An endowment to West Virginia University’s Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources will assist students doing research in petroleum and natural gas engineering.

James Taylor, who earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering of mines, petroleum option, from the College in 1960, and his wife, Virginia Taylor, have created the J. Leland Taylor and Clara Virginia (Grosscurth) Taylor Memorial Scholarship Endowment. Their gift of $25,000 will be matched by funds from the state of West Virginia’s Research Trust Fund for a total of $50,000.

The scholarship honors Taylor’s parents, neither of whom were college educated.

“My father worked his way up from secretary to partner and general manager of Wheeling Decorating Company, a high-end glass and china decorating company.” said Taylor. “He passed away in 1957, when I was a junior at WVU. My mother continued to help with my college expenses, even though it was very hard for her.”

Taylor enrolled in basic and advanced ROTC training at WVU and was designated a Distinguished Military Graduate by the Army. He accepted a regular Army commission, spending almost 41 years with the Army as an officer, reserve officer and Army civilian. He retired at the rank of Army Reserve Colonel, having lived in France, Germany, Vietnam, Turkey and Puerto Rico.

“I would like to express my gratitude to the Taylor family for the establishment of this endowment,” said Sam Ameri, chair of the Department of Petroleum and Natural Gas. “This generous contribution will help support the scholarship needs of students within the Department. Alumni support such as this continues to be vital to maintaining our standards of academic excellence, providing students with a competitive engineering education.”

The gift was made through the WVU Foundation, the private non-profit corporation that generates and provides support for West Virginia University.



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CONTACT: Mary C.Dillon