Gift from Scott College alumni funds Max E. Douglas Student Advising Suite

October 5, 2010

A gift from Indiana State University alumni Jeff and Penny Taylor will establish a student advising suite in the new home of the Scott College of Business, the former Terre Haute Federal Building.

The six-figure gift will fund renovation of office space for the Max E. Douglas Advising Suite within the Student Academic Support Center. The gift recognizes Douglas' more than 40-year commitment to students, said Jeff Taylor who, like his wife, holds a bachelor's degree in accounting from Indiana State.

Douglas is a "true example of devotion to students, their learning and professional growth," said the college's dean, Nancy Merritt. "We are grateful to the Taylors for their contribution and their recognition of the role of this outstanding professor in teaching and advising students."

Douglas retired in May. He had served the Scott College and its students since 1968 as instructor and, later, professor of management; as an academic adviser and as assistant dean. He was committed to excellent teaching as well as advising, Taylor said.

"Max Douglas was one of the first business professors I met as a freshman. He was an adviser and mentor to me for my entire time at ISU," Taylor said. "Penny and I were at ISU only briefly compared to Dr. Douglas. Given the number of students that he mentored and taught, he's the one that deserves to be commemorated in the new building. I'm happy to say Max has remained a friend after college and we have stayed in touch on a regular basis."

Taylor said the gift is also a way for the couple to give back to the college for helping them succeed as first-generation students "from modest Indiana backgrounds." Jeff Taylor is a native of Anderson while Penny Taylor grew up in Lake County. The couple now resides in Carmel, Ind., and Scottsdale, Ariz.

"My parents and ISU scholarships got me through, financially. I left ISU literally with a $500 car and everything I owned in the trunk," he said. "It was only later that I came to appreciate the most valuable asset I took with me-the ISU education-- which was the foundation for a successful career. Today's students need to appreciate that, and take advantage of the opportunity they are being afforded. It is our view, at this point, that we owe something back to ISU and this is a down payment."

Douglas said he is "honored and humbled" by the recognition.

"Jeff is one of our premier alumni and I'm glad to have played a role in his life as part of the educational process. My commitment to students is my highest priority. I am so appreciative of the honor he has bestowed upon me," he said. "I not only appreciate their financial contribution but also the service Jeff and Penny have provided to the college and our university."

Douglas has received numerous awards while at Indiana State, including the President's Medal, the university's highest award for faculty; the Caleb Mills Distinguished Teaching Award; the Scott College's Ethics in Education Award and the college's Outstanding Teaching Award.

Jeff Taylor serves on the dean's executive council of the Scott College. He is senior vice president of U.S. government policy for the global media company Pearson. He previously worked for the Arthur Andersen accounting firm and National Computer Solutions (NCS). He was serving as chief financial officer of NCS at the time of its acquisition by Pearson in 2000. Penny Taylor worked as an accountant for Amax Coal Co. prior to "retiring" to raise the couple's three daughters.

Photo: http://isuphoto.smugmug.com/photos/848509353_S7KfL-L.jpg - Max Douglas

Contact: Nancy Merritt, dean, Scott College of Business, Indiana State University, 812-237-2000 or nancy.merritt@indstate.edu

Writer: Dave Taylor, media relations director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3743 or dave.taylor@indstate.edu