The College and Career Wing at T.C. Williams High School has been updated and renamed the Jack Taylor College and Career Wing in honor of 25 years of generous donations to help T.C. Williams students pay for college.
Jack Taylor, who himself did not attend college, has donated more than $1.7 million to the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria since 1992 — the equivalent of helping send an entire senior class, or approximately 800 students to college. He has also supported Parent Teacher Associations, sports teams at the high school, and the All-Night Graduation Party, along with donating a car from his Jack Taylor’s Alexandria Toyota dealership or the equivalent in cash to support students in seeing their college dreams fulfilled each year.
Mr. Taylor’s contribution is extraordinary and Jack Taylor has been a role model for meaningful corporate citizenship. Without this kind of generous support, many of our students could not even begin to think of going to college, particularly at a time when the cost of going to college is sky high. As a result, we are recognizing his long-term commitment to improving the lives of ACPS students with this honor,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr.
In June 2017, students initiated the process of renaming the wing at T.C. Williams, where they go to get advice regarding their college and career plans. Students advocated for the name recognition for Jack Taylor through the student newspaper, Theogony, a move which required an official school board policy change — no small task.
To mark the renaming of the wing, the hallway has been upgraded to welcome students and better accommodate their needs, in line with Taylor’s vision for it. Instead of a hallway lined with portraits and murals of himself, Taylor wanted the hallway to be a place where students could gather. The school has installed electronic screens for information sharing and collaborative touch-base stations where students can fill out applications for college and scholarships, along with adding bright paint to make the environment more inviting.
Jack was adamant that this not be about him. You will not see murals, paintings or statues of Jack. But, what you will see is what he wanted: a warm and inviting space that would be welcoming to all students, especially those who would be first in their families to attend college. We are grateful for his generosity, dedication, vision — and for always putting the Titans first,” said T.C. Williams Principal Peter Balas.
More than 60% of families at T.C. Williams receive federal assistance for free or reduced-price meals. For many of these students, scholarships from the Scholarship Fund often mean the difference between a student being able to afford college or not. Taylor’s continued commitment is essential to the Scholarship Fund’s mission of helping ensure that all Alexandria students who aspire to can attend college.
Since 1986, the Scholarship Fund has awarded more than $16.5 million in scholarships and helped more than 4,750 Alexandria students realize their college dreams.