TAYLOR, Yvonne D. Walker Was the only child born to the union of the late Dougal Ormonde Beaconfield Walker and Eva Emma Revallion Walker on April 17, 1916 in New Bedford, Massachusetts. She attended public elementary schools in Chelsea, Massachusetts and East High School in Cleveland, Ohio.
She earned a BS from Wilberforce University. She earned a MA degree from Boston University, an Educational Specialist degree from the University of Kansas.
She was awarded five (5) honorary doctorate degrees.
Yvonne's father, who was the light of her life, was an African Methodist Episcopal minister and bishop as well as the president of Wilberforce University.
He influenced many of her life choices including her aspiration to become president of Wilberforce. He encouraged her to be articulate... she began public speaking at an early age, to attain achievement in a competitive nature... she graduated from Wilberforce at age 19, and to explore unconventional roles and behaviors regardless of gender related constraints... first woman and subsequent president of the Judicial Council. The career path of Yvonne began as a Teacher (French) at the Wilberforce Academy and formally ended in 1988 as President of Wilberforce University.
The Board of Trustees of Wilberforce University bestowed upon Dr. Taylor the title of President Emeritus on her retirement in January 1988. Her accomplishments are numerous and impressive. She was a trailblazer and an innovator in the field of education and administration. After retirement, she served as supervisor of student teachers at Central State University and as the interim president of Payne Theological Seminary. Dr. Taylor was officially installed as president on March 15, 1984 in the chapel of Payne Theological Seminary. Bishop Vinton R. Anderson, Chairman of the Board of Trustees and a personal friend, inaugurated her as the 16th president of Wilberforce University and the first woman to hold the office in the school's history. She became the first woman to follow in the footsteps of her father, the 10th president, as the president of the same institution.
Dr. Taylor served as Wilberforce University in various capacities for 34 years.
Under her leadership many new and innovative programs were introduced. Among the most outstanding are the Dual Degree Program in Engineering with the University of Dayton and the Adopt-A-Student in concert with the A.M.E. Church. She is also the co-founder of Sigma Omega Honor Society. She established the Women for Women and Wilberforce, an endowed scholarship fund which provides scholarships to outstanding young women in 1984. Professional memberships are too numerous to list. Her honors include Ohio Women's Hall of Fame, Greene County Women's Hall of Fame, Miami Valley Ten Top Women and Metropolitan Civic Women's Woman of the Year.
She was a golden Soror of Alpha Kappa Sorority, past president of Wilberforce Chapter of Links, Incorporated, charter member of Podners, the NAACP and Holy Trinity A.M.E. Church where she served as the choir director/pianist/member and as a Trustee.
Dr. Yvonne Walker Taylor was preceded in death by her devoted husband of over 20 years, Robert Harvey Taylor. She leaves to cherish her memories an "adopted family". They are daughter and son, Dorothy and Nathaniel Vivians, Beavercreek, OH; granddaughter, Venita N. Siwo, Ithaca, N.Y.; niece, Lisa (Grant) Banks Williams; three great-grandchildren and many colleagues and friends.
Even though our Yvonne, GrandT, Grandma, Aunt Yvonne, and GiGi is physically gone her spirit of guidance, persistence and caring will have long lasting effects in all our lives.
A memorial service will be held at Holy Trinity A.M.E. Church on Thursday, November 2, 2006 at 1:00 p.m. The Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Rho Omega will begin the service.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Women for Women and Wilberforce Endowed Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 336, Wilberforce, OH 45384. (McColaugh Funeral Home, 826 N. Detroit Street, Xenia, OH 45384)
Published in Dayton Daily News on Oct. 25, 2006