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, 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 office 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 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 to college. It is known as the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students, known as TOPS. One of its co-authors was the Democratic state Representative Robby Carter of Greensburg.
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 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.
Before his death in 2004, the Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy in Jefferson, Louisiana, is named in his honor. Each year, the school celebrates Founder's Day to honor the man who gave so much to Louisiana education. Taylor's widowed wife continues to play a close role with the school, visiting often, taking part in graduations, and accompanying students on trips to the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.
In 2007, a building on the LSU campus was renamed in honor of Taylor.
- Patrick F. Taylor Science and Technology Academy
- Patrick F. Taylor Building on LSU's 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 April 25, 2016.
- "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.