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K-State Today

September 2, 2015

Study abroad scholarships memorialize daughter, inspire future teachers

Submitted by Patrice Scott

Can something good really come from the loss of a cherished daughter? For one couple — and about 200 teachers and counting — the answer is "yes."

The College of Education produced a video about philanthropists Bill and Marilyn Taylor, Olathe, Kansas, whose scholarships have sent nearly 200 future teachers on study abroad trips. The scholarships were named in memory of their beloved daughter, Megan, who was killed in Germany while bicycling on a high school band trip.

In 2002, the Taylors created the Megan E. Taylor Memorial Scholarship for Study Abroad and have inspired future educators with their generosity and grace. The college recently produced a video about this amazing couple where they share their story and commitment to "paying it forward."

"In Germany, when she passed away, we decided that we had to make something good come out of this," said Bill Taylor. "And so we came back and started to think about scholarships, and we just really felt like study abroad was an 'extra' and the term that we use and others use is 'life changing.'"

Marilyn Taylor agrees.

"We love to have any opportunity to meet the students because it's just so fulfilling to us," she said. "I think a study abroad experience for teachers is so important because they don't know what they are going to be facing, what kinds of students they are going to be facing. Plus, I think a study abroad experience for everybody is just so meaningful because you learn, if nothing else, people are basically the same."

Thank you, Taylors, for sharing Megan with your K-State family and for being the embodiment of "paying it forward." 

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