Since its inception a decade ago, the Jane and Whitney Harris St. Louis Community Service Award has been given annually to a husband and wife dedicated to improving the St. Louis region through service, generosity and leadership. In a Feb. 26 ceremony, Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton bestowed the 10th Harris Award on Barbara and Andrew Taylor.
“Today we honor Barbara and Andy Taylor’s civic and philanthropic engagement,” Wrighton said at the ceremony. “They have built a legacy of generosity and involvement that contributes significantly to the cultural, educational and recreational opportunities that St. Louis has to offer.”
This award gives the Taylors yet another way to give back to the community. As the late Jane Harris and her husband, Whitney, specified in their gift, the recipients are granted a cash prize that can be donated to organizations of their choice. The Taylors will distribute the $50,000 cash prize among three nonprofit organizations: Forest Park Forever, the Saint Louis Art Museum and the United Way of Greater St. Louis.
Andrew Taylor is the chairman and chief executive officer of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, a company founded in St. Louis by his father, Jack Taylor, in 1957. As a result of recent acquisitions of National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car, he presides over the largest car rental company in North America with more than 8,000 locations and more than 78,000 employees stationed throughout the world.
Andrew Taylor earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1970 from the University of Denver. From the time he joined the family business in 1973 to the present, he has helped steer the rise of Enterprise — first as general manager of its St. Louis regional operations then as president and chief operating officer for the entire company.
Andrew Taylor supports a number of organizations, including the United Way of Greater St. Louis, for which he is a member of the board of directors.
He also served as the 2008 campaign co-chairman for the United Way and is an ex-officio member of its executive committee. He serves as a trustee of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, the Naval Aviation History Foundation and Washington University. He is a life trustee of the Missouri Botanical Garden, a past trustee of the National Urban League and past president of Civic Progress.
Barbara Taylor has established herself as a major advocate for the region’s progress. She serves as vice president of the board of commissioners of the Saint Louis Art Museum and is a trustee and member of the executive committee of Forest Park Forever. She has held leadership positions for Webster University, Mary Institute/St. Louis Country Day School, the Junior League of St. Louis and St. Louis Children’s Hospital.
She graduated from the University of San Francisco with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
Also present at the awards luncheon were Anna and Whitney Harris, who were praised by Wrighton for their continued dedication to the community’s progress.
The Taylors join an impressive list of community service leaders. Past recipients of the Harris Award are:
• Thelma and David Steward (2008);
• Nancy and Kenneth Kranzberg (2007);
• Ruth and Alvin Siteman (2006);
• Mary Ann and E. Desmond Lee (2005);
• Marilyn and Sam Fox (2004);
• the late Elizabeth Danforth and William H. Danforth (2003);
• Ann and Lee Liberman (2002);
• the late Alice Gerdine and the late Leigh Gerdine (2001); and
• Lucy and the late Stanley Lopata (2000).