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Dwight Taylor '49

Dwight Taylor '49
Even as a young boy, Dwight Taylor ’49 had a passion for geology and collecting interesting specimens, especially shells. At Webb, he was mentored by Ray Alf and traveled on a number of Peccary trips, one of which provided a defining moment in his life. On a Webb-sponsored trip to Barstow, Dwight discovered his life’s work and his destiny.

From childhood, Dwight had a fascination with mollusks, but when he happened upon fossil shells of land and freshwater snails during the trip, he knew immediately that these would become the focus of his ongoing research. His passion defined his career trajectory, including time spent working for the US Geological Society in Paleontology.

Dwight had a profound fondness for his work, for Webb and the Alf Museum, which translated into generous gifts of his time and resources. When he passed away in August 2007, we learned of his plans to provide for the school and the Alf museum through his estate. To date, Webb has received nearly $1 million from the Dwight Taylor Trust. Proceeds from the gift have supported the Alf Museum and positioned Webb to take advantage of a unique opportunity to acquire a new faculty residence adjacent to our campus. Faculty housing is a priority of the master plan and Dwight’s visionary gift has enabled the school to move forward in a tremendous way.

Dwight had a clear understanding of what was important to him and took the necessary steps to ensure that what he envisioned would become a reality, even after his passing. His experience is a wonderful testament to the importance of thoughtful planning, a process which often involves family, legal and financial and charitable advisors. It may seem a daunting task, but the knowledge of what the end result will be is fulfilling and rewarding.

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