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Taylor Scholars Awards Carry on Legacy to Honor Top Achieving Louisiana Students

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact:
Katie Smith
504-378-2693
504-278-0542 (cell)
ksmith@auduboninstitute.org

Taylor Scholars Awards Carry on Legacy to Honor Top Achieving Louisiana Students
Press Conference & Presentation: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 at Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium

(New Orleans, La.)- Sixteen years ago, Louisiana oilman Patrick F. Taylor had a dream to reward hard working Louisiana students for their academic excellence. Today, his vision continues to motivate students across the state. The impact of the Taylor Scholars Awards program perseveres in 2012 with 161,946 students in grades 7 through 12 receiving free one-year memberships to the New Orleans Museum of Art, Audubon Zoo and Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. For the first time, this year qualifying recipients will be awarded membership to Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium as well.

Since its inception, more than 1.3 million students statewide have qualified for free memberships to Louisiana's most popular visitor attractions. Eligible students earn a one-year membership to Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, Audubon Zoo, and the New Orleans Museum of Art for achieving a minimum 2.5 grade point average.

"Thousands of students have eagerly explored the Zoo and Aquarium since this program began. They've been given the opportunity to experience nature, as well as learning life lessons of hard work and persistence," said Audubon Nature Institute President and CEO Ron Forman. "We are thrilled to include Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium in the program this year. Among these students we may have a future entomologist, zookeeper, scientist, or business leader. The future is theirs, and we are glad they've been given this wonderful award of learning and appreciating the world around them."

The Taylor/Audubon Students and Scholars program was created in 1996 through a $750,000 gift (which was increased to $900,000 today) from the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation to establish in perpetuity, a reward to Louisiana's students for their hard work in the classroom. This program was the first of its kind in the nation. In 1997, it was followed with the creation of the Taylor/NOMA Scholars program through a $360,000 endowment from the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation.

"It was my late husband's dream to teach the valuable life lesson to the youth of Louisiana that rewards come from hard work," said Phyllis M. Taylor, Chairman and President of the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation. "These students show that perseverance pays. We hope they'll continue to realize the importance of education and applying themselves academically. There is a reward waiting for them upon graduation, when they can participate in the TOPS program for college."

"Education is the cornerstone of our mission at NOMA," said Susan Taylor, the Montine McDaniel Freeman Director of the New Orleans Museum of Art. "Students are not only rewarded but also enriched by the Taylor Scholars program. Museums are places of inspiration, education, and imagination that aspire to engage these young adults and expose them to new experiences and opportunities, which will impact the rest of their lives. Learning through the arts is a lifelong opportunity and we are honored to continue this fitting tribute to Patrick Taylor and his vision."

Saturday, June 2, 2012, and Saturday, December 1, 2012, are the official "Taylor Scholars Awards" days at Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium and the New Orleans Museum of Art. Students may bring their parents or guardians plus two guests with them for free on those days as they visit the facilities to which they've been awarded a Taylor membership.

Information about the Taylor Scholars Awards Program has been sent to schools statewide. Click here for additional details or call the special hotline for teachers and parents at (504) 889-8882.

FAQ Sheet

  • In recognition of their hard work during the school year, 161,946 students are being rewarded with free one-year memberships to Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, the New Orleans Museum of Art, and Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium.
  • This is this first year that Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium is included in the program.
  • The Taylor/Audubon Students and Scholars program was created in 1996 through a $750,000 gift (which was increased to $900,000 today) from the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation to establish in perpetuity, a reward to Louisiana's students for their hard work in the classroom.
  • In 1997, it was followed with the creation of the Taylor/NOMA Scholars program through a $360,000 endowment from the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation.
  • Eligible students earn a one-year membership to Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, Audubon Zoo, and the New Orleans Museum of Art for achieving a minimum 2.5 grade point average.

    Saturday, June 2, 2012 and Saturday, December 1, 2012 are the official "Taylor Scholars Awards" days at Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium and the New Orleans Museum of Art. Students may bring their parents or guardians plus two guests with them for free on those days as they visit the facilities to which they've been awarded a Taylor membership.


    Media Contacts:

    Katie Smith, Audubon Nature Institute, 504-378-2693,
    ksmith@auduboninstitute.org
    Sarah Burnette, Audubon Nature Institute, 504-212-5335,
    sburnette@auduboninstitute.org
    Grace Wilson, New Orleans Museum of Art, (504) 658-4106,
    gwilson@noma.org
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