The award will be presented at the Celebration Banquet, part of this year’s homecoming festivities, which takes place Saturday, Oct. 13, at 6:30 p.m. at the University Plaza Convention Center.
“Nominees for the Distinguished Alumnus Award must have made significant contributions within their chosen career field, to their church, community, state, nation or to Evangel University,” said Chuck Cox, Evangel’s director of alumni relations.
Dr. Carol Taylor is the first woman to serve Vanguard University as president in its 90-year history. She was named president of the Costa Mesa, Calif., school in 2009, having served as provost and vice president for academic affairs since 2007.
In addition to her bachelor’s degree in elementary education she earned at Evangel, Taylor also holds a master’s degree in cross-cultural communication from Assemblies of God Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. in multilingual/multicultural education from Florida State University.
Taylor has accumulated more than 30 years of teaching and administrative experience, including 12 in research and administration at Educational Testing Service (ETS) in Princeton. ETS develops and administers tests such as the SAT and GRE and is the nation’s leading testing research company.
Since moving into Christian higher education, Taylor has been involved with the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities leadership programs, especially women’s leadership development institutes. She has served as an institute facilitator and mentor for emerging female leaders from other CCCU institutions.
The first female president of Vanguard University is often asked what advice she would give to other aspiring young people, especially women.
“Let your career pursue you,” Taylor said. “As women, our paths are diverse and unique. If you had told me when I was a student at Evangel that I was going to be president of a university someday, I could not have even imagined it. I am convinced that if we live each day of our lives in obedience to Him, everything else takes care of itself.
“If we really believe that the One who created us knows where our deepest desires and passions lie, He will lead us to places where we get to discover that in profound ways. Our job is to say yes!”
This is how her own career evolved, without a planned progression into leadership.
“I was simply given the opportunity to do things,” she said. “It wasn’t a sudden a-ha moment. It was a natural transition into leadership. I was given wonderful opportunities to lead large projects and programs in my early days at ETS.”
“It was later, as I began reading and thinking more intentionally about leadership, that one day it dawned on me, ‘Wow, this is what I’m meant to do.’”
Taylor resides in Costa Mesa, Calif.
For additional information, contact Chuck Cox at (417) 865-2815, ext. 7333.