Talking About Taylor

Our March-April BizVoice magazine includes a quick-hitting, one-page look at Taylor University in Upland. Less than five minutes into a 15-minute conversation with Taylor President Eugene Habecker and I knew I was going to have more good material to use than space in the magazine.

A couple of items to share that didn’t make the print edition:

  • Habecker earned his bachelor degree from Taylor in 1968 but admits, "I did not know a whole lot about colleges when I was looking for schools in the 1960s." A recommendation from friends of the family who had sent their son to Taylor was enough. "I came sight unseen and I loved it." Habecker met his wife, Marylou, at the school and embarked on a career of servant leadership that brought him back to the university as president in 2005. One other interesting note: the original trip to Taylor from his hometown of Hershey, Pennsylvania took place on all secondary roads (no interstates in place at the time).
  • The return to Taylor 37 years after graduating was not something Habecker envisioned. He had been president and CEO of the American Bible Society in New York City for a number of years and planned to retire from that post. Marylou was serving on the Taylor board when president David Gyerston announced his pending departure. After thoughtful consideration and prayer, the Habeckers returned full-time to their undergraduate home and have cherished the opportunity.
  • In the article, Habecker lists some of his favorite places on campus. In addition to the three in the magazine, he adds the Euler Science Center and its academic offerings, the Musselman House (his family’s home on campus) and the Memorial Prayer Chapel. Regarding the family residence: "We average having 2,000 to 3,000 students a year in our home." Thirty-five were on hand for a Super Bowl party and 60 were scheduled for a dinner the following evening. Habecker simply says that part of he and his wife’s mission is "a privilege."

Check out the March-April issue (available online at the end of February) to learn more about Taylor and its leader.