Patrick F. Taylor
|Patrick F. Taylor|
June 12, 1937|
Beaumont, Jefferson County
|Died||November 6, 2004
New Orleans, Louisiana
|Resting place||Patrick F. Taylor Cemetery at Circle Bar Ranch in Foxworth in Marion County, Mississippi|
|Residence||New Orleans, Louisiana|
|Alma mater||Louisiana State University|
|Spouse(s)||Phyllis Miller Taylor (married c. 1965-2004, his death)|
A native of Beaumont, Texas, Taylor received a full scholastic scholarship to The Kinkaid School in Houston, Texas. He attended Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In his sophomore year at LSU, Taylor joined the officer training program of the United States Marine Corps. A heart condition precluded his completion of the military course, and he was discharged from the USMC in 1959. He graduated from LSU with a degree in petroleum engineering and until 1966 worked for the Texas oilman John W. Mecom, Sr. Later he formed his own consulting and production company, before starting in 1974, with Mecom, the Circle Bar Drilling Company. The company was sold in 1979, at which time Taylor established his own oil company in New Orleans. One of the larger independent oil companies in the Gulf of Mexico, Taylor Energy explored for oil and produced oil and natural gas in federally-owned offshore waters.
Taylor Opportunity Program for Students
Taylor had a strong interest in education and humanitarian causes. He developed and promoted the "Taylor Plan", adopted in Louisiana in 1998, which provides academically qualified students with state-paid tuition for college. The program is known as the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students, or TOPS. One of its co-authors was the Democratic state Representative Robby Carter of Greensburg in St. Helena Parish.
In 1997, state Representative Charles R. McDonald of Bastrop in Morehouse Parish joined in a bipartisan fashion with Republican Governor Murphy J. Foster, Jr., to procure passage of Act 1375, a plan which opened the TOPS scholarships to all with a 2.5 grade point average and at least a score of 19 on the ACT. Family income was removed as a consideration for eligibility. Those with higher grades received $400 to $800 in extra funding to help meet the costs of other college expenses. McDonald's legislation was approved unanimously in both the House and Senate.
In 1998, TOPS paid the tuition for 24,163 students in the amount of $54 million. By the time of the 2014-15 academic year, the program assisted more than 50,000 students annually at a cost of nearly $270 million. Some 40 percent of that amount went to LSU in Baton Rouge. The cost is expected to soar beyond $300 million. Budget reductions at state universities have compelled those institutions to depend on tuition. LSU obtains some one-fifth of its operating budget from the state, counting TOPS, in contrast to 70 percent in 2006.
In 2016, TOPS came under greater legislative scrutiny in an environment of declining state revenues and higher taxes pushed by Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards. In its initial year of 1989, TOPS funded $54 million in tuition for 24,163 students; in the 2014–2015 academic year, the program cost $270 million for the benefit of more than 50,000 students. Forty percent of the recipients attend LSU. The next cost estimate is $300 million annually. The Taylor Foundation, located in a three-story offices on Lee Circle in downtown New Orleans, is managed by Taylor's widow, the former Phyllis Miller (born September 1941). It is financed by company oil holdings and accents higher education in Louisiana in general and preservation of the TOPS program in particular.
On May 1, 2017, the Louisiana House Appropriations Committee approved a 2017-18 budget that fully funds TOPS but with another $237 million in reductions to health care and in spending by two other agencies, Corrections and Children and Family Services. Committee chairman Cameron Henry of Metairie said that the panel would spend 97.5 percent of the amount projected because in recent years the Revenue Estimating Committee has projected that the state would collect more than it has done. That situation, he said, created multiple mid-budget deficits.
Taylor donated the statue of "Iron Mike" to the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia. Mrs. Taylor has also donated millions of dollars in contribution to new and improved schools.
Before his death in 2004, the Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy in Jefferson, Louisiana, was named in his honor. Each year, the school celebrates Founder's Day to honor the man who gave so much to Louisiana education. Phyllis Taylor continues to play a close role with the school, which she often visits, takes part in graduation observances, and joins students on trips to the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.
In 2007, the building which hosts the majority of engineering classes at LSU was renamed in Taylor's honor.
- Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy
- Patrick F. Taylor Building on the LSU campus 
- Patrick F. Taylor Hope Lodge
- "Patrick F. Taylor". New Orleans Times-Picayune. November 6, 2004. Retrieved May 4, 2016.
- "TOPS Index page". Osfa.la.gov. 2012-03-19. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- "Former Representative Robby Carter announces for District 72". Action News 17. July 31, 2015. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
- "Jim Beam, TOPS has become untouchable, May 15, 2014". Lake Charles American-Press. Retrieved May 23, 2014.
- "Guest Speaker: Councilman Tom Capella". Bent Tree Estates Civic Association. March 19, 2009. Retrieved May 21, 2015.
- David J. LaPlante (April 22, 2016). "Phyllis Taylor tells how TOPS came to be". The Alexandria Town Talk. Retrieved January 18, 2017.
- Greg Hilburn (May 1, 2017). "TOPS restored for now; health care cuts deepened". The Shreveport Times. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
- "Forbes Magazine-The 400 Richest Americans September 24, 2004". Forbes magazine.
- "Louisiana Political Museum and Hall of Fame". cityofwinnfield.com. Archived from the original on July 3, 2009. Retrieved August 22, 2009.
- "CEBA". Lsu.edu. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Patrick F. Taylor.|
- "Taylor Energy Company LLC — company website". Retrieved 2007-05-10.
- Patrick F. Taylor Obituary
- Patrick F Taylor Foundation
- "Our History". Taylor Energy Company. Archived from the original on September 28, 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-10.