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Sun, 04.16.1916

Yvonne Walker Taylor, Educator born

Yvonne Walker-Taylor

*Dr. Yvonne Walker-Taylor was born on this date in 1916. She was a Black educator and administrator.

A native of Chelsea, Massachusetts, Yvonne Walker was the daughter of Dougal Ormonde Beaconfield Walker and Eva Emma Revallion. She attended public schools in Chelsea, Massachusetts, and Cleveland, Ohio. She earned degrees from Wilberforce University, Boston University, and the University of Kansas. For over 34 years, she served Wilberforce in various capacities, including Professor of French and English in the Academy; Instructor of English; Administrative Assistant to the President, Chair of the Teacher Education Division; Assistant Academic Dean; Dean of Instruction; Academic Dean, Vice President for Academic Affairs; and Provost.

Under her leadership, many new and innovative educational programs were introduced.  Among which was a Reading Lab, two new majors with the University of Dayton - Engineering and Computer Science, and a mandatory program in computer literacy for all students.  As the sixteenth President of Wilberforce University, Dr. Taylor was the first woman to hold that position in the nation's oldest private Black institution of higher education. She was the first woman to succeed her father (Bishop D. Ormonde Walker) in the presidency of the same private four-year college he was the tenth.

Her professional memberships included the Board of Directors of the National Commission on Cooperative Education (1977-88); United Way; Greene Oaks Health Center, Xenia, Ohio; National Afro-American Museum and Cultural Center's Planning Council, elected chair in 1985. First President to the Greene County American Heart Association, 1989-93; Golden Soror of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority; Advisor to Zeta Chapter, 1989-91; member of Links, Inc., 1959-92, served as president.  She was a member of the Greene County Violence Prevention Board of Trustees, a member of the planning council of the National Black Religion Conference, and many more.

In 1993, Dr. Taylor was honored with the N.A.F.E.O. "Distinguished Alumna Award." She was appointed Distinguished Presidential Professor of Education in 1990, where she supervised student teachers and planned workshops until 1996.  Later that year, the Board of Trustees of Payne Theological Seminary selected her as one of the interim administrative team members. Dr. Taylor was the first woman ever elected to the Judicial Council of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Professional memberships are too numerous to list.

Her honors include the 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, a charter member of 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 died on Oct. 25, 2006.

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