Guests gathered within the Tulane Catholic Center’s chapel on Thursday (Aug. 25) to honor local philanthropist Phyllis Taylor, recipient of the 2015 Times-Picayune Loving Cup for her dedication to the New Orleans community.
“Much has changed about The Times-Picayune since we published our first newspaper on Jan. 25, 1837, but every year since 1901 there has been one constant — the awarding of The Loving Cup,” said Mark Lorando, editor and vice president of content at The Times-Picayune.
“The Loving Cup was established for the unsung heroes who make our community a better place. We’re looking for individuals who have worked unselfishly, and today Phyllis Taylor becomes the 113th recipient of this prestigious honor,” said Tim Williamson, Tulane University alumnus and president of NOLA Media Group.
“She joins a list of people who are synonymous with making New Orleans a better place.”
— Tim Williamson, Tulane University alumnus and president of NOLA Media Group
Former Loving Cup recipients include Isidore Newman, Leah Chase and Tulane University president emeritus Scott Cowen.
Discussing past honorees, Taylor said, “I find in them a common thread, an innate drive to make things better. It certainly is a gift, a gift I know I’ve been given.”
Taylor graduated from Tulane University Law School in 1966 and was known for her pioneering spirit as one of only three women within her first-year class.
Currently a Board of Tulane member, Taylor acts as chairman of Taylor Energy Co. and leads the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation, the charitable organization established by her late husband.
With its largesse amounting to more than $50 million, the foundation has supported institutions like the New Orleans Museum of Art, the New Orleans Ballet Foundation and the Smithsonian Institution.
Taylor was also instrumental in establishing the Tuition Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS), which covers tuition at state-run universities for qualified Louisiana high school graduates.
While addressing the crowd, Taylor paid tribute her late husband Patrick F. Taylor.
“It was pointed out to me that the Loving Cup has two handles — how fitting in my case. I will always look at this award with two handles, and see one being held by me and one by Patrick.”