue, and also in the awards and honors earned by the professors in the college.

Purdue's Book of Great Teachers honors faculty past and present who have devoted their lives to excellence in education. This distinction is awarded every five years. Of the 316 faculty members listed, 51 are teachers from the College of Agriculture. In addition, 31 educators from the College of Agriculture have been awarded Purdue's highest teaching honor, the Charles B. Murphy Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award, since it was first given in 1968.

The honors and recognition our faculty receive are impressive, and the impact of these teachers is felt in many ways. The College of Agriculture also honors our great teachers at the college level with endowments and awards named in their honor. Bob Taylor completed an astounding 50 years of service to Purdue in May. The Department of Agricultural Economics is honoring his dedication and commitment to Purdue, the College of Agriculture, and, most importantly, the current students and alumni by establishing the Robert Taylor Farm Management Excellence Fund.

This endowment will enhance the teaching of undergraduate farm management and agricultural economics by providing faculty with resources to create unique experiences, providing resources for student-led clubs, establishing new and innovative course offerings, and supporting scholarships to outstanding undergraduates. His legacy will live on, and, through this endowment, he will continue to touch the lives of thousands of students.

A truly meaningful way to honor the life and career of an individual who dedicated his life to Purdue and to education is to establish an endowment. Two such endowments were named in honor of Richard L. Kohls, former dean and professor of agricultural economics. First, the Richard L. Kohls Early Career Award is given to an individual who has demonstrated commitment to a career in teaching and working with students but who has no more than seven years of experience.

Second, the Richard L. Kohls Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award is given to an individual who demonstrates effective instruction, innovation in the classroom, involvement with the students outside the classroom, service as a research mentor to undergraduate students, and participation in the College of Agriculture or the university as related to education. Endowing these awards will allow the legacy of an outstanding educator to live on forever.

Bob Taylor and Richard Kohls are two of many outstanding educators who have served the College of Agriculture. The legacy these men created through these endowments will enrich the education of our students and enhance the resources available to our teachers. Bob Taylor leaves Purdue as an icon in education. Gifts in his honor can be made to the Robert Taylor Farm Management Excellence Fund.

Contact the Agricultural Advancement Office for more information
(800) 718-0094 or

For a list of winners of Purdue Agriculture awards over the years, visit

Purdue Agriculture, 615 West State Street,
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2053 USA, (765) 494-8396
© 2011 Purdue University. An equal access, equal opportunity university.

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