The Horace Dutton Taft Alumni Medal is the school’s highest alumni honor and is given each year to a person whose life work best typifies the school motto: Not to be ministered unto but to minister. The recipient’s life and actions must demonstrate something humanitarian apart from a vocation or service. He or she must have gone above the ordinary demands of life or occupation. Success in a chosen field does not necessarily qualify a person for the honor. At the same time, it is possible for a person to be eminently successful and go beyond the call of duty to serve others.
An alumni committee meets each January to review names that have been recommended by fellow alums and to determine the recipient. Alumni are encouraged to put forth the name of an alumnus or alumna to be considered. Eligibility for the Horace Dutton Taft Alumni Medal is also extended to those who are or have been connected with the school or who have shown special interest in Taft. Candidates must be living to receive the award. The award is bestowed at the Old Guard Dinner on Alumni Weekend.
All citations, since the award’s creation in 1960, hang in a place of honor along Main Hall. The Horace Dutton Taft Alumni Medal is a reminder of Taft’s commitment to serve others.
2016 Recipient of the Horace Dutton Taft Alumni Medal
Andrew S. Taylor
Class of 1972
Raised by committed and idealistic parents, you arrived at Taft enthusiastic but unfocused. Four years later your academic achievement, athletic prowess, and leadership promise led to your selection as an English Speaking Union Scholar at the Aldenham School in Hertfordshire, England. There your interest in the international world was born, subsequently to be nurtured at Wesleyan University, where you received your Bachelor of Arts with honors. Between 1977 and 2004, you were a very busy man. Teaching positions overseas brought you to a year at the Michaelhouse School in South Africa, and then to four years at Maru-a-Pula School in Botswana. After earning a master's degree in Journalism from Columbia University in 1986, you accepted a position as Associate Producer of CBS's 60 Minutes. In 1988, education called again, first to the Spence School in New York City, and, in 1992, back to South Africa for four years as Assistant Principal of Zonnebloem High School. In 1996, you returned to the U.S., this time to head the History Department at Horace Mann Middle School in New York for eight years. Yet the lure of Africa remained, and in 2004 Botswana's Maru-a-Pula School called you back to be its Headmaster, a post you have held with great distinction ever since. Over the last twelve years, you have shaped your School into one of Africa's finest institutions, sending graduates to the best universities in the world while significantly increasing the size of the School, fostering the international composition of its student body, and linking Maru-a-Pula to more than twenty independent schools worldwide while developing Fellowships for undergraduates from Harvard and graduates from the Princeton in Africa program. Your school community stands as a beacon of intellectual and personal excellence—a direct reflection of your life's work, and one to be emulated throughout the world. Your life of service to education in Africa, and through there to the world, exemplifies the enduring power of Horace Taft's ideal: Non Ut Sibi Ministretur Sed Ut Ministret. With admiration and deep gratitude, Taft conveys upon you our highest honor, the Horace Dutton Taft Alumni Medal.
To nominate someone for the Horace Dutton Taft Alumni Medal
Simply send a message to HoraceDTaftAlumniMedal@taftschool.org.
Please include the person's name, class year, and the reason you think he or she should be considered.
Citation of Merit Recipients