Katherine H. Taylor (1909-1994)

Posted on November 23, 2015

Katherine Taylor with her basset hound Suki
Katherine Taylor with her basset hound Suki

Katherine Henrietta Taylor was born on March 19, 1909, in Salisbury, North Carolina. She graduated from the North Carolina College for Women (now UNCG) in 1928 and was one of two alumnae elected to membership in the Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, a national honorary scholastic fraternity.

Taylor received her master’s at Radcliffe and soon after was employed as an instructor of French at North Carolina College for Women in 1929. In 1937 she became Assistant Professor and continued teaching under this position until 1944 when she joined the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) during World War II. Taylor served as a Lieutenant in the WAVES and became very accomplished during her service; she served as Company Commander, Educational Services Officer, and Regimental Commander and Senior WAVES officer during her time of service.

After leaving the WAVES she returned to Woman’s College and in 1945 she was awarded the title associate professor. Taylor was also an active counselor at Woman’s College from 1934 to 1947.

In 1948 Taylor was chosen as dean of women at Woman’s College and named permanent successor to the late Harriet Elliott who died on July 1, 1948. The title changed to dean of students in 1951, and to dean of student services in 1964. Taylor was known for her coordination of the University Concert and Lecture Series. She spoke at the university on many topics including Japanese culture, ecology, and sustainability. Taylor retired in 1972.

In the Spring of 1973 the Alumni Association honored her with a garden behind the Elliott Student Center.  After retirement Taylor collected art and founded the Historical Salisbury Foundation, the Ikebana Society, and the Friday Club.

Katherine Taylor died on March 24, 1994 at the age of 85.

Written by Brittany Hedrick, Fall 2015 intern

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