Salem College alumna and chair of the Salem Academy and College Board of Trustees, Gwynne Stephens Taylor C’72, was honored with three major awards during the institution’s 240th Founders Day and Reunion Weekend.
During the Founders Day convocation, Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines presented Taylor with The Order of the Long Leaf Pine. The Order of the Long Leaf Pine is one of the highest honors the governor can bestow on a North Carolina citizen. Taylor joins such esteemed North Carolinians as Maya Angelou, Michael Jordan and Bob Timberlake as recipients of the honor.
Also during the convocation, Taylor was presented with the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award. The Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award was established as a permanent reminder of the noblest of human qualities as expressed and followed in the lives of Algernon Sydney Sullivan and Mary Mildred Sullivan. It is awarded in recognition of fine spiritual qualities that are practically applied to daily living, and is presented to those exceptional individuals who meet the award’s qualifications and characteristics.
The following day, at the Reunion Luncheon, Taylor was honored again, this time with the Distinguished Alumna Award. The Distinguished Alumna Service Award recognizes a Salem alumna’s achievements in volunteer service and/or her professional distinctions.
Upon graduating from Salem in 1972, Taylor went on to earn a master’s degree in history and historic preservation from Wake Forest University in 1976. During her long career as a historic preservationist, she served as the director of Historic Bethabara Park, helped found and served as chair of Preservation North Carolina, worked as principal investigator for the Forsyth County Historic Inventory and served on the restoration committee of Old Salem Museums and Gardens.
She brought that preservation expertise back to Salem to oversee the multi-million-dollar restoration of the Single Sisters House on Salem’s campus—the oldest building in America dedicated to women’s education.
Taylor’s service at Salem extends in many directions, from her tenure on the Board of Trustees to her membership in the Friends of the School of Music, Friends of the Library and Center for Women Writers, among other groups. She has served on the Board of Trustees since 2003, and chaired the board since 2006.
A wife and mother of two sons, Taylor resides in Winston-Salem.